Let's Meet in SICILY!
Escape with me. 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. I welcome you to join me for a delicious getaway with mountain and Mediterranean views.
for a carefree journey
I've done the homework for you. Just pack your bags, choose your flight, and meet me there. Each excursion is thoroughly researched. Every activity hand-picked. I've made sure your accommodations are not only clean and comfy, but designed to inspire. I understand the importance of stillness, so I work diligently to protect your peace. I take care of you, so you can nourish your creativity or indulge in quiet reading, writing, or savory reflection. I value the richness of gathering like minds, diverse in experience, from every corner of the globe, and make space for lively discourse. I highly respect our impact on the places we visit and offer deeper insight into local culture.
for A SENSUOUS experience
On arrival day, you'll be transported 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. I'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 on the yoga mats for an eastern sunrise practice. A fully organic breakfast is offered daily and sourced directly from the estate. We'll sit beside the lava stone pool for a writing workshop inspired by the food and flora of Sicily. 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 come together for a lively book club style discussion on stories influenced by Italian cuisine.
Sleep in, or energize to a sunrise yoga practice. After breakfast, we'll gather in the garden, olive groves, and vineyards of the estate for a photographic portrait session incorporating discoveries and observations made during the retreat. 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 then meet for an evening of classic Italian cinema under the night sky.
Our farewell breakfast will be followed by final reflections. You'll taxi you back to Catania Airport for a safe return home or transfer to your next destination.
September 13-17, 2019
open to a maximum of NINE 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, private sofa bed, 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. Perfect for travelers arriving solo - we’ll pair you with another guest. Maximum two creatives per suite. €2590 Per Person (SOLD OUT)
The Shared Suite with King-size bed, luxury linen, organic towels and bathrobe, private king bed, 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. Perfect for travelers arriving solo - we’ll pair you with another guest. Maximum two creatives per suite. €2990 Per Person (SOLD OUT)
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. Maximum one creative per room. €3790 Per Person (SOLD OUT)
The Friendship Suite includes a shared 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. Maximum one creative couple/friend-pair per suite. €5500 Per Couple/Friends (SOLD OUT)
Meet Your Host
Each Story Rebels experience is designed by founder Malika Ali Harding, an American writer and photographer based in Amsterdam. At the heart of her services is a desire to guide the world’s creative class toward greater well-being. She traverses the globe, making visual narratives inspired by her curiosity. When you support her studio, she also give back to organizations fighting the epidemic of mass incarceration in the United States. Malika earned her MFA in Screenwriting from the AFI Conservatory in Los Angeles and has spent the greater part of her adult life crafting indie films, organizing art exhibitions, and raising babies.
At Story Rebels, culture, creativity, and play are fused through immersive experiences that take participants out of their ordinary. Engaging workshops and retreats integrate writing with exploration to spark and nourish inspiration. Founded in February of 2018 by American writer and photographer, Malika Ali Harding, Story Rebels is headquartered in Amsterdam, but you can wander along wherever you find yourself on the map.