The Retreat Center
We're staying on the southwest side of the island, near the ancient village of Scauri and the stunning cliff of Arco dell’Elefante. You might recognize our property from the stunning Luca Guadagnino film, A Bigger Splash. The surroundings are dotted with caves, lava sculptures, and emerald coves. Our property is dotted with exotic palms, fruit orchards, and a shaded pine forest. The Arabian garden is a stunning structure of ancient lava stone walls protecting the citrus trees inside. At night, the estate becomes charming and magical, conceived for strolls among the trees under the stars.
The seven traditional structures dotted around the property are called Dammusi - a symbiosis between settlement and nature, of closed and open spaces. The decor is a sophisticated combination of functional design furniture and vintage objects. The property has a few smaller plunge pools and one full-sized swimming pool.
Le Camere. (the rooms) The property has seven ancient dammusi, beautifully restored to preserve their rustic charm. Each dammusi has a kitchen and outdoor terrace, some have rooftops to lounge on, some have little plunge pools. The property spans over 30 acres, with gardens, pools, pine-forests and palm groves. Space for this retreat is limited to 18 students. Each room is unique, with it's own rustic charm. Some bedrooms have one large bed, and some have two twin beds. Some rooms have adjoining living rooms, which have typically have a single bed in as well. Rates vary depending on if you decide to share a bed, to share a room but have your own bed, or opt for a triple. Please keep in mind this is not a resort - it's a private villa. If you are looking for a JW Mariott with staff, central AC and turn-down service, this is simply NOT the retreat for you. If you appreciate understated beauty, barefoot adventures, a freshwater pool with Roman palazzo tilework, breathtaking herbal gardens, and thermal energy all around you, then this IS for you! The property is so spacious, with many places to relax, chat or study - and that from our experience people really only use their rooms to sleep.
La Cucina. (the food) For breakfast, expect egg fritatta, local cheeses, fig jam, fresh brewed coffees & teas, and local seasonal fruits. For lunch, expect smoked local fish, rocket salad, beetroot hummus, and caprese. For dinner, expect lots of vegetarian options, of course Italian pastas, grilled local veggies, and ancient grains. Local Sicilian Wine is available for purchase at a reasonable price. We fly in a different chef each year, and so the menu changes according to their personal style. The menu items listed above are just to give you an idea! Each dammuso has it's own kitchen. We'll provide fruits, water, and coffee in each dammuso. If you would like an early morning coffee before meditation, you'll be able to make your own in your own dammuso. After morning asana, our chef will prepare coffee along with breakfast for everyone to enjoy.
How To Arrive. Take the short hour-long flight from Sicily's Palermo Airport to Pantelleria. From Pantelleria's airport to the property is a one-hour drive through the gorgeous coastal road. Depending on if you're travelling alone or with a friend, the easiest option for most people is to rent a car. If you don't feel comfortable renting a car (or just don't want to), we can pair you with someone else arriving at the same time, so that you can drive together. Renting a car in Pantelleria is extremely easy & affordable. If you have time before or after the retreat, we highly recommend a couple nights in Palermo!
Activities. Our property has a few gorgeous swimming pools, perfect for lounging the afternoon away. (it's early summer, so we're expecting sunshine during the day, with cooler evenings). There are plenty of gorgeous places nearby to explore. Thermal baths, hikes, hot springs, the lake with its famous sulphuric mud, and the charming nearby town of Scauri.
What's Not Included? Extras like massage (unless you ask Anton nicely!) wine, car rental, any meals out, and your international travel.