Oh The Places We Will Go…In Italy

OH THE PLACES WE WILL GO!    2014

ITALY RETREAT for Women to Live La Dolce Vita 2014
September 8-September 17, 2014

Some Details of our 7-City Tour of the Italian Riviera & Northern Tuscany
Find more info about our trip on other blog posts on Italy Retreat For Women.

Shopping in Monterosso

Shopping in Monterosso

Prepare to be immersed in one of the greatest countries in the world–I can just taste the delicious food and fine wines, see the breathtaking scenery, smell the salt air of the Mediterranean, and feel the peacefulness of the ancient churches filled with marble and fine art.

Our travel plans include a seven-city tour in two of the twenty regions of Italy—Liguria and Tuscany. The Cinque Terre villages and Portovenere are port towns on the Italian Riviera, in the Northwestern region of ITALY, called Liguria.

In Italy we will live ‘The Sweet Life’, la dolce vita! It is all about enjoying an enriched life, changing limiting beliefs, and being happier–Unlimited La Dolce Vita! It means savoring adventure, making life at home sweeter, having fun with friends, cooking together, walking together, learning together–all in the spirit of the sweet life. The ultimate la dolce vita experience is to come to Italy with me!

Our mini 12-hour “Sweet Life Workshop” is spread throughout the trip as you learn and adopt practices that I have used for 23 years to free women from their limiting beliefs. This makes the results of being in Italy even more profound.

Remember, we’ll be doing lots of walking on hilly streets and climbing steps however, we will always take gelato and coffee breaks along the way!

ARRIVARE. Our journey together begins at the Pisa Train Station on Monday morning, September 8, 2014 and continues on to our hotel in Monterosso on The Italian Riviera, which is known for its scrumptious basil pesto sauce and breathtaking views. You won’t want to miss a dinner of grilled fish or spaghetti with pesto. Delizioso!

ITALIAN RIVIERA. The quality of the light in The Cinque Terre (five lands) makes everything sparkle like a jewel. Included on the Italian Riviera travel, we will visit four of the five Cinque Terre villages–Monterosso, Vernazza, Manarola, and RioMaggiore. Then we’ll travel by ferry to Portovenere, which is often called the sixth Cinque Terre town.

The five villages are picture-perfect. Houses are perched on the sides of Mediterranean mountains, colorful palettes that look like master paintings of village scenes. Locals are proud of their quaint stores where they sell their hand-made treasures made of olive wood and other local materials. They offer products like wine, olive oil, limoncello, honey and so much more.

Each village is connected by hiking trails. We will hike at least one of them to enjoy breath-taking panoramas, some of the best in Italy.

TUSCANY: On our second leg of the trip, we head for Lucca in northern Tuscany to stay in a Bed and Breakfast for six nights. As you may know, Tuscany is the most popular tourist choice in Italy. We visit and live right in the city center of enchanting Lucca.

On our first afternoon in Lucca, I have arranged for our own local professional tour guide, Gabrielle, to share his love for and historical knowledge of Lucca, its medieval streets, towers and lovely boutiques. We’ll visit enchanting Romanesque churches and piazzas (town squares) that invite us to experience Italy as the locals do.

Our second evening In Lucca, we get to enjoy a bird’s eye view from our big second story windows of the ancient traditional Luminaria Procession. The locals stream down the Via Filunga carrying four-foot tall candles, singing, playing musical instruments, and celebrating the Vin Santo. The windows and doorways of the entire town are lined with real candles to celebrate the three-hour long procession. See more about the Luminaria in my article in Italian Notebook.

During our Lucca days, we will walk, people watch, shop, eat delicious Tuscan delights, and ride bikes around the top of the 60 foot wide city wall. One of my favorite things is our evening listening to the Puccini Operatic Concert at San Giovanni Church. Different singers perform Puccini and Italian Mozart arias each night. There is so much to do and see in Lucca!

We will enjoy a day at the Spa which will include massages, Italian style thermal springs and caves of Monsummano, a 30-minute train ride from Lucca. Our optional adventure is a visit to a couple of beautiful Renaissance villas surrounding Lucca.

THE TOWNS. Here are a few things I’d like you to know about each unforgettable town.

