The Dolomites and Venice | Yoga and Italian Cooking Retreat, 7th – 13th September
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The Dolomites and Venice | Yoga and Italian Cooking Retreat
This specially curated yoga and Italian cooking retreat balances the many benefits of yoga and meditation with the joy of Italian wine, food, and culture in the stunning historic setting of Venice and the breathtaking Dolomites. Expect all the senses to be ignited!
South Tyrol in the Dolomites is home to Italy’s German-speaking communities, an area renowned for mountains and lake scenery where Mediterranean charm and Teutonic cheer meet to create an entirely unique culture. This is the South Tyrol, formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and one of the five regions in Italy granted home rule.
In this world of sparkling rivers and green mountains, rustic wooden farmhouses and onion-domed bell towers dotting the mountains, pasta and dumplings happily share the same table, the cellars are full with beer and wine, and yodeling is as popular as opera. Here amid the majesty of the mountains and clean air, enjoy a magical culinary exploration of local artisanal products, cookery lessons, and yoga tuition staying in a former 12th-century refuge, 4430 feet above sea level on the Nonsberg plateau.
Relax, recharge, enjoy the mountain and lake trails and savour those unforgettable night skies, before you head to Italy’s most magical city, Venice staying in the heart of the city close to St. Mark’s Square.
Zum Hirschen – Senale
This hotel has been welcoming guests since 1184. This former pilgrims sanctuary has been by the delightful Kofler-Mocatti family for three generations. The hotel’s large rooms have been entirely modernised in 2017 decorated with natural wood, modern lighting, and Tyrolean-style duvet bedding.
The ensuite modern bathrooms have large rainforest showers. The family’s excellent mountain restaurant Cervo has been serving wayfarers for centuries with fine food, founded on great ingredients and the Slow Food philosophy.
Using locally farmed produce from the family farm, this is a wonderful place to discover the mountain recipes of the South Tyrol and its Austrian style patisserie, such as fresh strudel and “Kniakiachln” (fried dough pastries).
The tranquillity of the mountain village lifestyle here is only punctuated by the peal of the church bell. The experienced staff at the Zum Hirschen are always friendly and attentive. Relax in the hotel’s mountain retreat Wine-Lounge, enjoy use of the bio-sauna, Finnish Sauna as well as the relaxation room, tea stand, and juice bar.
Guests will receive a complimentary spa bag with comfortable bathrobe and sauna towels. Complimentary Wi-Fi access is provided from 8am-11pm daily.
Welcome to Hotel Violino D’Oro, a superior 3-star hotel in the heart of Venice, just steps away from San Marco, where you can take refuge and just relax after a day filled with history, art, and glamor.
The multilingual staff is eager to make your vacation in this lagoon city a truly unforgettable experience. Each classic room is spacious and furnished with Venetian-style décor, with all the best comforts, quiet and relaxing, just perfect for your short stay in Venice.
The interior of the hotel features exposed wood beams and crystal chandeliers. The rooms offer air conditioning, private bathroom with bathtub/shower and satellite TV. WiFi throughout the hotel is free.
Double Private Room
Twin Sharing Room
Transfer Venice Airport to South Tyrol | Welcome Dinner
You will be greeted at Venice International Airport for road transfer through the Dolomite Mountains to Senale on the Nonsberg plateau. After you have settled in, meet for a “Bordy”, a welcome herbal drink prepared to the recipe of Hildegard of Bingen.
Enjoy a briefing of the tour followed by restorative yoga in the Widum Stadel. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner, where you will enjoy a five-course meal in the Cervo restaurant.
All Meals | Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Enjoy a special Zum Hirschen breakfast daily with a choice of cereals, fresh fruit juices, selection of home-made jams, natural yogurt from the dairy farm, freshly-made cakes, fruit bowl and sumptuous produce from local farms such as eggs, bacon, cheeses, and the traditional bread: the Paarlbrot.
