Lucca excursion - view from Torre Guinigi Borghino Melograno - Verde - Twin beds or Double Borghino I Nespoli - Rosa - Twin beds or Double



Join Mel Toth & Anne Heffron for a unique yoga & creativity experience – AKA Self-care CAMP –set among the olive groves and vineyards of the iconic Tuscan landscape..

Picture it, Tuscany, 2022:

Living in a 400 year old villa overlooking the countryside, eating home-cooked family-style meals, drinking vino produced on site; multiple excursions exploring the fascinating, medieval walled city of Lucca and the gorgeous Ligurian coast; indoor and outdoor opportunities for playful, intuitive movement and creativity practice twice each day; all of it thoughtfully planned to allow plenty of space for rest and self-care as you listen and respond to YOUR needs in the way only YOU can.

The location

Mel and Anne invite you to experience the magical Villa at Il Borghino, while immersing yourself in their unique, intuitive approach to yoga and creative self-expression.

The estate is booked solely for our group of travelers and is located just 10 km from the charming medieval city of Lucca. Il Borghino offers an opportunity to truly relax and unwind in a unique location whilst experiencing the best that Tuscany has to offer.

The Yoga

All levels of practitioners are welcome! Whether you’re a brand newbie, seasoned veteran or returning to the mat after a long break, Mel’s classes will provide plenty of options for exploration and space for personal modifications. Expect a more movement-based practice in the morning and a more restful experience in the afternoon, with the option to receive Reiki from Anne while in supported poses during afternoon practice. Additional opportunities for guided meditation and relaxation will be offered some evenings after dinner.

The Creativity

If you’re human, you’re creative; NO exceptions! As a writing coach, Anne will be here to help you connect with that inherent creative impulse and give it a voice. Combining intention, intuition and gratitude, Anne’s morning and evening creativity circles will provide unique exercises designed to culminate in the creation of one or more personal ARTifacts (e.g. photo journal, gratitude journal, recipe collection, etc.) chronicling your Italian adventure.

Creating an ARTifact is highly encouraged – remember how fun it was to make stuff alongside the other kids at camp? – AND totally optional.

So instead of waiting until we’re home to do something with the hundreds of pictures we will undoubtedly take, we’ll have time to review our photos during group creativity practice. Each day, you’ll choose and print one photo (on polaroid paper) which can then be used as a jumping off point for written gratitude practice or other journaling. And if you want to skip the writing, you get to do that because this is YOUR Self-care Camp.

As we play with various creativity practices, we will allow additional ARTifacts to emerge if we feel inspired. No pressure!! We’ll explore some possibilities during group practice, and you’ll have plenty of time to play and explore on your own, but it’s ALL optional.

The Supplies

You bring: a notebook for writing, a small sketchbook, your preferred writing tools, 1 Italian magazine

We bring: polaroid film and printer for Photo of the Day project, assorted art supplies (e.g. scissors, glue sticks, markers, 2-sided tape, colored pencils).

A typical day

7:30-8:45am: Gentle/Level I yoga

9-10am: Family style breakfast

10:30am-1:30pm: Free time

1:30-2:30pm: Family style lunch

2:30-4:30pm: Free time

4:30-5:15pm: Grazie Mille! Gratitude & Creativity Practice: Photo Fun

5:30-6:45pm: Gentle/RESTorative yoga w/ option for Reiki

7:30-8:30 pm: Family style dinner

*9-9:30pm: Guided meditation and/or relaxation

*some nights

During free time, you’ll have the option to schedule in-house spa services, explore the gorgeous grounds and area surrounding the estate, or visit Lucca on your own (only a 15-minute taxi ride away). There are also several options for additional local excursions that can be arranged by the retreat center.

The above schedule will be modified slightly on excursion days. Except when we’re out on our full-day excursion, there will be time for at least one yoga class and one gratitude/creativity practice each day.

