San Flaviano Yoga Retreat

Localita Palombara 5
Piaggia
06030 Piaggia PG
Italy
Average: 4.1 of 5 stars

8 Reviews

Rating

Average: 4.1 of 5 stars

8 Reviews

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Pricey
Great Value
Some Yoga
Yoga All Day
Large Groups
Small & Intimate
Modest & Simple
Luxurious
Simple Diet
Plentiful Food
Attractions Nearby
Remote Location

Reviews

Average: 1.0 of 5 stars
Disappointingly, not as advertised...

Soooo...
Having researched endless European yoga retreats (this was my first one), I finally settled on San Flaviano or 'Abundance' yoga retreat in the heart of Umbria, Italy.
My decision was based upon the attractive photos and the 'abundance' of "food, energy and love" being peddled at this "luxury yoga retreat" as per their website and, the absence of any significant 'negative' reviews online.

So, what was San Flaviano REALLY like?

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First off, define 'luxury' - the following list are some of my concerns around the use of this word when used in association with this retreat...

-Very remote/isolated and entirely reliant on the host to ferry you around. Hire a car by all means, but you might find yourself lost forever among the oak trees and truffles of the Umbrian countryside :-0 Think 'The Overlook Hotel' from The Shining...
-Oversized kids paddling pool (not a proper swimming pool by any stretch) located in the dusty car park and fed by freezing mountain water, so nigh on impossible to actually swim in unless hypothermia is your thing; that's if you make it up the hazardous ladder setup in order to even get in it!
-Both my shared room and my double room (I stayed for 2 weeks) were very dark, with a flimsy sheet for a door to the bathroom and a shower over the toilet setup that would have been better suited to a youth hostel. The beds were incredibly uncomfortable Z beds with soft, unsupportive mattresses and I had old paintings and an empty printer box stashed under my bed. As well as my roomie, various critters, worms and termites also shared my room :-0
-The vegetarian food was mostly good but heavy on the carbs, low on greenery and protein and, did not make allowances for those with lactose or gluten intolerances. No fresh juices were served until the last few days of my 2 week stay and this was only after I put in a request.
-The yoga space inside the old monastery was dusty and the yoga mats dirty - guests during my first week had to raise this with the management before it was eventually cleaned. Their mezzanine bedroom space overlooked the yoga space :-(
-Local restaurant where we had dinner out one night was billed by management to be 'one of the best restaurants in Italy' but was certainly NOT that - more of a poor relation to Pizza Express only with a little boar stew served on the side ;-)
-I witnessed only 1 of the 5 workshops listed on their site.
- No truly relaxing areas to chill out, other than a very small and dingy sitting room where you had to share the sofa with a sweet but rather old, incontinent dog.

In summary, this place is overpriced for what you get (or don't get) and is certainly NOT the luxury retreat as advertised on their site. If you're after more of an 'eco experience' at a glorified youth hostel, then this will probably be right up your street!

It's only saving grace? My fellow yogis throughout my 2 week stay and the wonderful and inspiring yoga practitioners without whom I may conceivably have gone slightly bonkers :-0

Namaste
:-)

Average: 3.0 of 5 stars
The good, bad and ugly

Let's start with the good stuff...food was amazing cooked by the lovely Sandra, yoga and massage by Emily was fabulous and views are pretty and far reaching. Local spa was very nice as was the restaurant, both 20mins twisty drive. You have to rely on Kevin, the owner's husband to drive though.

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The not so good...the rooms are VERY rustic, dark, damp and not so private so if you want clean, bright, airy, bug free and a comfy bed then this is not for you. Beds are 'Z' beds so extremely springy and not supportive teamed with a very soft mattress. Plenty of dust, dirt and a shower that is over the toilet and a window with upper body view so if anyone walks past they can see you, perfect if you're an exhibitionist. Scorpions were found twice! There are no areas to really chill and relax, the 'swimming pool' (a giant version of a kids paddling pool) is in the car park along with some loungers and chairs so every time a car drives up you get covered in a cloud of dust. It's very isolated and the drive is very winding and twisty so there is nothing to do.

The ugly...the owner Tess is a self confessed alcoholic who dominated the conversation non stop at every meal, talked over people and always extremely opinionated. She also spoke very negatively and inappropriately about her 'staff' who were, all but one, volunteers (being exploited/modern slavery) as well as the other guests. Tess will give you a good story on how she's doing them a favour for their assisted yoga teaching hours, reality is when guests are doing yoga the volunteers are preparing breakfast and dinner so they are rarely there. She also burst into tears one afternoon in front of guests as she was struggling to cope with all the complaints. Highly unprofessional and shouldn't be running a retreat with all her own issues.

