La Dolce Vita

Lake Como & Lake Garda, Italy

A Health & Wellness Retreat for Masters Rowers
May 28-June 3, 2022

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Spectacular Venue

Lake Como and Lake Garda are renowned for spectacular villas, gardens, and vistas - and you'll experience it all from the unique vantage point of a coastal quad!

Delicious Food

The Italians have elevated the enjoyment of food and wine to an artform and we'll enjoy all our meals Italian-style!

Transformational Results

In one week, you'll transform your relationship with food from deprivation and restriction to a place where you savor every single delicious and nourishing bite.

Overview

Join us for an amazing Health and Wellness Retreat in Lake Como and Lake Garda, Italy. We'll spend our days exploring this spectacular region from coxed quads, with stops along the way to explore enchanting villages, elegant lake-side villas, and delightful gardens - as seen in Star Wars and James Bond films!

We'll also have plenty of time to "take a coffee", enjoy a leisurely Italian lunch, stroll the waterfront, and sample the myriad flavors of gelato.

This retreat will be a joint-venture with our partners from Rowing The World. Ruth Marr, the founder, has an extensive background in the travel industry and leads exclusive International rowing trips in Europe, Canada, and the UK. Her mission is "Providing Exceptional Experiences for Rowers Who Love to Travel".

I interviewed Ruth for my Masterclass Series, which is how we met. I was completely taken with her trips so it was natural that I reached out to her to lead my inaugural wellness retreat for rowers. I was absolutely thrilled she said yes. She will be leading us for our week in late May, along with her guides and guests, which means we have just 9 spaces available. I know this one is going to sell out fast. 

Join us May 28-June 3, 2022.

This retreat will be just what you need to reframe your relationship with food from deprivation to delight! 

This is not a diet camp or a weight-loss program. Rather, it's a week-long retreat with targeted health coaching, wellness sessions, great food and wine, and LOTS of rowing in a bucket-list venue to help you build a new paradigm around food. I want you to come away with a renewed sense of serenity and peace around food. No guilt, no shame, no "shouldn'ts" or "mustn'ts". 

Instead, you'll go home with an Italian-inspired appreciation of the exquisite joy of a variety of delicious, seasonal foods, appreciated in small portions, enjoyed leisurely with friends and family. La Dolce Vita! The sweet life.

This experience is limited to 9 rowers (and non-rowing partners), with a choice of shared double rooms, triple rooms, or private rooms (there is a single supplement) and all rooms have their own bathrooms. All dietary preferences and restrictions can be accommodated.

This retreat is for experienced rowers (and non-rowing partners) only. A minimum of 2 years of experience is required. Non-rowers welcome. The priority is on the rowers and rowing. Fully independent non-rowers can easily be accommodated – ask us for pricing.

Note that this is the first time this trip will be run, so it is somewhat experimental in nature. The itinerary could change. While we will be rowing coxed coastal boats, wind and water conditions may alter our plans. Guests must be flexible and adaptable.

$4,250.00 (initial deposit: $500 + remaining deposit due 60 days prior to the start of the trip - March 29, 2022) 

The Setting

Bellagio, Lake Como

The magnificent village of Belaggio will be our home base for the first few days of our adventure. 

Located on the tip of the peninsula in the center of Lake Como, it is perfectly situated for day trips.

The Hotel

Lodging: We will be staying at The Hotel Suisse Belaggio which is located right on the lake.

The hotel is the white building on the far right in the top photo, just beyond the white boat.

The views from the rooms are lovely!

 

The Schedule
Day 1 

Sunday, May 28: Arrival in Bellagio.

Arrive early enough to start the retreat right with an afternoon kayak trip with Michele Gandola, a local rowing and paddling guide and friend. 

Welcome dinner in town with the full group.
 

Day 2

Monday, May 29 

Today we see Bellagio from the best possible vantage point: on the water.

We start each day with a short health and wellness session where we'll set our intentions and receive our action plan for the day.

After breakfast, we meet up with the rest of the group and a quick ferry ride takes us to Menaggio where our boats will be waiting.

We will row south, following the shore past villas and villages. The highlight of the day will be a visit to Villa del Balbianello. Adjectives such as “striking, grand, spectacular” are applied, and you will understand why as you see it from both land and water. Non-rowers will be able to shadow the rowing tour on foot, joining us for the visit plus lunch and coffee breaks. 

Best of all, tonight is your cooking class with genuine Italian housewives (to be confirmed). 

You’ll eat what you prepare, and it will be good!

Day 3

Monday, May 29: 
North of Bellagio the scenery is just as fabulous. 

The highlight of today’s row on Lago Como is a stop in the beautiful village of Varenna, considered by some to be even more beautiful and charming than Bellagio.

Non-rowers will be able to enjoy a climb to castle top views above Varenna. This is a shorter row, with the boats returning to Menaggio, leaving time to visit Villa Serbolloni and its gardens.  

Tonight your dinner is at Baita Belvedere, a mountain house perched high above Bellagio.

It is renowned not only for its view but also its dedication to local cuisine.

And the owner was a rower.

Day 4

Wednesday May 31: 

We will be sad to leave Bellagio and Lago di Como, but it is time to drive to Lago di Garda.

We might just detour up to the little-known Lago d’Iseo for lunch and a stroll.

Our destination is Peschiera, which will be our base for this lake. The old town, surrounded by “fair and strong” fortifications according to Dante, is on an island at the mouth of the River Mincio.

 

We will take the opportunity of a short afternoon row on the river, a nice stretch of the legs and body. 

After dinner, an evening stroll along the waterfront to find the perfect gelato is in order.

Day 5

Thursday, June 1: 
Like Lake Como, we begin our exploration of Lake Gardo in coastal rowing quads.

Just when we feel the need for a coffee break, there is Sirmione. On the end of a promontory pushing 4km out into the lake, the setting is spectacular.

This is a famous spa town and once the haunt of Roman poets. You will understand why.

But there is more lake to explore, with our day’s destination the stunning Salò. (subject to change)

Small and elegant, it is a yachters’ town and slightly off the beaten path. Perfect.

A scenic drive takes us back to our home in Peschiera.

Day 6

Friday, June 2: 

Our last day of rowing is, as expected, spectacular. From our local club, we will head north across the lake to explore the eastern shore of Lago di Garda.

Our stops will include the namesake town of Garda, plus Bardolino and Lazise. While these used to all be fishing villages, they have varied and interesting histories.

Garda is the gateway to the Valpolicella wine region as well as boasting a particularly charming waterfront promenade. 

 

From the water, Bardolino looks like a resort town, but its real claim to fame is the vineyards behind making a light red wine.

Lazise still retains its castle and customs house. The latter was at first used for shipbuilding for Venice, then later as a sheep storage area. Did you know sheep urine was used in gunpowder?

Then we have our final row back to our base, and a bittersweet farewell dinner.

 

Day 7

Saturday, June 3: 

Breakfast and Departures.

Peschiera is on the main train lines heading east and west, from where your Italian adventures can continue.

Hugs and Ciao Ciao! 

 

 

Space is Limited - Save Your Spot!

This retreat is limited to just 9 rowers so don't delay.

Reserve My Spot

 

 

Use password: menaggio 
Got questions? Email me at  [email protected]