Italia, Beautiful Italia

Oh, Italia, I honestly am not even sure where to begin when sharing my experiences from the three weeks I spent enwrapped in the sweet energy of your people, your history, and your land. Since it truly is quite difficult (and quite lengthy) to go into detail about each and every moment of my three weeks there, I thought I would, instead, share the highlights of my stream of thoughts on the whole adventure:

  • The people of Italy are insanely welcoming. They are thoughtful, honest, and encouraging. They see beyond what meets the eye, and they know how to truly experience and enjoy life. It is SO refreshing.
  • If you have any sort of history at all of motion sickness, be prepared with plenty of dramamine. The roads on the coastline and in the hills of Tuscany are very twisty and winding. I learned this one the hard way.
  • I had the best gelato I have ever had the pleasure of eating in Venice. The flavor was Ricotta. It was deliciously rich, creamy, and sweet, and so perfectly not too much of any of those things.
  • Pizza will be ruined forevermore. Enough said.
  • On the subject of food - before leaving for this trip, I had heard that Naples has some of the best food in the entire country. I’m not saying that statement is entirely untrue, but from my personal experience and opinion, I had the best food (in general) while in the Tuscany region, hands down.
  • Truly though, with that said, there is some seriously darn good food to be had almost anywhere you go. The key is to find out what the region is known for - what specialties are native to which region you visit.
  • In Tuscany, the land actually looks ALIVE. Deep, dark brown saturated soil and vibrant, healthy green grass, trees and plants appear to extend endlessly in each direction you look. Here, with nature displaying the depth and possibilities of life, you begin to feel your own depth and connect to the possibilities of your existence.
  • In Tuscany, the divine song the crickets sang each evening was the absolute perfect tune to rock my tired body to bed each night after a long day of yoga and adventure.
  • I plan to go back one day and see more of the Amalfi Coast and the rest of Southern Italy. I have heard an endless amount of rave reviews about the South of Italy (from both tourists and native Italians). Don’t get me wrong, the cities in the north have their own beauty and charm, for sure (Rome, Florence, Venice). Except, they also seem to lie further on the “tourist-y” side of the spectrum than the “true Italy” side. At least, that’s what I’ve heard.
  • I was actually quite surprised at how quickly I became adjusted to the local time zone. Usually, traveling east, for me, leads to some serious struggles with jet lag, but this time, the transition seemed to take place quite fluidly. My gut tells me it has something to do with the comfortable and inspiring energy in the air there.
  • It rained almost every afternoon while we were on retreat in Tuscany. It was lovely, cozy, warm rain. I feel deep down in my heart that it was a display of Mother Nature’s innate wisdom. Each morning was filled with activity - empowering, energizing yoga and hikes through the Tuscan hills. So, some cozy afternoon rain each day was exactly what the doctor ordered. It was the perfect balance of movement and action to shake old habits up, and peace and stillness to allow the dust to settle.

These are mostly random thoughts from journal entries during and immediately after my time there. If you would like to know anything specifically about my trip or the retreat, please, send your questions or comments my way - I’d love to do my best to answer them! Most importantly, keep your eyes peeled for the next time I host a retreat in this magical country. One day, I’m going to make it happen again, and trust me, you don’t want to miss another opportunity to experience Italy!