Such is the charm of this Mediterranean gem of a country that offers almost any type of vacation you can think of. The present guide will focus on Italian yoga destinations. But, even if you’re going for a yoga retreat, it’s hard to ignore the rest of Italy’s wonders.
One of the best things about Italy as a vacation destination is that it’s not something you simply scratch off your bucket list. You can return to Italy again and again and still not have enough of this picturesque land and its delicious fares, nor be bored with its history and culture.
The food is obviously going to come into focus since Italian cuisine is among the best in the world and the country is also a popular destination for those interested in culinary vacations. The light mountain regions combined with charming coastlines also make Italy a popular destination for cycling holidays, not to mention the passion that many surfers harbor for it.
Italy at a Glance
In 2017, a record-breaking 60 million tourists visited the country. Italy is such a popular vacation destination because of two main reasons. First of all, the natural beauty of almost each and every town and region on Italian soil is stunning. You have lush vineyards on sunny hills, breathtaking mountains, as well as plenty of coastlines with awesome surfing spots and charming fishing villages turned historical monuments.
Speaking of history, this is actually the second reason that makes Italy such a great place to travel to. Each region, city and little town is drenched in history. As the starting point of the Roman Empire, Italy can be thought of as a cradle of civilization. The past centuries also added a flourishing tradition of arts and culture throughout major Italian cities. In a nutshell, you can’t get bored here.
Another great thing about Italy? Because the country was unified rather late and the regions evolved more or less separately, there are several local cuisines, each distinctively different from the other. This means you have plenty of tasting and trying ahead!
The Best Destinations to Do Yoga in Italy
Tuscany is a remarkable region in Italy and one heavily sought-after by tourists. It’s not just the region-specific country food that makes everyone feel like they arrived in heaven, it’s also the unique sights and the impressive nature settings. The small mountains and valleys here create stunning views, but they are also the ideal setting for wineries, of which Tuscany has plenty.
Therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised to notice that many yoga retreats in Tuscany also offer wine tasting tours, or they even offer yoga and wine classes from the start, combining the best of both worlds. My advice? Go for it! The wines you can taste here and the charming countryside of Tuscany will be one of your fondest vacation memories ever.
Sardinia is another popular region when visiting Italy, and for good reason. Its lush coastline makes it a favorite destination for both yogis and surfers since it provides plenty of good surf spots, but also remarkable spots in which to meditate or do sun salutations.
This large island has almost 2,000 kilometers of coastline, but the inland also offers mountainous regions and plenty of hiking trails, if this is also among your interests. Also, as the name of the island implies, fresh fish and seafood are bountiful here, so your taste buds will also be in for a treat.
The Ragusa province is yet again a favorite yoga destination in Italy and also a surfer’s favorite as well (since it’s located on the island of Sicily). From yoga on the beach to stand-up paddle yoga, you can find everything your heart desires of yoga and water sports and everything in between. Practicing yoga in Ragusa will recharge your batteries, especially if you visit it in late summer when the breeze is perfect and the sun is more gentle.
The Amalfi coast is not only a haven for exploring delicious food or enjoying water sports all day long but also a favorite destination for yogis worldwide. The crystal-clear azure waters and the gentle breeze make it ideal for just about any yoga practice you can think of, from sun salutations to meditation sessions and even dance yoga.
No visit to Italy can forego Rome as a travel destination along your itinerary. The Trevi Fountain, the Vatican, the Roman Forum, the Sistine Chapel with its stunning ceiling and the Colosseum are but a few of the mandatory landmarks you should see while there.
Even though it’s the capital, ‘The Eternal City’ also has plenty of tranquil spots around it, which is precisely why yoga retreats in Rome are so popular.
The art capital of the world, Florence is a dream come true if you love stunning museums and breathtaking medieval architecture. The old, white buildings and the charming paved streets will make you feel like you’ve arrived in a Renaissance dream, which is precisely what Florence is. The iconic dome and the Uffizi Galleries are but two of the spots you need to visit to understand exactly why the cultural rebirth of Europe started here at the end of the Middle Ages.
I have a confession to make: when I visited Venice, I actually felt that I could be a homeless person here and be happy (not accounting for winter time, though). I don’t mean to trivialize the struggle of people without shelter, of course, but it’s just that the city is so serene, in spite of its heavy tourist traffic, that you feel at peace along its canals all the time. I felt I could sleep under the open sky here, with the balmy Italian night air around me and the smells of the sea, eating scraps of whatever the local trattorias around have, and just be so, so, happy.
My Romantic fantasies aside, Venice is simply beautiful and a must-see while on a vacation in Italy. The old town is limited to its island, but there are plenty of yoga retreats in Venice or around it which are a bit further away from it (in the new part of town, just across the bridge).
Italy and Yoga
Yoga caught on in Italy rather recently, as the country is becoming more and more of a tourist haven and yoga is experiencing a revival in popularity, internationally. Since so many of the tourists coming to Italy are looking for some quality soul-searching moments and they are also yogis, having yoga retreats in Italy available was the next logical step.
Because the country is arguably the most popular vacation destination in Europe, it doesn’t matter that yoga didn’t have too many native roots in Italy. The practice caught on so quickly and so well that you can now find yoga retreats in virtually every corner of Italy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Miriam is the editor of BookYogaRetreats, an avid world explorer, and a yogi. She's also into exploring world cuisines and reading fiction from all over the world. When she's not doing marketing stuff, she expands her collection of teas and spends some time petting the neighborhood cats.