Let's Meet in SICILY!
Escape with us. Where matriarchal mythologies abound. Where goddesses and mermaids enchant. Where pilgrims journeyed to make sensual offerings. West of Italy's boot, the warmth and flavors of the Mediterranean beckon. The land yields its fruit, the sea its catch. The old world calls us to delight in new ways. Let's sojourn in Sicily.
for reading, Writing & EATING
This gathering is designed for writers, book lovers, and foodies in search of communal solitude. For those captivated by narrative, place, and the prospect of stealing away to read, write, or eat! Retreat to stillness, reflection, and salacious food. Allow the sensuality of Sicily to inspire. We welcome you to join us for a delicious getaway with mountain and Mediterranean views.
for a carefree journey
We've done the homework for you. Just pack your bags, choose your flight, and meet us there. Each excursion is thoroughly researched. Every activity hand-picked. We've made sure your accommodations are not only clean and comfy, but designed to inspire. We understand the importance of stillness, so we work diligently to protect your peace. We take care of you, so you can nourish your creativity or indulge in quiet reading, writing, or savory reflection. We value the richness of gathering like minds, diverse in experience, from every corner of the globe, and we make space for lively discourse. We highly respect our impact on the places we visit and offer deeper insight into local culture.
for A SENSUOUS experience
On arrival day, we'll transport you from Catania Airport (CTA) to Monaci delle Terre Nere, a peaceful stay on a lovingly restored historic villa and organic farm set in eastern Sicily. We'll introduce you to your private space, then gather to break bread and take part in a welcome feast prepared in your honor. After dinner, we'll gather under the stars and gaze up at the stories the constellations offer with the help of a local astronomy guide.
Sleep in, or meet us on the yoga mats for an eastern sunrise practice. A fully organic breakfast is offered daily and sourced directly from the estate. We'll dip into a lava stone pool for a literary sound bath and meditation then engage in conversation on employing the six senses in our writing, reading, and tastings. Lunch will be followed by free time to explore a good book, work on a writing project, or follow our expert sommelier through the vineyards for a wine-tasting tour. Later, enjoy an evening meal that takes its cues from the slow food movement. We'll end the day on horseback, exploring eastern Sicily's countryside.
After breakfast we'll hop inside a helicopter for a magnificent tour of Mount Etna. An experienced pilot will give a bird's eye view of Mungibeddu (the beautiful mountain) and aid in uncovering the volcano's hidden treasures. Upon return to the estate, we'll gather in the kitchen where our host chef will lead us on a culinary adventure that ends with a belly full of handmade pasta. The late afternoon affords free time to explore a good book, work on a writing project, or take a stroll in the herb garden. After dinner, we'll meet outdoors for classic Italian cinema under the night sky.
Sleep in, or energize to a sunrise yoga practice. After breakfast, we'll discuss the latest savvy tech tools for writers, the best apps for discovering new literature, and our favorite foodie blogs. We'll travel to neighboring Taormina for lunch. Afternoon offers free writing and reading time on ancient ground, a Greek Theatre erected in the third century BC. Upon return to our estate, we'll dine hillside followed by a lively book club style discussion on stories inspired by Italian cuisine.
Our farewell breakfast will be followed by final reflections. We'll taxi you back to Catania Airport for a safe return home or transfer to your next destination.
September 13-17, 2019
itinerary is subject to vary slightly
open to a maximum of ten participants
Meals, Beverages & Snacks
Activities & Excursions
Catania Airport (CTA) Transfers
Your Choice of Accommodations
A Welcome Gift Inspired by the Locale
what's Not Included?
Your Flight (Airfare)
Health & Travel Insurance
The Shared Suite with Sofa-bed, luxury linen, organic towels and bathrobe, shared en-suite bathroom, shared writing desk and sitting area, fireplace, individually controlled air-conditioning, evening turndown service, and either mountain, vineyard, garden, or sea views. Only 2 available, maximum 2 persons per suite.
The Shared Suite with King-size bed, luxury linen, organic towels and bathrobe, shared en-suite bathroom, shared writing desk and sitting area, fireplace, individually controlled air-conditioning, evening turndown service, and either mountain, vineyard, garden, or sea views. Only 2 available, maximum 2 persons per suite.
The Private Room with King-size bed, luxury linen, organic towels and bathrobe, en-suite bathroom, writing desk, fireplace, individually controlled air-conditioning, evening turndown service, and either mountain, vineyard, garden, or sea views. Only 1 available, maximum 1 person per room.
The Couples Suite includes a King-size bed, luxury linen, organic towels and bathrobe, en-suite bathroom, writing desk, sofa/sofa bed and sitting area, fireplace, individually controlled air-conditioning, evening turndown service, open loft style or split level layout, and either mountain, vineyard, garden, or sea views. Only 2 available, maximum 2 persons per suite.
Your Guide & Our Mission
Each Story Rebels retreat is designed by our founder Malika Ali Harding - a writer and photographer with an interdisciplinary background in cinema and contemporary art. She meets literary nomads in breathtaking destinations around the world for writing, reading, and wellness. Working in collaboration with thought leaders in literature and oral storytelling, she aims to advance understanding of narrative forms by providing people opportunities to engage in story based adventures. Each travel experience supports and spotlights our social justice platform - fortifying organizations that fight the epidemic of mass incarceration in the United States.