The Included Excursions


In addition to lounging around a Tuscan utopia with your new friends, your Self-care Camp includes 3 fabulous excursions:

  • Guided biking & walking tour of Lucca (half-day): Our 3-hour tour will introduce us to Lucca’s fascinating medieval walls, ancient architecture and elegant palazzos. We’ll begin with a gentle cycle atop the ancient city wall, followed by a tour on foot through the medieval streets. The tour is just about the right length of time to learn something about the history of Lucca, see some of its works of art, sample some of the best gelato in the world or stop at one of the local cafés to enjoy a macchiato! We’ll set out right after breakfast and return in time for a late lunch at Il Borghino. If you wish to stay in town for lunch after the tour, you can easily find a taxi to bring you back to the villa.

    Cinque Terre (full day): Five coastal villages embedded in the rocky cliffs of Liguria make up the breathtaking Cinque Terre. We’ll spend a full day exploring this National Park and UNESCO World Heritage site, full of colorful cliffside houses, tiny cobblestoned lanes, and gorgeous harbor views.   We’ll enjoy lunch out (not included) and return to the villa by dinner.

    These villages are linked by an ancient system of foot paths and keen hikers can easily spend the entire day walking and climbing between them. For those interested in a more leisurely experience, all five villages are also connected by train and ferry.

    Also known as the Italian Riveria, Cinque Terre is the perfect place to spend the day lounging on the beach, shopping, and/or dining al fresco overlooking the sea.

  • Pietrasanta Artist Village (half-day) –  We will visit the lively, picturesque artist’s village of Pietrasanta – a thriving art center full of galleries, shops and colorful restaurants spilling onto the pavements – it is a feast for the eyes and stomach! Best known for its marble and bronze artistic works, Pietrasanta often hosts international art exhibitions in the local Piazzas where we can share the lovely experience of Aperitivo (Italy’s famous happy hour, known for its delicious free snacks) and watch the buzz unfold. We’ll enjoy dinner out (not included) and return to the villa around 11:30pm

Other Optional Excursions (not included)

  • Cooking Class
  • Wine Tasting Excursion
  • Puccini Opera in Lucca
  • Massages and Holistic Treatments
  • Explore Lucca on your own

About Mel Toth

Mel Toth Retreat in Tuscany June 2021

Mel’s classes focus on understanding the fundamentals of asana (poses) through the use of props (blocks, blankets, straps, chairs, bolsters) and movement exploration, while emphasizing the discovery of personal alignment, balance and relaxation.

Through honest sharing and gentle humor, Mel creates an atmosphere of acceptance where students are invited to explore mindful movement, personal alignment and conscious stillness.  She is passionate about the power of supported, reclined poses paired with guided breathing and relaxation techniques to change the body/mind’s relationship to physical and emotional pain patterns; this makes teaching gentle and RESTorative yoga her specialties.

Mel is he is forever grateful to her first yoga teacher, Jill Gnassi, whose expert Iyengar instruction taught her how attending to small details could make a huge difference in life

More details about Mel on

About Anne Heffron

Anne Heffron - Retreat in Tuscany June 2022

As an author, Anne is fearless, wildly authentic, and candid. In her nationally acclaimed memoir, You Don’t Look Adopted, she reflects on her lived experiences as an adoptee. She connects with others through her own imperfection and instills an empowering sense of self-awareness and self-expression in her readers.

As a writing coach, Anne is intuitive and empathetic. In her life-changing Write or Die course, she listens intently to and creates safe spaces for others, encouraging them to believe in themselves enough to listen to the quiet (or loud!) voice within and write. In this way, she teaches others how to feel seen, validated, and important. She removes the barrier between what’s at the core of a person and the stories they tell. She equips others with the tools and reasons to do what they deeply want to do – she gives them the key to a room of their own.

You can find more details about Anne on

What’s Included?

