ZYL Travel Deeper Retreats Mission:
Our mission is to invite our guests to travel deeper via the cultural immersion of getting to know a city or region, well beyond its surface layer. We unite forces with local residents to learn about and enjoy European cities and regions through their eyes. The idea is to awaken ourselves through travel, friendship, and yoga.
To ensure personal attention, a maximum of ten voyagers shall be permitted per trip. All excursions have been chosen by our host and co-host, both certified Iyengar teachers, as the absolute best means by which to delight your senses and discover the rich history, food, wine, and culture of our destinations. To preview that which awaits, please be sure to feast your eyes on the pictures below!
Verona is a city in northern Italy, noted, in part, for its medieval, old town center. Built near the meandering Adige River, and at the foot of the Lessini mountains, it is the setting of Shakespeare’s, "Romeo and Juliet.” The historic city of Verona was founded in the 1st century B.C. It flourished, both under the rule of the Scaliger family in the 13th and 14th centuries, and as part of the Republic of Venice from the 15th to 18th centuries.The core of the city consists of the Roman town, nestled in the loop of the river containing one of the richest collections of archaeological ruins in northern Italy. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the pictures below!
The ZOE Experience:
We have chosen October because it’s prime wine making season and the fall weather is simply stunning! Our villa acts as our home for five days and six nights in the charming city center of Verona. Each morning, breakfast is served in your room and a daily yoga class is held in our co-host, Francesca’s Iyengar Yoga studio. All levels and brand new yogis are welcome too. Verona is a perfectly proportioned city. One can see it on foot, and yet it’s large enough to still become wonderfully lost, meandering historic streets lined with boutique shopping and mom n’ pop restaurants.
Francesca, our native co-host, will be our personal guide to the very best of the city. Verona is known for its well preserved Roman ruins, music, and culture. And if you’re a theatre buff, any visit to this resplendent destination must surely include taking in a stage production! Each day will invite a new adventure, including, but not limited to, a guided tour of the city and nearby Lake Garda, plus a half day at the local thermal springs spa!
Furthermore, a free play day is available to visit neighboring picturesque cities of Venice, Bologna, Milan or Parma! All locations are 1-1.5 hours away by train and perfect for day trips.
Lastly, we'll share a day with our co-host and her brother, as they treat us to a local farm and tours of its wine cellar & wine making facility! On this day, we offer the experience of a regionally authentic lunch, enjoying the delicacies of the season. The day concludes with a guided walk in Lessina, a truly bucolic nature preserve.
Local products will be available for purchase. I was blessed to be gifted their lavender honey and lavender essential oil. Both are incredible!
ZOE retreats offer ample amounts of free/rest time for personal reflection and exploration. Expect to make new friends, with bonds that will last a lifetime! Incidentally, we will practice in an Iyengar studio, owned by Francesca. Her studio, Kala Yoga, is located just 3 km from the center of the city. All props are available to use, so no hauling of mats is necessary!
Our five bedroom villa is located in the heart of the old city center of Verona! It boasts spacious, colorful, and comfortable modern bedrooms & bathrooms. It is a multi level villa, with rooms on each floor, which lends a secluded feeling to each set of rooms.
Three of the bedrooms have large queen beds, ideal for couples or friends. I call these private rooms. (Maximum of two people) The two solo traveler’s shared rooms are much like a loft apartment on the top floor, adorned with gorgeous wood vaulted ceilings. Each room holds one double bed in the loft space upstairs and two single beds below, plus a shared bathroom. Maximum capacity will be three people per these shared rooms.
Each room has its own bathroom, shower, mini fridge, AC, & heat. Each morning, continental breakfast will be served directly to your room, along with a fresh pastry or crepe. Keep in mind, everything in Europe is smaller & more compact, yet the location is prime, as we have Shakespeare’s, “My Fair Verona,” at our fingertips. Travel light! The Verona Porta Nuevo train station is easily reached by taxi. Pictures of the rooms are below!
*If you are a solo traveler but desire a private room/bathroom, the upcharge is $650, which makes the retreat $2,000. The extra $650 is due with the first payment.*
•5 days/6 nights in a villa in the center of the old city of Verona. Each room has its own bathroom, small fridge, & AC/heat. Couples and friends can share the private rooms w/bathroom. Solo travelers will enjoy the split level loft room, with 3 separate beds in one room, plus a shared bathroom.
•Continental breakfast is served in your room daily, including coffee, tea, fruit, yogurt, cereal, hard boiled eggs, local meats, cheeses, pastries, and a special savory or salty crepe or sandwich. Please advise the host of your food allergies upon sign up.
•a group guided tour of the city with our co-host, excursion to Lake Garda, half day at the thermal springs spa (entry ticket included), guide to where and how to eat like a local in the city from Francesca, excursion to a local farm, - learning about wine making, wine tasting, and local products (transportation included) as well as a guided walk in the Lessina nature preserve near the mountains!
•transportation to yoga classes and excursions
•daily yoga class in an Iyengar studio
•all yoga props, mats, blocks, belts, so no need to carry accessories!
•24 hour host access
What’s NOT included:
•airplane ticket (cost will be $600-$1,000). Those who sign up will receive Dina’s best apps and tips to book a good flight at a great rate.
