reTREAT YOUrself! Tuscany | Umbria New Year's Eve 2020-2021


"A New Year celebration is intended to begin with clear intentions and good spirits, while allowing the negative to stay in the past."

~Wendy Cook

Celebrate all of 2020 and Create 20201 in the Italian regions of Tuscany and Umbria on a Big Rock Yoga Retreat!

December 27, 2020 - January 2, 2021


Big Rock's Wendy Cook is leading a second retreat in Italy's Tuscany and Umbria regions! You are invited to join her in an 8 bedroom Italian Villa located in northern Umbria at the Tuscany border. The Umbria region of Italy is known as the green heart of Italy. It is the only region of Italy without a coastline or border with another country. The location gives access to local gourgeous scenery and easy day trips to explore Tuscany and Umbria. Imagine yourself waking up in an Italian Villa, sipping fresh Italian coffee, being served meals by a local private chef as you look out the window at lush fields, rolling hills, and the mountains of the region.

Italian customs at New Years Eve are intended to bring the good spirits into the new year. The below customs have been practiced for centuries and will be a part of our celebration and creation as we transtition from 2020 into 2021!


It seems that everyone now uses fireworks to celebrate the New Year. Although Italians did not invent gun powder, they were making plenty of noise to ward off evil spirits well before the invention of the explosive mixture. The roots of using fireworks, or more precisely booming sounds to ward off evil at midnight is an Italian custom that predates everyone else’s use of fireworks. Yes, Italians can claim credit for the use of fireworks at midnight, but not for the dazzling display of brilliant colored sparkles. In centuries past, it was all about the noise and the bigger the boom, the greater the chances of getting rid of pesky spirits. In Italy, it is believed that demons and evil spirts do not like those sounds, so the fireworks were not so much about the beauty and grandeur, but making a lot of noise. Even the loud pops of Italian spumante and prosecco bottles are associated with warding off evil spirits and that’s why you’ll find them on each Italian table on New Year’s Eve.

The “Lancio dei Cocci”

This was a custom that was far more popular in the past than it is today, but in villages in Italy, you will still hear the crash of dishware when the clock strikes twelve. The lancio dei cocci literally means to launch shards; it is the custom of throwing your old dishware out of your living room window. This is likely to be the most Italian of all of the New Year’s traditions. As midnight rings, all of the past year’s negative feelings, spirts and bad luck are smashed symbolically through cups, dishes and saucers flying out the window. You don’t necessarily have to throw things out of the window. The lancio dei cocci can be done inside the house against a wall or on the floor. Long before psychotherapy, Italians perfected the cathartic release!

Keeping Doors and Windows Open on New Year’s Day

In Italy it is cold in much of the country during the holiday season, although not in the same way International Falls, Minnesota is cold, but as has been previously mentioned, Italians do not like the cold! In spite of that, it is a common practice to leave a door and at least one window open (two would be even better) to allow the good spirits to enter your home. The open windows will create a draft that will clear out the bad spirits, especially the stubborn ones that stuck around through the New Year’s Eve’s fireworks.

Wendy will lead us through daily yoga practices and workshops steeped in yogic wisdom with the intention to simplify your thoughts, actions, and life. We will breathe, move, and meditate in simple ways intended to connect you to the deep intuition of the body and allow you to create intentions for your best 2021 possible! This is a retreat intended for the beginner to experienced yoga student that wants to feel alive and at purpose through intentional living!


**Special dietary restrictions can be accommodated if notified 45 days in advance. Optional additional activities are not included in retreat price, and will incur additional costs.

the villa

The villa nestles in a hillside close to the pretty village of Mulino Vitelli and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The ‘Casa Colonica’ (traditional farmhouse) is the perfect sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  This is a beautiful villa, set in beautifully tended gardens stocked with lavender, rosemary, olives and fruit trees, with private pool and tennis court. A sense of utter peace and tranquillity prevails with views over the Umbrian and Tuscan heels.  The villa can be enjoyed all the year around. Beautifully designed to a very high standard, this villa is intimate while at the same time being spacious, with two independent livings. Delightfully decorated throughout in rustic style, with wooden beamed ceilings and terracotta floors, ideal for outdoor living.

Composition of each of the two indepedant livings: Ground floor – has a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room, dining area. Second floor –  3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. 


On retreat, we will offer yoga and meditation classes daily. Wendy’s gounded, soulful teaching is filled with inspiration, education, empowerment, and an overwhelming sense of passion. Her vinyasa classes are a fusion of form and flow that will connect you to the source deep within you. All experience levels are welcome to join, and all yoga and meditation classes are completely optional. Wendy is a very skillful teacher with the ability to meet you where you are, allowing you to be seen, and bringing you into the collective energy and flow of the group.



Our meals will be prepared in-house by a local chef, and served family style. The villa offers bright, nutritious meals full of local produce and mediterranean specialties.Included in your retreat is 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches,and 4 dinners.  There are two cucinas with multiple options for indoor and outdoor seating. There will  be an opportunity to dine out and experience the local food scene for 3 lunches and 3 dinners. It's Italy!!! Local flavor and quanitity will be abundant!


$1799 based on double occupancy includes the above detailed information. Pay in full or make a 30% deposit for a total of $540 to hold your space! Monthly payments will be calculated on the number of months remaining before the retreat and must be set up as an automated payment on the 1st of each month. Must be paid in full 60 days prior to first day of retreat.

*there are twin bed and full bed bedrooms. Bring a spouse, significant other, friend, or allow us to match you with a roommate

**single occupancy is available for an additional charge via a conversation with Wendy

All payments are non-refundable and non-transferable.