  • 7 nights accommodations at Il Borghino in Lucca (including linen and towels)
  • Homemade Tuscan vegetarian food (3 meals/day except 1 x lunch when on coastal hike and 1 x dinner when on Lucca evening outing) + local wine for dinner
  • Fresh fruit and vegetable juice blend for breakfast; unlimited fruit, water and herbal teas throughout the day
  • 3 excursions
  • Last night celebratory dinner with Prosecco and pizza, fresh out of the onsite, wood-fired pizza oven
  • Transfers to and from Lucca train or bus station to Il Borghino villa at the start and finish of the retreat. There will be one scheduled pick up and drop off only. Any transfers outside of this are NOT included.
  • Use of outdoor salt-water pool and common areas
  • Free WIFI
  • Laundry facilities in each house for use by guests
  • Some supplies for creativity practice
  • Photo of the Day: each participant can print 1 photo per day for use in creative projects; polaroid printer onsite, film included.

What’s Not Included?

  • Airfares (Suggested Airport Pisa)
  • Travel insurance (STRONGLY RECOMMENDED)
  • COVID testing 24 hours before arrival at Il Borghino (MANDATORY)
  • MINIMUM of 2 rapid COVID tests purchased in your home country (REQUIRED)**Note: *This is not only to avoid issues with purchasing tests in Italy but because many airlines will not honor the results of a foreign rapid test.
  • Airport Transfers
  • Two meals out during excursions
  • Small sketchbook for ARTifact project & notebook for writing
  • Additional in-house treatments (e.g. facials and massage)
  • Additional excursions or activities (e.g. Winery tour and tasting, cooking class, nightly Puccini showcase in Lucca)
  • Any other travel-related expenses outside the retreat center

All excursions and activities are subject to change depending on the COVID-19 regulations in place at the time of your retreat. We appreciate your understanding.

Retreat Prices, per person

There are only 9 rooms available so early registration is strongly recommended!!

If you’re traveling solo and wish to share a room, we will pair you with another solo traveler, if possible.

Room Type A – Shared room with 2 single beds (can be made into a DOUBLE) + a private bathroom (2 people per room): 4 rooms / 8 places) $2,400 (USD) per person.

Room Type B – Shared room with a double bed + a private bathroom (2 people per room: 1 room / 2 places) $2,400 (USD) per person.

Room Type C – Single room with a DOUBLE bed + a shared hallway bathroom with one other person (1 person per room: 2 rooms / 2 places. $2,500 (USD) per person.

Room Type D – Single room with a DOUBLE bed + private bathroom. (1 person per room: 2 rooms / 2 places) $2,700 (USD) per person 

 Please note:

  • If traveling as a couple, choose Room Type A or B and the retreat center will put the twin beds together.

  • If you prefer a private single room and one is not available, Room Type A or B can be booked for one person for an additional $600.

  • All single rooms have double beds.

Terms and Conditions


  • If you test positive for COVID, you are responsible for paying for your own expenses, such as accommodation in which to isolate, molecular testing etc. Il Borghino DOES NOT have any space on the property in which to quarantine, and you will have to leave the property immediately.
  • Provisions to address COVID-19
  • Il Borghino COVID Waiver & Release Form

Cancellation Policy

Please note that deposits are non-refundable.  Travel insurance is strongly recommended if you need to cancel for any reason.

If you have any questions about this retreat, please click on the button “Reserve Your Place”.

Transport Options – Getting to and From Il Borghino

  • The nearest airport to Lucca is Pisa international Airport “Galileo Galileo” – 18 Miles from Lucca
  • Florence International Airport “Amerigo Vespucci” is 50 Miles from Lucca
  • If you are flying into Rome, Fiumicino Airport is 162 miles from Lucca.
  • Regular trains and buses run from both Pisa and Florence airports to Lucca and are very reasonably priced. Trains also run regularly from Rome airport but the trip is much longer and takes around 4.5 hours.

Check-in and Check-out

  • Check-in at Il Borghino is strictly 4pm on the day of arrival.
  • When booking your flights, we recommend you plan your arrival time in Lucca for around 15:30pm, to coincide with the group transfer to Il Borghino at 3:45pm.  There will be one scheduled pick-up only. Please email your arrival details to  as soon as they are available.  If you are unable to make the pick-up,  we can arrange for a taxi to bring you to Il Borghino.
  • Check-out at Il Borghino is strictly 09:30am on the last day. Please plan your departure flights accordingly.