1. Monterosso: Monterosso beaches are the best in the Cinque Terre. We are going to hang out a little on the free beach under Il Casello Restaurant near the trailhead, five minutes from our hotel. Our hotel, Hotel La Colonnina, is located in the historic center of Monterosso.

2. Vernazza: Small, but quaint. We will hike here from Monterosso for about 90 minutes, and enjoy lunch on the shore under colorful umbrellas, and shop on the small main street of town. I’ll walk you to a very special and majestic view of the Mediterranean. This community was formed around the year 1000 and there are about 500 residents during the summer months. Vineyards fill the mountainside beyond the town.

3. Manarola: A Shangrila-like village of colorful houses cascading on the side of a mountain. Its deep water swimming area can be reached from large boulders. Even if some of us don’t swim, we can sit and enjoy the view. We’ll reach Manarola by train if the hiking trail has not been re-opened. We will enjoy a sunset dinner on the veranda of my favorite local restaurant.

4. Riomaggiore: I’m excited to walk with you through the mosaic-lined tunnel leading to the Via dell’Amore. We’ll hang out here, relish the jaw-dropping views, take a group photo, and eat some delicious gelato.

5. Portovenere (Port of Venus): Often called the sixth Cinque Terre town, Portovenere is one of the most romantic, picturesque villages on the Ligurian Coast. Its narrow streets are filled with wonderful shops, and there are unforgettable views from the 16th Century castle on top of the cliffs.
Roman legend has it that Venus emerged from the sea here. You’ll feel a deep feminine presence that really is palpable.

We spend some time writing here just like the romantic poets Shelly, D.H. Lawrence and Lord Byron did. In addition, many women writers and artists today set up shop in Portovenere to work on their creative projects.
We will enjoy shopping, eating on the upper wall overlooking the Mediterranean, and writing on the ancient slabs of white rock overlooking the cliffs, breathing in the fresh salt air with the warm sunshine on our faces.

6. Lucca: Our B&Bs are right in the city center inside the Lucca Renaissance wall, so we are in the heart of this enchanting Tuscan town. As I said earlier, I have arranged for our own local professional tour guide to share his love for and historical knowledge of Lucca–it’s medieval streets, towers and lovely boutiques. We’ll visit unique stores, enchanting Romanesque churches and piazzas (town squares) that invite us to experience true Italian living. You’ll love the food at Pasquale’s!

7. Monsummano near Monticatini: We’ll join the locals at the thermal springs to enjoy the healing waters surrounded by rolling hills. Look forward to your Swedish massage, thermal caves, and the huge thermal pool for swimming or floating and Jacuzzi-like seats to revive and relax you. This is truly a day of la dolce vita.

8. Optional Trip: Villas of Lucca: Capannori, Tuscany. (An additional charge depending on how many of us go). See my article on The Italian Notebook blog.

9. Pisa: (Optional) All of you arrive early so be sure to check out the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Duomo next to it, on your own.

ARRIVEDERCI. On Thursday morning, September 18, we will say arriverderci to Lucca and return home with memories and friendship to last a lifetime.

Very soon we’ll be together on THE ITALY RETREAT-Where Living La Dolce Vita, the sweet life, is our birthright!

NowItaly Interviews Lenora Boyle

Lenora consulting her Italian dictionary in Italy

Lenora consulting her Italian dictionary in Italy

Over a cup of coffee, Liliana Rosana from NowItaly interviewed me as an Italian-American, dual citizen of Italy. She wanted to know more about me and how I began leading my Italy Retreats.

And the story begins….“The first time she visited Italy, in 2006, she felt at home right away. Since then, she has combined her passion for Italy with her passion for helping others to be happier and to live the ‘sweet life’. Her italianness does not need to be explained.”   Continued here… Continue reading

FAQ and Workshop Description for Italy Retreat

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Italy Workshop 2014

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life.
~~ Mary Oliver from “The Summer Day”

With my one wild and precious life I want to live it to the fullest—choosing the sweet life, la dolce vita. And I choose to help others discover how they can happily live their one wild and precious life. One way I do that is through these Italy Retreats.

I wanted to clarify the ‘workshop’ aspect of my Italy Retreat. Even though most of our time is spent exploring Italy, I want to  explain how I weave my work of 23 years and my practice of living the sweet life into the trip.

 What Do We Learn in the Workshop?