•travel insurance (highly recommended)
•lunch and dinner are not included. We will have plenty of places to recommend for all budgets. Estimated cost for food budget could be $250 USD or €200 Euro for the week.
•transportation to and from the retreat villa and airport. Estimated cost is $75 roundtrip, via train, the most desirable way to travel in Italy. Also, taxis are affordable.
•additional yoga classes, besides the morning class at Kala Yoga studio.
Cost & payment plans:
$1,350 per person
*note the $200 non refundable deposit is already deducted from the prices below.
A. Pay in full by March 15, 2019, and receive $50 off and a private yoga session with Dina. Example:
$1,350 becomes $1,300
B. 2 payments, totaling $1350 • 1st payment of $575 is due March 15, 2019/2nd payment of $575 is due June 1, 2019.
C. 3 payments, totaling $1,350 • 1st payment of $384 due March 15, 2019/2nd payment of $384 is due May 15, 2019/3rd payment of $384 due July 1, 2019.
$200 non refundable deposit, per person, is due immediately to hold your spot after signing the waiver. All monies accrued, besides the non refundable deposit, are only half refundable until April 1, 2019. After this date, no refunds. No transfer to other retreats. See waiver for full disclosure. We are a small company and all funds received are sent directly to hold our villa and to cover collateral trip expenses.
Those interested to book from abroad, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Iyengar Yoga:
By paying close attention to anatomical details and the alignment of each posture, Iyengar Yoga is a practice of precision. Poses are held for long periods of time and often modified with props. This method is designed to systematically cultivate strength, flexibility, stability, and awareness. Moreover, it can be extremely therapeutic for specific conditions. Founder B.K.S. Iyengar's method was designed to safely and logically adapt yoga postures to fit each student’s specific needs, architecture, ability, and age. All ages, levels and abilities benefit from this practice. Yoga participation is optional.
About the Hosts:
Dina Georgoulis: Host
Dina Georgoulis is the owner of ZOE Yoga Lifestyle & Travel Deeper Yoga Retreats. Her boutique yoga studio is in historic Tampa Heights, Florida and specializes in Iyengar Yoga for alignment, rehabilitation, and movement re-education through personalized private sessions and classes. She is the only CIYT- Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher in Tampa, and is an experienced 500 hour certified Yoga Teacher, and -ERYT- through Yoga Alliance. Dina has been practicing yoga for two decades and successfully teaching and healing for eleven years.
She specializes in yoga for scoliosis, general back pain, injury rehab, posture strengthening and the creation of a stronger, more mobile and injury resistant physique. It is through her own struggle with scoliosis and back pain that she found the path to helping others with unique needs through the Iyengar Yoga method.
Dina is also known for her skill in stress management through gentle, restorative yoga, meditation, breathwork and aromatherapy. Her goal is to enhance one’s quality of life by moving freely and living fully. She also leads retreats to her village in gorgeous Greece and Italy. To find out more about her work, go to www.zoeyogalifestyle.com.
Francesca Poli: Co-host
Francesca is the owner of Kala Yoga in Verona, Italy. Since childhood, she has expressed her need for movement, participating in classical and contemporary dance, volleyball, and swimming.
Her innate love of beauty and creativity prompted her attendance in art school. Francesca's admiration for drawings, painting, and sculpture, is only bested by her affinity for architecture. During high school, she attended her first yoga class. After graduation, she continued her studies in Interior Design.
In 2006, Francesca moved to Costa Rica, becoming dissatisfied with her life in the office, stationed always at a computer. That trip lasted three and a half years. There, in Central America, she found yoga, firstly as a student, then as a teacher at Interculura Language School in Playa Samara. At 26, looking for a scientific approach to the practice of yoga, she decided to return to Italy, enrolling in the University of Movement Sciences and Sports (Neuroscience and Biomedicine).
In her second year of university, she finally discovered the Iyengar Yoga method, falling in love with its geometric precision and brilliant employment of props.
In 2014, Francesca graduated with a thesis on the method and practice of yoga according to Iyengar. Subsequently, she taught at Yoga Studio Verona until 2018. Additionally, since 2016, she has taught yoga classes to children, ages 3 to 6, at two nursery schools in the city.
The following year, she began a teacher training course with Senior Teacher, David Meloni in Florence. Then, in October 2018, she was awarded her hard earned certificate at the Iyengar Introductory II level.
What to pack/weather:
October in Italy is stunning! Lots of sunshine and perfect fall temperatures. 60’s in the day, and 50’s at night. And with our proximity to the Lessini Mountains, some rain is possible.
Some ideas of what to pack:
•warm jacket for day/night
•comfy shoes (easy/moderate hike on farm day excursion)
•current passport with expiration, well before the six month mark.
•layer up with clothing/a few long sleeve tops, pants, sweaters & yoga gear.
•melatonin/or sleep aide to help with jet lag.
•earplugs are always a good travel companion.
•tea! Italy is the land of coffee! Bring tea if you are a tea hound! Some tea will be provided for the morning breakfast.
•Converters for all electronic devices
•make sure all bank and credit card companies have been alerted to your overseas travel and have a 4 digit pin. There is no ability to have a pin any longer than four digits in Europe.
Our trips sell out very quickly so contact Dina ASAP to reserve your spot on this once in a lifetime adventure!
Love & Light, Dina 💜🙏🏻✈️🇮🇹