Come experience la Dolce Vita with us...

Is Italy on your list of dreams ? 

Immerse yourself in la Dolce Vita 

by joining us on one of our beautiful journeys

to Italy & beyond...

It's time to connect with your inner Mediterranean soul


Take a moment to focus on what's really important in life... You!

Are you ready to make yourself a priority?
Need to disconnect from your daily patterns so you can reconnect with yourself?

Imagine fully immersing yourself in a culture so warmly welcoming that it nourishes your soul.

Come live La Dolce Vita with us and experience the beauty of an authentic Italian lifestyle 

enjoying the wine, the cuisine, the lovely countryside and its people.

Plug into the slower pace of the Tuscan hills...

Prefer to shake things up and have an adventure? Then come experience the grandest party in the world, Carnevale in Venice, or join one our new adventures to exotic lands...

Welcome to La Dolce Vita!

Whether your idea of happiness is the tranquil beauty of Tuscany or the excitement of exotic delights in magical cities

we have what you're looking for...

Don't wait for "some day"~ your life is NOW! 

Ready to feel alive and start enjoying life? 

If the answer is 'YES!' 

sign up for an adventure with us today!

Upcoming trips and events

Ultimate Napa Valley Escape

Girls wine week

Details coming soon! 

Taste of Sicily September 2021

Join us for 10 days on the beautiful island of Sicily in southern Italy

Join us for a food, wine and cultural journey to Sicily September 1-10, 2021. We'll spend 3 nights each in Palermo, Canicatti/Agrigento and Syracusa exploring the diverse history, stunning architecture and of course... the Food, Vino and Olive Oil of the island! 

European Christmas Markets 2021

Dreaming of escaping for the holidays?

Why not join us on a magical winter wonderland escape to Europe for Christmas?! 

More details coming soon!

Let us plan your trip to Italy or beyond

Ask me about Private trip planning

Want to go to Italy but don't have time to sort out the details? Just tell us what areas you'd like to visit, how many people are traveling, and your approximate budget. We'll take care of all the details so you can focus on enjoying your vacation and making memories.  

Tuscan Wine Tour dates to be announced for 2021

A food and wine lovers dream

Get ready for a Taste of Tuscany! From extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegars, pecorino cheese, authentic farm to table Tuscan meals and of course the best wines of Italy! Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile are just two of the wonderful wines you'll taste as you meander through the beautiful cobblestone alleyways of the ancient medieval villages scattered along the most picturesque valleys of Tuscany. 

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We are in the process of adding more retreats, so please check back for additional

dates, locations and travel updates.

If you and your friends or company would like a tailored vacation just for you, please contact us to arrange a special trip that will create unforgettable memories


To stay up to date on events and upcoming trips join our mailing list below

Here are some photos from our past trips and retreats

Note from host:


This is Italy...  Be prepared to enjoy the wine and cuisine of this magical place... and of course the gelato! This is an experience, not just a vacation or your typical retreat.


Let go of any worries you might have around dieting, the food we will eat is made from fresh natural ingredients and sourced locally according to the season. Have a food sensitivity? No worries- Italy has many gluten free and vegetarian options.

Loving our bodies (as they are) is another integral part of the Italian culture. 

Travel to Italy with us and learn what Italians already know... how to enjoy life! 

Slow down, live your life with passion, love and beauty. 


Click here to read a great article on why we should invest in experiences like this


Tuscany is the heart of Italy and one of my favorite places to explore

Special excursions

I love to take people to visit the small towns because thats where the true beauty and magic of Italy is. Our excursions may include a tour of the medieval city of Siena, shopping in Florence, or enjoying wine tasting in an ancient Castle set against the hills of Chianti. Wherever we go, together we will explore the hidden landscapes of Italy and other exotic destinations


"Thank you, Ann Marie, for showing me a side of Italy and myself I would never have discovered on my own. Grazie mille, Bella! "

*read full reviews

2015-10-07 08.17.13
2015-10-07 08.17.13
Our friends and owners of the villa
Our friends and owners of the villa
cooking with Jacopo
cooking with Jacopo
Villa dora outdoor dining
Villa dora outdoor dining
Happiness Tuscan style
Happiness Tuscan style
2015-09-02 09.22.44
2015-09-02 09.22.44
2015-02-16 08.29.43
2015-02-16 08.29.43

Get ready to fall in love with Italy, connect with amazing new friends, bathe in laughter and joy,

and revel in new adventures as you rejuvenate your mind, body and soul 

Dine Al fresco in the harmony of the exquisite landscape, and feel like part of the family

 Allow your palate to be awakened with fresh simple cuisine and vibrant wines

Meet your host

*see testimonials

Ann Marie Packard
Retreat host, Event Planner, Italophile
Organizer for "San Franciscans who love all things Italian" and "Let's go to Italy"  Meetup groups
Italian Ambassador and member of Le Donne D'Italia
Each time I return to Italy there's a feeling that stirs my soul and whispers welcome home. 
I remember my first visit in 1988 sitting in an ancient piazza sipping cappuccino, my travel companion was lost in conversation and I was lost in the beauty of my surroundings.
Italy has a way of tantalizing all your senses at once. I've never felt so completely present than I did in that moment taking in the sights, the sounds of the most beautiful language, with music and delicious aromas filling the air. The glow of bistro lights strung along the cafes as the sun set, and the gentle summer breeze caressing my soul... I was captivated.
It was that magical moment that I fell in love with this beautiful country.  Italians live life at a slower pace and they live fully with passion. This is the experience I want to share with you.
Why I began leading retreats
After my fathers sudden passing in 2007 my life changed. My father and I had plans to travel together once he retired. He worked hard his entire life and spoke often about the things he was putting off for a "someday" that never came.
The year following his death was the begining of a new life for me, one where I let go of the excuses and made a decision to enjoy life now. Each year I traveled to a place on his bucket list sprinkling some of his ashes, so in a sense we did travel the world together afterall. I also began noticing signs showing up in my life, like the flyer for a yoga retreat in Tuscany which led me to quit my job of 25 years to follow my heart and realize a dream of creating retreats of my own.
I've lost some very dear people the last few years and it has shown me that life really is too short not to do the things that make you feel happy and alive. For me, helping others experience truly living and taking a moment out of their busy lives to do something for themselves that will stay with them forever is immensely fulfilling.
I read somewhere that we are the sum of our experiences, if so then investing in traveling and creating memories to last a lifetime should be a priority. I've also found that sharing experiences take life to another level enhancing our well being by connecting with others, it's a basic human need. Witnessing the sharing and connection I see between people on my retreats is very rewarding.
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Dolce Vita retreats

San Francisco, California

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