If you haven’t met before, we’d like to introduce you to the volcano. This is where we do our Ridiculously Relaxed Retreat. Stromboli.
Not ‘Vulcano’, a nearby volcanic island (with a dormant volcano) from where we get the word ‘volcano’,
but the volcano of STROMBOLI, majestic, beautiful Stromboli sitting amongst the Eolian islands, north of Sicily.
‘Introduce’ you, because it does feel like a relationship you develop with this island,
more than anywhere else we’ve come across in fact.
Maybe this inclination to anthropomorphise, or deify, as many generations of inhabitants would have done, is because it feels so ALIVE.
It is after all a live volcano.
It has a very particular effect of being in near constant eruption (and has been so for the last 2-5000 years).
And this phenomenon, when observed in other volcanoes, is called ‘Strombolian’ activity.
So let us introduce you to Stromboli or Iddu, as s/he is known locally.
And we hope that you’ll want a relationship with Iddu too,
not like the vast majority of tourists, who sit bobbing in boats under the ‘sciara del fuoco’,
where you best see the fireworks, as the sky darkens and Iddhu puts on a show.
Or like those who go for the one-night-stand option,
staying the night on the island (and remember, the island is the volcano, there’s nothing on the island that’s not volcano), doing some hiking for a view and a taste of AWE, but then hydro-foiling off somewhere else, Stromboli ticked off on their list.
No, starting a relationship means living on Iddu for at least a week.
Getting familiar with the half-hourly-thunder-clap-like BOOMS of the eruptions.
.. Wandering down the scented, blossomed narrow lanes, passing brightly-coloured gates leading through cactus gardens to numerous white-washed residences, tipping towards the numerous bays, where the warm water laps not crashes.
Meeting the locals, those who live on this distant island through stormy winters long after the sun seekers have returned to their cities, those who left themselves for Australia when times were hard decades ago, but were drawn back to the beauty of Iddu to complete their lives where the earth is most alive.
Eating the Sicilian food: brioche with sorbetto for breakfast, yes, pizzas being pulled from packed ovens as hot as one of the craters above them, arancini, cannoli, and a gelato to finish off the day (maybe infused with limoncello or made from fresh figs).
Hiking the dusty paths of the island along cliff tops as the sun drops over the lip of the earth to watch Iddu’s photogenic show.
The first time you see that lava dribbling down the slope, you think it’s coming your way, but it fizzles out or drips slowly into the ocean.
And bound up intimately in this developing relationship with Iddu,
when you come to Stromboli with us,
is your journey into relaxation and yourself.
Stromboli is the only place we teach ‘Being Ridiculously Relaxed’,
and the Qigong, Neigong and deep practices that will send you into spaces you’ve never been to before.
Because Stromboli is not just a relaxing place to be.
(Though it is a relaxing place… your hotel right on the beach, the warm sea, the slow pace, just being in Italia).
Stromboli, Iddu, has an energy to it.
And if you relax enough, and stand on the earth, or the beach, you can feel it.
When we manage to relax, REALLY relax,
we’ll get in touch with our energy, and our life force, and it’s not only calm.
And it’s the same with Stromboli.
Stromboli is earth-force (the magma of the earth venting through it’s cone) and it so beautifully nurtures our life-force.
So join us for some Ridiculous Relaxation, standing and sitting on a roof-top, with the booming volcano above us, the warm sea in front of us, and the fiery-energy-buzzing earth beneath us.
And start your relationship with Stromboli, Iddu…
the setting (as well as for films) for where those who went on a Journey to the Centre of the Earth in Jules Vernes’ classic emerged back to the surface of the earth, up through the volcanic crater and back to civilisation, initially in the form of the fishermen of the island.
Yup, this could be your ‘Journey to the Centre of Yourself’,
that warm, relaxed centre that’s (actually) always there, but so rarely accessed.
John & Gaia xx
P.S. And this is a shot from the cave where, a couple of years ago, we were doing Qigong in the morning, with people on the beach, in the sun, others in the cool shade of the cave. This cave is not always accessible (without a bit of swimming), but if it is, we’ll be in there.
Otherwise, we’ll be in another bay, another beach, in rock-shade or on sum-warmed black volcanic sand.