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Enjoy a retreat of relaxation, sports, wellness, and nutritious food in the beautiful setting of the national park of Abruzzo and Molise. During this retreat, you will practice Tai Chi, Qigong, and hiking. You will have two wonderful hikes to the peaks of the Mainarde mountain range which measures more than 2,000 meters high, ride on horseback through the beautiful marsh valley (Pantano), relax in the retreat’s spa, and enjoy unforgettable landscapes.
Please note that Tai Chi and Qigong instruction will be adapted according to each individual’s level of experience, from the novice to advanced.
During this retreat, you will hike everyday. You will have two wonderful hikes to the peaks of the Mainarde mountain range which measures more than 2,000 meters high, ride on horseback through the beautiful marsh valley (Pantano), and enjoy unforgettable landscapes.
Michael De Marco
In 1965, DeMarco began studying kuntao-silat, a hybrid of Chinese and Indonesian arts in the Willem Reeders lineage. Mike balanced his study of martial arts with academic pursuits and employment that nurtured his familiarity with Asian cultures and their martial traditions. Mike utilized his martial art training, academic studies, and travel experience when writing for various periodicals and books. He wrote more than 75 articles for martial art periodicals. In addition to publishing and writing, Mike consulted and appeared in a few national television documentaries about martial arts.
Montenero Val Cocchiara is a village of just 450 souls, a little gem hidden in the far north of Molise and the national park of Abruzzo, Lazio, and Molise. From Valcocchiara Retreat, you can reach the ancient village with a pleasant five-minute walk. Here you can wander among the cobblestones of the old town, admire the beautiful stone houses, or eat a pizza in the only tiny trattoria. In the village, there is also a pharmacy and some cafès.
Economy is characterized for the horse and cattle farms, activities that combine well with the unpolluted environment and the atmosphere of the places which make it a destination of naturalistic tourism.
Until a few years ago, the town was known throughout Italy for a particular event which takes place every year in August: the Pentro Rodeo. A competition which revoked the American West competitions with wild horses (Pentro horse, pertaining to this area) ridden without a saddle in the magnificent setting of the Marsh, now the major tourist attraction of the place.
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During the retreat, you will be served three daily meals. Enjoy memorable morning breakfasts (with cakes and homemade jams) and the aperitifs in the garden and summer moonlight dinners. You will dine together as a group in a common lounge enjoying delicious meals. In the background is a large stone fireplace where one can stop and chat with other guests, sip some homemade tonic liquor, or read a good book.
All good yogi well know how positive the influence of natural environment is on your body and mind. The rest is done by the company, the movement, and the food. The food arrives on your plate straight from the garden and, anyway, Valcocchiara Retreat tries to privilege small local suppliers as well as with cheeses made from cows raised on pasture in Pantano, magnificent grassy area just minutes from home.
You will dine together in a common lounge, enjoying delicious zero kilometer meals; in the background, a large stone fireplace where one can stop and chat with other guests, sip some homemade tonic liquor or read a good book.
During your free time, you may also enjoy the pool or outdoor drinking trough, totally submerged in the green of the hill and then laze in the sun on beautiful summer days. Seasonal hammocks invite you to long naps in the afternoon hours.
You can go out for a walk with the dogs among hazelnut trees and blackberry bushes, on dirt trails just beaten by a pack of wolves or a herd of deer, you can see dogs basking in the sun or diving in the snow. Often, more simply, you can enjoy the comforts of home: the fire from the large stone fireplace, food, friends, and good wine.
Those who intend to engage in more active and less “contemplative” pursuits will have a lot to do and you can bet that, at the end of the day, all you want is a comfortable bed in which to let go until dawn of the following day.
It’s also a must to relax in the indoor spa, equipped with a large sauna, colored sofas, and a small natural resin pool with hot 38 degrees Celsius water, hydromassage, and cervical waterfall.
From the picture window, you can admire the colorful sight offered by the alternating seasons, a fascinating and ever-changing show: the deep green summer, autumn pastels, the snow-covered peaks.
For those looking for something more dynamic, there are many possibilities for a stay full of sports and adventure such as billiard table, birdwatching, cycling, mountain biking, nature trails, off road excursion on two and four wheels, swimming in the lakes, tai chi, and qigong.
Please book your flight to arrive at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) or at Naples International Airport (NAP). From the airport, you could hire a car or take a bus ride to get to the retreat venue.
Valcocchiara Retreat highly recommends that you take a bus ride to get to the retreat venue. It's easy, fast, and comfortable. In order to reach Castel di Sangro, there is a daily bus service with mixed schedules, “round trip” for Naples, Rome, or Pescara. From the bus station, Valcocchiara Retreat offers free guest pick up and transport.
From Rome, take a train service and arrive in Isernia. Valcocchiara Retreat will pick you up from the train station.