Our Italy 2024 retreat dates from October 3 – October 9 were carefully chosen. Read the 10 reasons why we selected the first week of October.

1. Fewer Tourists

Just like in other parts of Italy, tourist numbers dwindle as the seasons transition. Despite October becoming a more favored time to explore Umbria, the influx of tourists remains lower compared to the bustling summer months. This means we have the luxury of more flexibility in our excursions, events, and dinner reservations without the crowds.

2. Weather Comparable to Southern California

In Umbria, October brings a pleasant average temperature of around 68 degrees, offering a respite from the scorching summer heat. With minimal rainfall and plenty of sunshine, October provides a comfortable climate for travel. The cooler temperatures also mean no mosquitoes buzzing around and no mosquito bites.

3. Fall Colors Paint a Mesmerizing Picture in Umbria

Umbria shines in October, as the leaves transition, showcasing its rolling hills painted in vibrant shades of reds and oranges. Coupled with stunning sunsets, visiting Umbria in October offers a captivating and picturesque experience like no other.

4. Walks and Hikes

The delightful weather and extended hours of sunshine in October make it the perfect time to walk or hike the hills of Umbria. During our retreat, we have exciting plans for a spiritual stroll from Spello to Assisi, a serene meditation walk through the Bosco di San Francesco (pictured to the right), an exhilarating hiking expedition to the Marmore Falls, and leisurely strolls through charming hilltop towns.

5. Harvest Season

With the glow of October’s harvest moon, the hills of Umbria come alive for harvest season. Here, the tradition of hand-harvesting olives by shaking the branches as the olives fall onto mats below is still practiced to this day. These olives are then carefully gathered and pressed at local mills, creating a rich and flavorful olive oil that graces the tables of Umbria’s restaurants. Experience the essence of Umbrian cuisine with each delicious drop of this freshly pressed olive oil.

In addition to olives, Umbria boasts other lesser-known harvests such as the saffron harvest that occurs in October. Saffron is cultivated in the picturesque regions around Spoleto, Gubbio, Cascia, and Citta della Pieve. Furthermore, Umbria is renowned for its grapes and wines. Take a scenic drive along the Strada del Sagrantino or the Strada dei Vini Etrusco Romana, stretching from Orvieto to Narni, to witness the grape harvest in action.

6. Festivals

The essence of this yoga retreat is to experience the simple and quiet farm-stay lifestyle of Umbria, with a special focus on St. Francis of Assisi. On October 4th, in Assisi, the region celebrates the Feast of St. Francis. Witness the heartfelt pilgrimage of individuals bringing their beloved pets to receive blessings on this special day. While our base will be 15 minutes away in the hills of Monte Subasio, we will have the chance to join the festivities, a tradition that dates back to the canonization of St. Francis by Pope Gregory in 1298.

For those who may be staying beyond the retreat dates, immerse yourself in many other festival scenes of Umbria that coincide with the harvests. Venture to Cascia for the annual saffron harvest celebration, indulging in a variety of dishes infused with this luxurious spice. Experience the unique La Bisaccia del Tartufaio festival in Citerna, or join the chestnut festivities in Morra later in the month. For a sweet twist, don’t miss out on the indulgent Eurochocolate festival in Perugia, dedicated to all things chocolate.

7. Truffle Season

Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure as we enter truffle season in Umbria. From mid-October, the hunt for the coveted Tartufo Nero (Black Truffle) begins. Join a truffle hunting tour in Umbria and witness the skilled truffle dogs at work. Spend a magical morning foraging for these elusive treasures with a local truffle hunter, followed by a mouth-watering home-cooked lunch featuring the truffles.

8. Foraging

October in Umbria isn’t just about truffle hunting. It’s a time when you can also forage for mushrooms, chestnuts, hazelnuts, and quince. If you’re a culinary enthusiast, a stay in October is a must!

9. Lower Costs

With schools and universities back in session, October sees a decrease in travel activity. This lower demand not only leads to reduced crowds but also translates into more budget-friendly options, making our travel experience much more affordable and accessible.

10. Yoga, Yoga, Yoga

With lesser crowds and mild temperatures, October is a perfect time for yoga. Enjoy a week-long yoga retreat, with two daily yoga sessions in a serene and dedicated yoga space just for us.