April 18-22, 2018 - A Springtime Roman Learning Voyage: Renew. Regenerate. Reconnect - a 5 day/4 night Women's Retreat (in English)


Renew. Regenerate. Reconnect.

Reserve your place (only 2 places left)


Join Dorian, several of the Italian CIYO programs faculty based in Rome and 12 other women during Springtime in Rome for an English-language revitalizing experience. We will use the lens of the power and grace of the feminine as a way of organizing our exploration.

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During our 5 days/4 nights together you will have a range of options:

  • hosted group sessions to test out new ideas, brainstorm on current challenges, or dialogue on topics of shared interest;
  • the precious treat of time to use as you wish: for yourself alone, with other travelers, or meeting up with local friends;
  • the option of a 1:1 coaching session with Dorian Baroni - note: can be accessed before, during or after the trip;
  • curated daily group outing options* that where we will focus on the visible and invisible influence of the feminine in Rome's Art, Architecture, Rituals, Food, History, Fashion, Politics and Business

* Here is a sampling of some of activities on offer to give you some idea of how we will spend our time:

  • an empathy walk along the Via Appia Antica also known as Rome's Queen of Roads, where we will walk on roman road pavers worn by millenia of footsteps and transport in and out of the city,
  • a visit to the Villa Borghese to learn more about the life and power of Paolina Borghese, marvel at her statue and consider both the artistic mastery and challenging symbolism of Bernini's Daphne and Apollo or his Pluto and Persephone and then take a leisurely walk through one of Rome's most extensive historic center parks,
  • an optional afternoon tea break in the Chiostro del Bramante museum cafe behind Piazza Navona that has a secret view of some amazing Sibille,
  • a Roman cuisine exploration through a range of unique dinner experiences - from roman pizza to 5-star re-interpretations of traditional dishes to classic springtime Roman treats to Jewish Roman cooking, and onward through gelato, local wines, and more,
  • a walking reflection visit to the unusual Cimitero Acattolico to see the tombs of Shelley, Keats, Gramsci and many other expatriates who came to Rome over the centuries for love or for art,
  • an evening visit (less people, more atmosphere) to the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums,
  • we will contribute funds for Casa Africa, a local non-profit set up to integrate recent refugees from Africa and the Middle East into Italian life. Maria Baroni, my cousin and a real live agent of change woman,  has been instrumental in organizing the free Italian language classes aspect of their offerings (a small donation to the Casa Africa education program from our group is included in the cost of our voyage)
  • unique itineraries and recommendations for additional optional visits, shopping expeditions, experiences, special walks - some examples: ever wondered what a Mythraic altar looks like and why were the rites kept secret and never divulged (you can find out in the church archeological site right across from our hotel)? in need of a spot of quiet with some Carmelite nuns in their medieval fortress of a church and get to see the most amazing frescos as a plus? how did the builders of the Pantheon design things just so, so that on April 21st at noon, the sunlight streams through the oculus at just the right angle to illuminate the main entrance and thus mark the birthday of the city (this year marks the city's 2771st birthday)? how did roman patrician women use their money and their influence to shape the architecture of the city? where is the best shoe shop that only Romans in the know know about? where is the best coffee granita with whipped cream in the roman empire, today? who was Lavinia and why did Virgil forget to give her lines to speak?

And of course, there will be time and space for lots of gentle meandering the streets of Rome's historic center for gelato, sightseeing, shopping and people watching, as well as learning and playing together.



