Join Ananda Expeditions for a 7-day/7-night yoga + adventure retreat in Tuscany, Italy that comprises daily Vinyasa yoga practices (all-levels), adventurous hiking and sightseeing excursions led by local guides, an array of culinary and cultural experiences, and ample time for relaxing or exploring the area on your own.


September 30 – October 7, 2017


Literally meaning “small village”, Il Borghino offers a secluded retreat in the hills above Lucca with magnificent views overlooking forested valleys, vineyards, olive groves, and mountains in the distance. Designed to preserve the original character of the village while still being both comfortable and modern, Il Borghino has been meticulously restored with energy efficiency and a concern for the environment in mind, using natural materials such as wood, marble, and terracotta. The villa is ideally located 15 minutes from Lucca, 35 minutes from Pisa, 1.5 hours from Florence, and 1.5 hours from the breathtaking Cinque Terre region — making it the perfect base to explore Tuscany and Liguria.

In addition to its picturesque locale in the hills above Lucca, the villa boasts comfortable lodging in three beautifully-renovated buildings, an outdoor salt-water pool, and delicious meals of farm-to-table vegetarian Tuscan cuisine — complete with local olive oil and wine. We have access to a fully-equipped yoga studio, as well as multiple outdoor spaces should we prefer to practice overlooking the valley below.


Our vegetarian menu is prepared by a wonderful local cook who designs deliciously fresh, regional dishes based on what is in season. We source our food from local producers, and we use organic grains, fruit and vegetables wherever possible. We also make our own fresh fruit and vegetable juices and cleansing herbal teas using fresh herbs from the garden.

As we are in Tuscany, we do indulge in local cheeses, pasta, breads, wines and other delights, so although our menu is not a strict cleanse, we do offer plenty of healthy choices with nuts, seeds, legumes, plenty of vegetables and salads, rice, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, fresh fruit and yogurt. Organic wine, olive oil, and honey produced in the surrounding agricultural area near Il Borghino is served. Upon request, we can cater for gluten-free and other special dietary requirements.


During the week, we’ll practice daily, explore the walled city of Lucca by bike with a local guide, walk to a neighboring winery for a tour and tasting, learn how to cook traditional Tuscan dishes from Elena-Maria, and take a day-trip to the breathtaking beaches and cliff-side villages of Cinque Terre. You can also opt in for additional outings — including an evening out at the opera in Lucca, an excursion to the artists’ community of Pietrasanta, and/or massage treatments on-site.

Bring your practice — and your non-yogi friends/family members — on the Italian adventure of a lifetime!

Retreat Itinary

Day 0 — Friday (9/29) – Depart, if you’re flying from North America (or elsewhere outside Europe), for the overnight flight to Italy.

Day 1 — Saturday (9/30) – Plan to arrive at the Lucca train station to catch the group transfer to the villa, or make your own way. Check-in at the villa at 4 PM. Settle into your room, then unwind with a relaxed, grounding yoga practice. Enjoy your first farm-to-table vegetarian meal, complete with local olive oil and wine, before retiring for a good night’s sleep.

Days 2 – 6 — Sunday – Friday (10/1 – 10/6) – See typical day below

Day 7 — Saturday (10/7) – Rise early for an optional final yoga practice before our farewell breakfast. We’ll check-out at 9:30 AM. Then, join the group transfer back to central Lucca, or continue on your own way…. 

Or join the Add-On Itinerary (thru 10/11), detailed on our website → visit

Typical Day

While the schedule is subject to change, here’s an outline of the two types of typical days:

Variant 1:

8:30/9 AM   Breakfast

10:30 AM-1:30 PM   Guided Walk / Cooking Class / Free Time

1:30/2 PM   Lunch

4:30-6:30 PM   Yoga Practice (including a short meditation and a long savasana)

7:30 PM   Dinner

Variant 2:

6:30-7 AM   Quick, Light Breakfast

7 AM   Depart for Cinque Terre Day Trip (hike between the towns, lounge on the beach, enjoy fresh seafood, etc.)

6 PM   Return to Villa

6:30-8 PM   Yoga Practice (including a short meditation and a long savasana)

8:30 PM   Dinner

Yoga Teacher / Founder

Michael Leigh Hoyer (PhD / 500-hour Certified Vinyasa Yoga Teacher) founded Ananda Expeditions to draw on her breadth of experience as a traveler, teacher, and writer, and, most importantly, to pursue her _ananda_ (“bliss”) by guiding others on purposeful wanderings in-line with their internal compasses.