Your program in the South Tyrol includes a full breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner daily, morning yoga session, mountain lake hiking tour and Alpine picnic, hands-on cooking class, evening and restorative yoga session .
Following yoga in the Widum Stadel and your delicious mountain breakfast meet your trekking guide to walk through the beautiful mountain pastures to San Felice lake (approx. 1-hour hike) enjoying the stunning mountain scenery and an Alpine picnic of locally produced specialties.
This afternoon is time to relax in the sauna or enjoy the sun terrace, take a cooking class to prepare wonderful Schlutzkrapfen (mountain ravioli). This is one of the classic South Tyrolean pasta dishes, a semi-circular ravioli stuffed which can be prepared with an array of local fillings. This evening enjoy a restorative yoga session before dining on your wonderful creations having worked up a good appetite in the clean mountain air.
Morning yoga session | Farmhouse bakery and Cheese visit | Wine Tasting Class | Evening Restorative yoga session
Following yoga in the Widum Stadel and your delicious mountain breakfast meet your host to walk through the forest to the nearby Roatnockerhof farmhouse.
Agriculture has always been the mainstay of the economy in Alta Val di Non. The father and son team at the organic Roatnockerhof farm prepare the traditional mountain breads daily and delicious raw milk cheeses.
This is a step back in time as you see the threshing and sorting 19th century machine which is still used to achieve the best quality grains for baking their breads. It used to be essential for the inhabitants of the Alps to prepare non-perishable food supplies for the long winter months.
The sour dough dry breads made of rye, wheat and spelt as well as cumin, bread clover, fennel and sometimes aniseed are eaten together with the local cheeses and smoked meats. A glass of good local red wine or elderberry juice make the perfect accompaniment. This afternoon your driver will bring you to the modern Merano Burggräfler Winery with 360° views over the Merano and Vinschgau wine area.
Enjoying 300 days of sunshine a year, this landscape produces delicious full-bodied red wines with plenty of character and lively, fresh-fruity white wines. This evening enjoy a restorative yoga session before dining.
Relaxation in Sauna or enjoy Mountain walks | Canederli cooking class | Speck smokehouse
Following yoga in the Widum Stadel and your delicious mountain breakfast enjoy your free time to further explore the trails around Senale. Alternatively enjoy our optional trekking tour of the Rio-Sass canyon followed by visit to the Trentingrana cheese factory.
This afternoon enjoy another cooking class preparing canederli – bread dumplings. These fluffy quenelles often stuffed with tangy Tyrolean Graukäse cheese and doused in lashings of butter are simply delicious!
The locals never cut them with a knife but tease them apart on the prongs of a fork. What’s more is they can even be prepared as sweet versions stuffed with fruits or creams and even chocolate and nougat.
Take a break from cooking to visit Widumhof farm nearby for another food pilgrimage – this time the curing and smoking of the local mountain Speck. This salted, air dried and smoked ham is a basis to South Tyrolean cookery. This evening enjoy a restorative yoga session before a celebratory dinner of South Tyrolean cuisine.
Day 5 Breakfast
Enjoy a special Zum Hirschen breakfast daily with a choice of cereals, fresh fruit juices, selection of home-made jams, natural yogurt from the dairy farm, freshly-made cakes, fruit bowl and sumptuous produce from local farms such as eggs, bacon, cheeses and the traditional bread: the Paarlbrot. Lunch and dinner today are independent.
Bolzano street food and cultural tour and train to Venice. Following yoga in the Widum Stadel and your delicious mountain breakfast, check out from the hotel and drive to Bolzano, the capital city of South Tyrol, 86 miles from Venice and 62 miles from Innsbruck.
During this walk you will have the chance to see, hear, taste, touch and smell the history and culture of this intriguing Northern Italian city through its diverse and unique street food; a mix of Mediterranean and Austrian.
As you discover the fascinating history of the city you can also taste the local breads, traditional sweets and cakes as well as enjoy the beer from the oldest tavern in town.