Average: 4.0 of 5 stars
A piece of Heaven

My Time spent at San Flaviano Retreat was a unique experience where I discovered a hidden piece of heaven tucked away in a remote area of Italy.
The place was everything one looks for when going on a retreat, hidden among beautiful mountains, you can only be amazed by the scenery and peace it brings to your heart. You are also close to stunning local villages giving you the option to mingle with the locals should you wish to. The food was fantastic but what made this place unique is the rare kindness and warmth of Tess and Kevin. They made me feel welcome and part of this amazing place. I am thankful I met people I would never have met in my daily life and had the privilege to exchange lifetime memories with incredible personalities.

Average: 5.0 of 5 stars
Releasing the pain in my back

I am used to waking up and feeling pain in my back, my shoulder, my neck. Herniated disc in my lower back, 2 scoliosis, computer shoulder......What a relief – no pain during my holy days at San Flaviano. After 3 days of yoga, massage and energy healing my face changed, from a stressed look to a happy, relaxed face with eyes shining! I left behind my psychical pain and my emotional pain. Intimate chats in the kitchen with Tess as she cooks our lunch will open a door to enlightenment and she feeds you goodies as she works. You will find far, far more than you could imagine at this very special retreat. These well travelled healers have picked an amazing home to practice the art of true abundance – sharing.

Average: 5.0 of 5 stars
Truly inspirational!

What a better place to practice yoga than in a quiet retreat tucked away in the hills of Perugia, I place left still and undiscovered by tourists. This quiet and enriching retreat left me wanting more!
The retreat far exceeded my pre-conceived expectations. I lived the abundance that is being held in this wonderful place which welcome us each morning with the faces of newly opened wild flowers. We did our morning practice on carpets of wild herbs.

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The week was truly inspirational and what I really appreciated was the focus not only on the physical aspects of yoga but also on the mental and spiritual aspects of the practice which can be often overlooked. In between the morning’s more dynamic Hatha practice and the afternoon’s more relaxing Pranayama (breathing) practice, the rest of the day we were given a choice to join in the energy healing workshops, go out hiking or on an excursion to one of the local towns or just fall asleep in deck chair the grounds.
We shared the big oak mezzanine inside the church which was spacious and cool. At first I was unsure but the building has been filled with prayers for a thousand years and felt really inviting and calm. We were fed & then fed again. At each meal the table was filled with a selection of freshly prepared food followed by yummy desserts. Unlimited fruit, fresh juices, spring water, teas & coffees and big jugs of local wines at dinner. Abundance!
I left one week later with a true feeling of calm and serenity and could not have wished for more and after all the eating I had lost weight!

Average: 5.0 of 5 stars
A beautiful ancient place of holding in the heart of Italy

Once you step into this space you feel the energy of the stone walls and all the meditation, yoga, prayer,laughter and love. Tess & Kevin exemplify living a yogic life. The food is fresh home cooked Italian cleansing and nourishing. Meeting people and connecting with souls from around the globe is uplifting and provides a sense of connectedness.

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The teacher that week was also a David who was knowledgable, adaptable and created a space for individuals of all levels to appreciate yoga and meditation. There was a beautiful balance of yoga, meditation and time to reflect. The views are breathtaking. I suppose that they had the choice of the best spot 1500 years ago but surprisingly nothing much has been built in the valley except 2 small borgos in 14th century.

Average: 5.0 of 5 stars
Beautiful venue set in a picturesque landscape ideal for all

San Flaviano is set in a wonderful picturesque landscape of meadows and rolling hills surrounded by lush vegetation including fields of poppies and other wild flowers. This location provides an ideal spot to tour the region too with lots of places of interest within a scenic car drive away. The venue itself is clean, tidy and well organised, ideal for small parties or larger groups. But what truly makes it unique is the historical setting and feeling of connectedness to a spiritual past all set within a tranquil present. Would definately recommend.

Average: 5.0 of 5 stars
Unwind and reconnect with your soul

“This truly is a place of LOVE. The love is seen and felt through the beauty of the surroundings, the peacefulness and the owners welcoming gesture. The retreat is beautifully renovated with attention to detail yet the original features are well preserved. Invigorating yoga, deep meditation, fantastic food and really fun group. I slept like a log and found time for myself. If you are looking for a place to unwind and reconnect with your soul, this is the place!”