A few years ago, the family that hosts our beautiful retreats in Tuscany turned an old barn on their property into an exquisite new meeting space.
I remember when we first saw the restored barn (or il fienile in Italian) when we were on retreat in 2019. We could not believe how beautiful it had turned out. Every detail of the space, from the tables to the light fixtures was lovingly considered. It seemed like no expense was spared in creating a place that would be able to stand proudly alongside the 16th century villa at Fattoria Del Colle.
As we inhabited the barn all week long, we were continually amazed at how many ways we could configure the large room to fit our needs.
On retreats, the group gathers in the barn for yoga and meditation in the morning. Then we come back later for any classes or sessions. Sometimes afternoon meals or snacks are served at the long tables.
The picture windows let in the warm Tuscan sunlight and look out onto views of the vineyards and the Val D’Orcia.
Often people find themselves returning to the barn to spend their silent writing or journaling time at one of the tables there.
I think one of the barn’s greatest gifts is that it is almost like being outside. You get to experience all the beauty of the nature around you, but you are protected from the wind that blows over the hillside.
The barn’s peaceful presence seems to hold the space for whatever we need on retreat.