Michael has completed 500 hours of Vinyasa yoga teacher training with her two primary teachers, Jason Crandell and Stephanie Snyder. She teaches strong and mindful Vinyasa practices that blend intelligent sequencing, precise alignment cues, and accessible contemplative themes. Most importantly, she focuses on meeting the specific desires and needs of her students — whether that entails introducing the basics of the practice to those who are new to yoga, or supporting more experienced practitioners in their process of continual growth and discovery. In practicing with her, you can expect to be warmly welcomed and physically challenged, to receive thoughtful (not forceful) manual adjustments, to experience a deeply restorative savasana at the practice’s end, and to leave your mat feeling both relaxed and invigorated.

When Michael isn’t guiding and teaching Ananda Travelers on inspired adventures, she’s practicing/teaching yoga, metalsmithing, cooking, running on trails in her native Boulder, Colorado, or riding her Bianchi cross-bike in the hills of San Francisco.



ROOM TYPES & PRICING, per person

Early Bird (thru 5/15):

  • $2,225 Double (shared bath)
  • $2,330 Double (private bath)
  • $2,500 Single (shared bath)*
  • $2,895 Deluxe Single (private bath)*

Regular (after 5/15):

  • $2,400 Double (shared bath)
  • $2,515 Double (private bath)
  • $2,700 Single (shared bath)*
  • $3,125 Deluxe Single* (private bath)

* limited availability

What’s Included

  • 7 nights’ accommodation at villa
  • 3 vegetarian meals daily (except for 1 dinner and 1 lunch)
  • Local wine at dinner (½ bottle wine per person, per night)
  • Fruit and herbal tea throughout the day (tea + coffee-making facilities are available in each house)
  • All group transportation, including 1 scheduled transfer from Lucca to villa (9/30), and back to Lucca (10/7)
  • Daily yoga practice and use of yoga room, mats, props
  • Use of outdoor salt-water pool
  • Planned activities (including day trip to Cinque Terre, tour of Lucca, cooking class, and winery visit), entrance fees, local guides
  • Wi-fi
  • Use of laundry facilities in each house (€ 3 per load)

What’s Not Included

  • Airfare from/to your home city
  • Ground transportation to/from arrival airport to Lucca, and transfers from/to Lucca outside the 1 scheduled pick-up on arrival day and drop-off on departure day*
  • Supplemental, personal activities (i.e. massages, shopping, optional activities), including transportation
  • Short-term traveler’s insurance
  • Other travel-related expenses
  • Teacher/guide gratuities

* Transfer from arrival airport can be provided for an additional fee

Travel Information

The nearest airport is Pisa international Airport “Galileo Galileo” – 18 Miles from Lucca

Florence International Airport “Amerigo Vespucci” is 50 Miles from Lucca

Regular trains and buses run from both Pisa and Florence airports to Lucca and are very reasonably priced. Trains also run regularly from Rome’s Fiumicino airport (162 miles from Lucca), but the trip takes much longer (approximately 4.5 hours).

ARRIVAL – Fly from North America on Friday 9/29; arrive in Italy and transfer to the villa on Saturday 9/30 — either via the group transfer from Lucca, or on your own. Check-in at Il Borghino is strictly 4pm. When booking your flights, we recommend you plan your arrival time in Lucca for around 3:30pm, to coincide with the group transfer to Il Borghino at 3:45pm. There will be one scheduled pick-up only. Please email your arrival details to as soon as they are available. If you are unable to make the pick-up, we can arrange for a taxi to bring you to Il Borghino.

DEPARTURE – Anytime on Saturday 10/7 — check-out at Il Borghino is strictly 9:30am on the last day; please plan your departure flights accordingly — OR: join the 4-day Add-On Itinerary: Explore Florence & Chianti (details on the Ananda Expeditions website)


“I will definitely recommend Ananda Expeditions to my friends. The yoga + adventure trip was well organized and thoughtfully put together. The accommodations were uniformly excellent. The venues and guides included fascinating places and people that I likely would not have found on my own. My horizons were definitely expanded, making the trip well worth the investment!”— Lyn

“From booking to pre-departure communication to the actual trip, everything was well organized and clearly communicated. Michael’s ability to be flexible to deal with the needs of the group as well as the weather was awesome. You could tell that providing the best possible experience was top priority. This type of trip is great for individuals looking to explore new places, without having the typical tourist experience.” — Emily

“I’m telling everyone I care about that Ananda is the answer for how to turn an opportunity for travel into a meaningful, memorable experience. We always felt well cared for by Michael, and the pacing of our activities and meal times was perfect. Even the drive times were carefully planned, down to the provision of an engrossing audiobook for the longer transfers. We never had to deal with even the smallest headaches that are always a part of international travel; Michael took care of everything!” — Jo

Contact and Booking

Organizer: Ananda Expeditions




For more information about this retreat and to book please contact:

Ananda Expeditions

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