Come experience la Dolce Vita with us...
Is Italy on your list of dreams ?
Immerse yourself in la Dolce Vita (the sweet life)
and join us on one of our
beautifully curated trips to Italy & beyond...
Isn't it time you connected with your inner Mediterranean soul?
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 start enjoying life?
If the answer is
sign up for an adventure with us today!
Upcoming trips and events
Girls Wine Week
An unforgettable weekend of luxury awaits you...
You can join one of our small group getaways for ladies 40+
Or let us plan your special girls weekend or a romantic getaway for you and your sweetheart. Ask us about marriage proposal ideas!
Women's Italy Coast to Coast trip
Coming Spring 2023
A trip for women by women.
Accompanied by your local insider, you'll discover Italy in a special way, through its most famous women for an itinerary dedicated entirely to femininity.
Taste of Sicily
Join us for a food, wine and cultural journey on the beautiful island of Sicily.
We'll spend 10 days exploring the diverse history, stunning architecture and of course ...
tasting the delicious cuisine, wine and olive oil of the island.
We will be adding more retreats, so check back for additional
dates, locations and travel updates.
Looking for a tailored vacation just for you?
Contact me to arrange a special trip guaranteed to create unforgettable memories for
your family, friends or business
To stay up to date on events and upcoming trips
at the bottom of this page
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.
The food we will eat is made from fresh natural ingredients and sourced locally according to the season. Zero km.
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 with passion!
La Dolce Vita is all about passion
Tuscany is the heart of Italy and one of my favorite places to explore
The true beauty and magic of Italy can be found in the small towns and villages, with wonderful local experiences and families.
Together we'll explore the hidden landscapes, being sure not to miss the important sights, as we create memories and stories to last a lifetime.
"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
Get ready to fall in love with Italy, connect with new friends, bathe in laughter and joy,
and revel in new adventures as you rejuvenate your mind, body and soul living la dolce vita
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
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 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. I was captivated by the sights, beautiful language, the music and delicious aromas filling the air, the glow of bistro lights as the sun set, and the gentle summer breeze caressing my soul...
It was that magical moment that I fell in love with this beautiful country, it's been my heart home ever since. Italians live life at a slower pace and they live it 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 at the young age of 60, my outlook on 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 until retirement, a "someday" that never came.
I decided to let go of my own excuses and made a decision to enjoy life, now.
Each year, I traveled to a place on my dads bucket list and sprinkled some of his ashes, so in a sense we did travel the world together after all.
Soon I 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 create a dream of creating retreats of my own.
I've lost some very dear people over the last few years, its always a harsh reminder that life really is too short not to do the things that you dream of doing. For me, helping others live their dreams and do something for themselves, is immensely fulfilling.
I read somewhere that we are the sum of our experiences, if so, then investing in traveling and creating memories should be a priority. I've also found that sharing our experiences with others takes it to another level. Connecting with others is a basic human need, I love witnessing the sharing and connection I see on my retreats.
After this crazy pandemic I'm so ready to travel again, how about you? Are you ready to come live la Dolce Vita with me?
Dolce Vita Retreats
San Francisco, California