The slideshow will take a few moments to load. Please use the navigation links at the top to advance through the articles. Enjoy!


Our retreat in Valfabbricia, Italy was such a wild success we have already booked our time there for next year.
Radical Restoration will be returning to Le Torrace in Umbria April 11 to 21, 2015.
  Continue reading


It’s not the rise

nor the fall of

slope, or the sweet

trill of new birds,

not the melt of

truffle on the tongue,

nor the kindness of

our host, his wife

or his helpers, but Continue reading


We rave every day about the tastes on our tongues. Giorgio, Leela and their helpers succeed in evoking moans of pleasure as table music at each breakfast, lunch and dinner. From the surprise of a crunchy cheese muffin-like thing at lunch, to a vellutata di Zucchine (soup) to a brioche with red cabbage, aubergine and cheese, roasted lamb with garden rosemary, Farro Perlato with porcini mushroom, to home-cured prosciutto and Caciotta cheese slices with truffles, all the way to Crema Catalana and Colomba Pasquale, every mouthful a surprise and a bit of a swoon. Our plates are always spanking clean after each meal.

The meals have served as inspiration for our writing as well as being the marker for the passage between activities. Many have remarked that although each repast is a veritable feast of taste and choice, none of the foods are too rich or too sweet, and we often leave almost directly from the groaning board of lunch for a long walk up and down or down and up these beautiful country roads, or book a taxi to take us to nearby Gubbio, Assisi or Perugia. Continue reading

Roman Amphitheatre 2
Italian Excavation

In Grade Nine she read I Claudius
In Grade Six, The Eagle of the Ninth,
But in Grade Three, she read about Pompeii
buried beneath molten lava and
volcanic ash

the book said archeologists
unearthed people
frozen in their daily lives
fossilized forever
by disaster’s sudden flow

Continue reading

Gubbio Gubbio wherefore art thou Gubbio?

I knew nothing of Gubbio prior to this trip, aside from some vague connection to Francis of Assisi. My loss, apparently. Gubbio is a wonder of terraces, cathedrals, palaces, palazzos, ancient stone, a surprising treasure in the form of a golden fountain spigot in the shape of a duck head, Roman ruins, and sweeping views into a broad green valley.

After our morning of yoga, breakfast, and a shift in perspective with James leading the writing practice, we ate yet another exquisite lunch and climbed into taxis with the enthusiastic (and handsome) Marco and Stefano. The ride was quicker than we imagined and full of swoops and dodges, as we careened through the Umbrian hills to Gubbio. Continue reading


Today, after our morning yoga, wonderful breakfast and writing practice on the terrace, AND a sumptuous lunch,  the group set off with Stefano and Marco, our two animated taxi drivers, to zoom along the winding hills to Assisi.

Sue had asked participants what they hoped to write while here and taking their responses into account brought some terrific prompts about travel and holidays. These prompts launched us into the writing as well as into our day of being tourists. Continue reading

Spring light in new leaves

Spring has sprung in Umbria.

Each morning on a Radical Restoration retreat we begin at 7:00 a.m. with some gentle, self-compassionate yoga that helps us get in dialogue with our bodies and our Selves. We breakfast in companionable, communal silence to allow that dialogue to continue. And at 10:00 we are welcomed back to our voices in the two and a half hour writing workshop. After lunch, which so far this trip has been delicious – as every meal here has been so far (we’ll leave that for another post), we’re free to do whatever takes our fancy.

Today three of our troupe hiked for five hours along the old Franciscan pilgrims’ trail, through the spectacular Umbrian countryside, ending up at the Cathedral of Saint Francis in Assisi. The rest of us hiked more locally, napped, rested, and soaked in the Italian spring sunshine. Continue reading

2014-04-19 13.53.19The early evening sun bathes the grounds in a golden green light. Birdsong layers the air with happy music. The soft chattering of participants waiting for the dinner gong wafts up to my window. It’s day two of being here; day one of Radical Restoration at Le Torracce in Valfabbrica, Italy.   Continue reading

MarApr 2014


We’re delighted to discover that Asia Spa magazine has chosen to feature our Italy retreat in their Wellness Calendar section! This is a gorgeous magazine that lists wellness retreats around the world. Click the magazine cover to go to their site and see more about the magazine, and click the page to read our entry.

Wellness Calendar_MARAPR2014_Page_1w