Thursday April 19

  • Breakfast at the hotel - Day's reflection suggestions
  • Colosseum,
  • Imperial Forum
  • Meander through Historic Center back streets
  • Planned lunch at Nonna Betta in the Jewish quarter (specialties: fried artichokes and traditional Roman jewish cooking)
  • Afternoon meander options and itineraries provided to "eat, play, learn":
    • Campo dei Fiori
    • Piazza Navona
    • Isola Tiberina
    • Chiostro del Bramante
    • Pantheon
  • 7pm - Group aperitivo gathering and sharing of reflections at the Hotel
  • 8pm Group Aperitivo and Celebration Dinner - Location: Surprise!
  • Night owls suggested option: Drinks at Madre

Wednesday April 18

  • We slowly start to arrive and gather on the 18th
  • Lunch option: Propaganda Cafe' or other local options to be provided depending on interest
  • Close by informal afternoons options:
    • Archeological visit to the Basilica di San Clemente's archeological site to see the Mythraic cult origins of the site (right across from the Hotel)
    • nature walk to and through Parco Celimontana for a 360 in nature
    • mindfulness time in Santo Stefano in Rotondo
    • shopping visit to La Ciliegia Rossa, a women's artists cooperative or other hip shops in Rione Monti
  • 5:30pm - Gather at the Hotel for introductions and transport to....
  • 6:30pm - Cooking Class and Dinner at the Slow Food inspired Cooking for the Mind school led by Loretta Cavallaro. We may be joined by a young refugee woman from Nigeria who attends Casa Africa and whose dream is to become a working cook
  • Night owls or those too jet lagged to sleep - suggested post-dinner option: Drinks at Propaganda Cafe'

Saturday April 21 - Rome's Natale*

  • Breakfast at the hotel - Day's reflection suggestions
  • 11am Villa Borghese Museum and Park
  • Recommended lunch options/choices will be provided
  • Afternoon optional meander to "eat, play, learn":
    • Piazza di Spagna
    • Fontana di Trevi
    • Piazza Navona
    • Chiostro del Bramante
  • 7pm - Group aperitivo gathering and sharing of reflections at the Hotel
  • 8 - pm Group evening: Final Celebration Dinner!
  • *April 21 is Rome's "Natale"(i.e. birthday so there may be firework displays at the Campidoglio and along the Tiber. We are gathering more information on choices soon)


Friday April 20

  • Breakfast at the hotel - Day's reflection suggestions
  • Via Appia Antica empathy walk
  • Recommended lunch options/choices will be provided
  • Afternoon meander options provided to "eat, play, learn":
    • Monti district and Michelangelo's Moses
    • Fontana di Trevi,
    • Babington Tea House,
    • Via Condotti
  • 5pm possible visit to Casa Africa (meet with volunteers, students and the organizers of RomaAltruista)
  • Early dinner snacks pre-museum or late dinner snacks post-museum (or both!)
  • 9pm - Group evening: Visit to Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums after hours - a treat!
  • Night owls suggested option: a walk through the Centro Storico with stop at Zum for Tiramisu

Sunday April 22

  • Breakfast at the hotel - Reflections and connections
  • Note: activities below may change based on timing of the annual Rome's Birthday parade activities that cordon off the Colosseum area, the Imperial Forum way, and the Circus Maximus, so that you can see and cheer the roman era attired parade participants (i.e. Pontifex, Vestal Priestesses, Roman Troops, Merchants, etc)
  • Visit to the Testaccio Market
  • Guided meander through the Cimitero Acattolico
  • Group farewell lunch at a Testaccio area restaurant - end by 3pm
  • Later afternoon and evening activities:
    • tbd based on interests of those who are staying on past 3pm


Our Venue: We will base ourselves at a charming boutique hotel near the Colosseum, the Profumo Maison D'Hotes that we have pre-booked for our exclusive use.

Our days will start with breakfast on their terrace and then we'll take off from there.

Join us for a taste of Romans' love of a life, lived fully.

Renew. Regenerate. Reconnect.

Cost: $1350 covers the following costs: your hotel room for 4 nights/5 days, breakfast, aperitivo and dinner daily, learning reflections introduced daily by the CIYO faculty, a donation to the Casa D'Africa refugee center, museum tour tickets and planned guided tours - because of the small size of the group and our exclusive use of the Profumo Maison D'Hotes hotel, a $750 deposit is due at registration to hold your space (airfare or train, local transportation to/from the hotel, daily lunch and daytime snacks not included)







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