After free time for lunch train tickets have been arranged for the direct train (2 hr 40m) to Venice Santa Lucia station where a private water taxi will transfer you along the Grand Canal to your accommodation close to St. Mark’s Square for your stay in this most magical city in the sea.
Day 6 European Breakfast Buffet | Lunch
Start your day with a smile as you enjoy a scrumptious breakfast offering a large selection of fresh, local produce and seasonal ingredients in the plush setting of the hotel’s restaurant. Lunch is included today in a traditional Venetian inn, known as a bacaro to sample the traditional cicchetti, traditional Venetian tapas enjoyed by the busy Venetian merchants.
Doges Palace Tour, venetian tapas lunch . This morning after breakfast discover the fascinating heart of Venice, the Doge’s Palace. It is hard to imagine its humble beginnings when the first Doge, the leader of Venice, was appointed in 697 AD. By 828 AD the city had been powerful enough to defend itself from Emperor Charlemagne and steal the remains of the apostle St Mark from Muslim Alexandria.
Venice had laid down a challenge to Rome, taking another apostle St. Mark to rival St. Peter. Today you will discover the heart of the historic power in Venice – The Doges Palace.
This tour includes the archives and administrative rooms not open to the public, where you can discover insights into the administration of the city-state. Follow in the footsteps of Casanova as you visit the cells from which the famous lothario, Giacomo Casanova escaped, and walk over (yes “over”) the magnificent ceiling of the Grand Council Chamber.
Later you can explore the public rooms with a chance to see the Grand Council Chamber decorated with Tintoretto’s immense painting of Paradise, the largest oil painting in the world.
Lunch today in a traditional Venetian inn close to the Rialto bridge. Bacari (the Venetian word for inn) are the perfect places to sample traditional cicchetti, traditional Venetian tapas enjoyed by the busy Venetian merchants.
Tiny sandwiches, plates of olives or other vegetables, halved hard boiled eggs, small servings of a combination of one or more of seafood, meat and vegetable ingredients laid on top of a slice of bread or polenta and very small servings of typical full-course plates such as Spanish tapas.
Breakfast Check-Out and Departure by water taxi to Venice airport
This morning check out from the hotel and enjoy the unforgettable water taxi ride to Venice airport.
This retreat is a great introduction for beginners to yoga, as well as building on knowledge for those with more experience and who want to challenge and enhance their practice.
Our prices are in Euros
• €2450 for a Shared Room • €2650 for a Private Room
- Welcome aperitivo upon arrival
- 4 morning and evening yoga sessions with Lisa
- 6 Nights Hotel accommodations
- 6 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
- Group transportation to and from the airport. Road, rail and water taxi transfers.
- Cooking Class preparing Schlutzkrapfen (mountain ravioli)
- South Tyrolean cellar and wine tasting at Merano Burggräfler Winery
- Alpine picnic and hiking tour with a guide to San Felice Lake
- Visit farm bakery
- Canederli (dumplings) Mountain Farewell Dinner Class
- Bolzano street food tasting and cultural tour
- Doges Palace tour and Venetian tapas lunch
Does not include
- Airline tickets
- Travel Insurance (which we highly advise)
- Room Service & minibar
- Any spa treatments & shopping
- Meals and Activities when you’re not with the group
What to pack
- Bathing suit
- Yoga clothes
- Personal yoga props if preferred (mat, blocks, straps, blanket)
- Plug adaptors / converters
How to get here
By Plane: To Venice International Airport
Arrival: Guests will be greeted upon arrival at Venice International Airport for road transfer through the Dolomite Mountains to Senale on the Nonsberg plateau. Train to Venice.
Departure: Group airport transfer by water taxi from 11am on the final day.
To make an enquiry and book this Yoga and Italian Cooking Retreat, send your request to the team who will get back to you within 24 hours or email us directly on email@example.com.