1. Sweet Life Practices that include: tools and techniques that help you manifest your ‘sweet life’ (la dolce vita) and empower you to find your voice.
2. Dialogue technique for happiness using the Option Method.
3. Tools for nurturing, increasing happiness and success.
4. Dissolving limiting beliefs and blocks to living your precious life.

Click here to learn about the Option Method for Happiness, one of the tools I use in this workshop.

I believe we learn best when there is a climate of acceptance, trust and fun. Traveling in and of itself teaches us so much about ourselves. Italy does that in spades, Then I create a delicious blend of activity, adventure and reflection that create connection through sharing meals, laughter, stories and workshops moments .

My work has always been about focusing on desires, knowing and manifesting what you want, while dissolving limiting beliefs in a gentle natural way.

For example, you will participate in writing exercises and small group experiences often while sipping a cup of cappuccino.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where Do We Meet during the workshop part of the trip?
I select moments and places that lend themselves to reflection and conversation that leads to finding our own voices and bliss.

We meet in sunny cozy meeting rooms or sit in piazzas, rooftop terraces in the fresh air overlooking the colorful houses of the cinque Terre, and on cliff sides overlooking the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. We make room to bring a richness of spirit that even Italy cannot provide on its own.

How Often Do We Meet for the workshop?
During the 10-day Retreat, we meet for 12 hours of workshop time. We do travel as a group to eight towns interspersed with workshop time. There is also free time.

For instance, one day we meet for 2-3 hours for the workshop, and the next day we explore one of the 7 towns  such as the thermal springs and caves of Grotta Giusto in Monsumanno for our wonderful spa day and massage.


Is there enough time to savor Italy?
Well, you could be there a lifetime and it would not be enough time to fully savor Italy. However, you have lots of time to experience and create heartfelt cultural connections.  The Retreat I’ve created is more than just experiencing Italy–it’s also about discovering your own riches. You get to live in Italy for 10 days, and also have the chance to create, heal your soul, nourish your heart, find your voice, and open into your sweet life.

Is This Workshop an Intense Processing Experience?
It is more about opening to possibilities, happiness and la dolce vita, the sweet life. More fun than anything intense.  We’ll be walking, hiking, biking, eating scrumptious Italian food, while we intersperse the workshop activities. I like to think that all of our activities are part of the overall experience of the ‘workshop’.

What is the Sweet Life, La Dolce Vita?
Life in Italy is built around making connections with neighbors, in the outdoor markets and stores. That’s what we do with the fantastic like-minded women we travel with and with everyone we meet. You are supported by each other and transformed by the beauty that surrounds you.

Stretching, trying something new creates a sweet life. You will be more empowered and self-sufficient–able to manifest so much more happiness in your life.  La dolce vita, is the sweet life of dancing in the streets, walking, learning, sharing meals, connecting, spiritually and emotionally growing, throwing open the windows to the sounds of the locals outside beginning their day, and making lifelong friends.

You can re-create much of this when you return home (maybe the gelato will not be as tasty though). You will return home with life-changing experiences and a set of Sweet Life Practices to keep it all going, for manifesting La Dolce Vita in your life, wherever you go.

 Who will I meet?
The women who join me for this Italy Retreat are awesome, courageous, fun-loving, young-at-heart! They have become my lifelong friends, and you will connect with your group in the same way.

You’ll meet women like Monica and Sallee. The other day Sallee wrote this to me, “My experiences from the 2009 Italy Retreat is a resource for me when I want to live happiness and the sweet life!  I call upon that experience when I want to remember what joy and happiness feels like. It’s an experience that lives in my heart and soul. There’s something about being in all that blue sky, blue ocean country and then doing the blue sky list of desires. The sky’s the limit. That Retreat was a pivotal AHA experience for me to create my life from bigger more fulfilling possibilities.”

Monica, joining the 2013 Retreat, told me: “Since I said yes to the Italy Retreat, my energy levels have increased, my outlook has changed to hope for the future and amazing ideas for my future work have been popping up in my mind ever since. Finding Lenora’s website full of zest for life, is divine intervention and my 20 year old dream of going to Italy is being fulfilled, and best of all I even get the experience of personal transformation.”

For more details and pricing for the Italy Retreat, click here.

Any questions? Contact me – I am happy to answer any questions.

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Beginning of Trail from Monterosso to Vernazza

Beginning of Trail from Monterosso to Vernazza