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Vidovina Forest Farmhouse Retreat, Italy (sleeps 20)

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Address:
Italy
Description:

Welcome to Vidovina, a big, rustic farmhouse in the middle of the Apennine Mountains between Florence and Bologna.

With tons of private space, a massive yoga studio, 6 comfy bedrooms, 5 bathrooms and a big garden, this is a perfect place to retreat with a group of up to 20 people. Vidovina has hosted about 40 yoga retreats so far.

Built as a luxury farmhouse ('podere') in the 40's, we bought the place in 2010 and have been renovating until 2015, working with local styles and materials as much as possible. The result is a simple, comfortable farmhouse that looks and feels like it did when we first saw it: spacious, functional, sober and authentic.

Expect no exquisite decorations or marble bathrooms here, it's a farmhouse. Its luxury lies in the abundance of privacy and space: great rooms, big terrace, huge studio and lots of nooks and crannies to discover. And a night sky you rarely see.

Due to its private location in nature, this place tends to bring out the primitive side in guests. Many come in full of plans, but soon they find themselves relax in a hammock, sigh in relief and stare at the world in the distance.

This off-the-grid aspect, without the noise of smartphones, busy jobs or stress, allows you to (re)connect with yourself and others. Deeply relaxing. The fresh air and absolute silence makes for deep sleeps at night and peaceful slumber during the day. You’ll resurface relaxed and recharged, full of energy and ideas. This precisely why we love the place so much.

Here's an example of a yoga retreat our friends Marije and Gabriela organised at Vidovina.  In some cases there's the option to get assistance with your yoga classes from Marije and/or Gabriela, so please contact us if you have questions or specific activities in mind.

Accommodation options and bathrooms

The house consists of 6 big bedrooms which easily fit 20 guests. There are five bathrooms, a living room with a dinner table the size of an Italian family, an indoor fireplace, a well-equipped kitchen.

The central spaces inside the house are the living room and the kitchen. The living room has a dinner table the size of an Italian family, an indoor fireplace, a wood stove, a couch and comfy chairs to relax.

Next door there’s the kitchen, with granite tops and a big oak kitchen table, well equipped with a 5-pits gas stove and oven, two fridges, a microwave and a dishwasher, an abundance of kitchen appliances and enough plates, glasses and cutlery to serve you all.

Please note that, apart from the hearth in the living room, the house has no central heating. For colder days, we have extra blankets for the beds, but off-season rooms may get cold.

ROOM SPECIFICATIONS

Bedroom 1 – 4 beds
Bedroom 2 – 3 beds
Bedroom 3 – 3 beds
Bedroom 4 – 2 beds
Bedroom 5 – 2 beds
Bedroom 6 – 4 beds
extra - 2 beds

Bathroom 1 – toilet, shower
Bathroom 2 – toilet, shower
Bathroom 3 – toilet, shower, sink
Bathroom 4 – toilet, shower, sink
Bathroom 5 – toilet, bath, shower, sink

Living room – dinner table, hearth, library (living room can be used as bedroom too)

Kitchen – kitchen table, stove, sink

Quality catering can be arranged via restaurant Il Locanda Cardello, which is located about 1 kilometre from the house. Typically, you’d select from the lunch or dinner menu in advance and pick up at your desired time. Menu options range from simple vegetarian pastas to exquisite seasonal specialties such as truffle ravioli’s.

Yoga Spaces - outdoor and indoor

Type: semi-open studio with terracotta roof

Width – 11 m
Length – 7 m
Height – 5 m
Floor – smooth, painted concrete

Gear - 20 yoga sets (mats/blocks/straps/blankets @ 20/wk/set)

By far the biggest and most beautiful space of the whole house is the old haystack, which is now the yoga studio. We opened the front walls, mended the roof, fortified the supporting structure and made a smooth clean floor of about 80 m2. We’re really happy with the result: a massive, gorgeous space that feels like the haystack it once was, perfect for yoga, meditation, workshops and relaxation.

The studio is mostly used for yoga classes and was rebuilt with this specific idea in mind. We’ve hosted several yoga retreats and classes of up to 20 students in this space and have yoga gear upon request. We’ve made sure that there are enough indoor and outdoor shower facilities to handle a group of students after class.

Aside from the yoga studio, there are a number of sublime locations nearby to have outdoor classes. Examples are medieval ruins of Monte Battaglia, the herb garden Giardino delle Erbe (ask first) and the abandoned village of Castiglioncello, all of which complement the yoga studio greatly if you like to mix it up a little.

Amenities

  • Wifi
  • 20 yoga sets (mat/block/cushion/strap/blanket) – optional @£20/wk/set
  • 2 massage tables
  • 20 comfy, single beds + linens
Family size dinner table + chairs
Hearth + wood stove + wood
  • 5-pits stove, gas oven, microwave
  • Dishwasher, washing machine
  • Library with 100+ books and game
  • Digital video projector (HDMI connection)
  • Wireless speaker + microphone 30W

Activities

Vidovina lies on top of a hill that gives you great vistas over the valley and nearby ridges. You'll see that the park in which the farmhouse lies is situated in the larger Parco Regionale della Vena del Gesso Romagnola (Gypsum Vein Park), which is perfect for hiking, mountain-biking and gypsum cave excursions. But even a short stroll through the forest or vineyards behind the house is great. There's probably a pheasant, deer or porcupine behind the next corner.

At walking distance (1.7 km away) lies Casola Valsenio, a small but lovely farmer's village that doesn't see many tourists, despite its lively character, interesting culinary festivals and ancient herb garden.

Main sites in the village are the Cardello house at the park entrance, the Giardino delle Erbe (Herb Garden), the nearby Valsenio Church dating from the 11th century, and the cliff overlooking the Senio River on which the village is built.

Casola's got some nice spots to walk/swim near the river, a big public swimming pool during summer and some truly stunning natural swimming spots a short drive away.

Close by are the lovely towns of Palazzuolo Sul Senio, Riolo Terme and Borgo Tossignano, which are interesting towns to visit within a 15 km radius. A little further you'll find Imola, Faenza, Forli and Brisighella, all of which are beautiful towns with lots of history, culture, natural beauty, and a great Romagnolo food to taste.

These places are great for half-day trips. Full-day trips to the cultural powerhouses of Bologna, Ravenna, Ferrara and Florence are easily organised, especially if you have your own transportation.

We can arrange:

Yoga classes (local instructor upon request)
Massages Ayurvedic/regular (local masseuses upon request)
Pasta making classes (local instructor upon request)
Painting / drawing / sculpting (local instructor upon request)
Cave excursion (local guide upon request)
Watch movies on the video projector

Booking terms / pricing

Whole house from £2,630/week (£375/day). This comes down to less than £25/pp/night for 16 people.

Vidovina can be booked for 4+ days. Yoga gear sets (mat, block, cushion, strap) can be rented for £20/week per set. Catering and transportation is optional and priced based on demand. We work with a non-refundable 50% advance to make reservations final and the remainder is due before the arrival date. Rates all-in and negotiable.

Location and how to get there

Here’s how to get to Vidovina from Bologna Airport. Due to the remote location and abundance of things to see in the vicinity, we strongly recommend you rent a car at the airport or arrange transportation via us.

Contact Information
Phone: 31 6 41576980
Website:

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