We are so excited to announce that registration for two of our retreats in Abruzzo, Italy is now open for the Spring of 2019! We hosted our first foraging and cooking retreat there this past October, and it really exceeded all of our expectations. We are elated to announce that this time around, we will have an on-site Acupuncture Physician (for one of the retreats) and an on-site Yoga Teacher (for both retreats)! In addition to cooking, eating, foraging, hiking, and sightseeing in the beautiful Abruzzo countryside, we will be exploring the ways to inner balance through yoga, meditation, and ancient techniques of Chinese Medicine. Read on for retreat registration, testimonials, and a photo recap of our first retreat. We hope to see you in the spring :)
1) Re-Center Retreat 2019 with On-Site Acupuncture Physician and Daily Yoga/Meditation (May 27th – June 2nd, 2019)
For the wellness enthusiast and vegan or vegetarian (or plant-loving) foodie looking to relax and re-center.
Activities and Services will include: one-on-one appointments with on-site Acupuncture Physician (diagnostic consultation, acupressure, deeply relaxing facial and body gua sha massage), daily yoga with on-site certified yoga instructor, meditation, forest-bathing, plant-based meals prepared by the Golubka Kitchen team, foraging, truffle hunting, meditation in a 600 year old olive grove and olive oil tasting, winery visit and wine tasting, plant-based cooking, medicinal jam, and herbal tonic classes with the Golubka Kitchen team, cooking with Abruzzo locals, and more!
2) Forage, Cook & Yoga Retreat (June 4th – June 10th, 2019)
For the vegan or vegetarian (or plant-loving) foodie, who also enjoys daily yoga and meditation.
Activities and Services will include: sampling the best of Abruzzo’s plant-based fare, truffle hunting, wine tasting, 600 year old olive grove visit and olive oil tasting, pasta-making class with Abruzzo locals, cooking classes with the Golubka Kitchen team, foraging and cooking local edible plants, mountain hikes and visits to mountain villages, daily yoga with on-site certified yoga instructor, meditation, and more!
“Having the opportunity to explore a lesser known region of Italy to find its hidden gems in the Culinary arts was such an enriching experience! Getting to see first hand how the people in these areas live, visiting locals in their homes… From truffle hunting to tasting oil from 600 year old olive groves… Wild foraging for greens & making pasta in an Italian woman’s kitchen…. Not the typical trip to Italy. It was a delightful & delicious experience!”
– Rachel, Alabama
“I loved the retreat. It was well managed, we had the best food, awesome accommodation, great people, perfectly sized travel group and great tour guides. I had looked very much forward to this retreat and it was even better than I imagined. You created an amazing experience, with wonderful and very unique accommodations, the best meals I have ever had, set in a beautiful landscape, off the beaten path. The silence was palpable and so welcome to step out of the noisy and hectic lifestyle most of us have these days. I seriously consider joining you again, so I can have more of those meals, go back to the medieval village of Santo Stefano and the unique scattered hotel. We also had an awesome group, which made it even more special!”
– Claudia, Massachusetts
“It was a trip of a lifetime. Abruzzo could not have been more beautiful! I loved the diversity of the land, the hiking, cooking and loved loved loved the food. I also was glad that it was not a large group…I liked the intimacy of the smaller number of participants. It truly was a remarkable 6 days and you all were so kind, knowledgeable and pleasant to be with.”
– Helen, Michigan
“Thank you for the wonderful trip. It was so much more than I thought it would be. A deep dive into the food, culture and people of Abruzzo. I had experiences that I could never have on my own. I thought we were a good mix of ages, interests and countries. Diversity makes things so interesting.”
– Maudia, Michigan
“I’ve been to Italy before but never like this! We visited magical places that I’d never know about on my own: Santo Stefano with its fairytale charm, the beautiful truffle plantation, ancient olive grove, a winery located right in a family home’s basement… Every single one was a unique, unforgettable experience. Thank you!”
– Katya, Sochi
Truffle Hunting & Tasting
We visited a family truffle plantation, where the sweet truffle-hunting dogs Rita and Nina dug up about 1kg of summer truffles right in front of us. We then got to have home-cooked lunch at the truffle plantation owners’ house, where we sampled the day’s harvest, as well as the family’s line of truffle pastes.
Hiking and Foraging
We hiked up beautiful mountain paths to see historical castles, churches, and hermitages, and foraged for wild herbs, berries, and fruit along the way. We foraged rosehips, wild mint, wild chicory, figs, and even jujube dates.
Exploring Local Villages & Towns
Pictured below are the breathtaking towns of Pacentro, Sulmona and Santo Stefano (we stayed in Santo Stefano in this experience of a hotel), where we had the pleasure of sightseeing and visiting local artisan businesses, as well as a bustling farmer’s market.
Visiting Local Artisans
We visited a local wine producer (also a family business) and sampled their exquisite wines. We also had the transcendent experience of wandering around an olive grove with trees up to 600 years old, and got to taste incredibly fresh olive oil, made with the olives from those trees.
Cooking, Eating & Drinking!
Eating well was the main mission of this retreat, and I think it’s very safe to say that the mission was accomplished. We tasted vegan and vegetarian food from a variety of cozy restaurants, cafes, artisans, and local’s homes. We foraged and ate wild chicory, learned to make pasta and cookies, and got to know famous Abruzzo ingredients, like their local lentils, solina flour, spelt, and more.