See last-minute deals on remaining spotsBook by May 23

Extended through June 1

Art of Being | Sicily Retreat

June 24 – July 1, 2023

Join us for this signature Art of Being retreat as we join mindful-awareness meditation and contemplative art-making in a nurturing and supportive community.

  • Reconnect with your innate capacity for creative expression
  • Learn to use contemplative arts as a path of personal growth
  • See your life as part of a larger human tapestry
  • Learn meditation practices you can take back into your daily life

Pictureque seaside town of Cefalù

Join us for a week of personal and creative discovery at the Masseria San Giovanni Sgadari in Sicily. Art of Being is a unique retreat program joining mindful-awareness meditation with contemplative arts experiences designed to help you see yourself and your life from a new perspective.

Each day you will be guided through practices you can take back into your daily life. These are woven together with contemplative art experiences intended to cultivate your innate capacity for artistic expression. No experience in meditation or art required. The process is more important than the work we produce.


  • DAY 1: LANDING | Welcome to San Giovanni Sgadari! Settle in at 5pm for a brief introduction to our meditation practice, and an overview of the week ahead as you get to know your co-participants over a welcome dinner.
  • DAY 2: FINDING YOUR LINE | Let go of fear and hesitation as we bring our whole selves to the line on the page in an exploration of mindful awareness, line drawing, and mark-making.
  • DAY 3: HARNESSING THE ELEMENTS | The elements of earth, water, air, and fire surround us and flow through us. A variety of meditation and art practices will allow us to tap into each of these elements and give visual expression to our experience of them.
  • DAY 4: A MAP OF CURIOSITY | The questions that captivate our curiosity and wonder bring insight into what makes us come alive as a unique human being. We will use the art of map-making to chart these curiosities and see how they have shaped our lives.
  • DAY 5: A LARGER TAPESTRY | Explore how our lives are woven into the larger human tapestry. What unique threads of culture, history, family, and ancestry came together to weave your one-and-only, singular human experience?
  • DAY 6: BEING IN THE WORLD | Everything in nature has a way of being. We will see what nature has to tell us about our own way of being in the world. We will explore our path forward, integrating what we have harvested this week.
  • DAY 7: PICTURES & WORDS | The beautiful seaside town of Cefalù, with its towering Norman cathedral housing some of the world’s finest Byzantine mosaics, will be the setting for an exploration of contemplative photography and poetry.
  • DAY 8: DEPARTURE | Enjoy a full breakfast before departing at 10am.


My connection to Sicily begins on a ship, the S.S. Patria, which left the port of Palermo in October 1914. As a young child, I used to listen to the stories of my great uncle who told me about crossing the ocean on that ship as a boy. He told me of watching a moving picture on the ship, a flickering film of a horse running. He told me about the village of Vallelunga, where our family worked the land for hundreds of years. Vallelunga stayed in my imagination until the day in 2012, when I stepped off a train there and brought that journey of the S.S. Patria full circle.

Our world is in a state of rapid change, flux, and uncertainty. People are on the move today in search of basic needs, just as the family of my grandparents was swept up in a wave of migration in 1914.

It is important that we find a still point in this turbulent world, that we come to know ourselves and tell our story as only we can tell it. It is important that we come to see our individual lives as an integral piece of a much larger human tapestry. To do so is to become more fully human, more fully our true selves.  – Michael Anderson


Michael Anderson is a certified art teacher and meditation trainer. He has been teaching in schools across the world for twenty-five years and has founded Art of Being as a way of helping more people connect with their natural creative capacity. He believes that everyone is an artist, that art is an expression of our authentic selves, and that contemplative practice creates a space where authentic art making can arise.


The location of a retreat is important, for it is the fertile ground of transformation. Arriving through the meandering country roads into the hamlet of San Giovanni Sgadari will feel like coming home. The Masseria farm estate has been in the hands of Maria Antonietta Sgadari’s family for over 300 years, and she is passionate about sharing her family traditions and welcoming programs like ours into the heart of this special place. There is no better person than her to introduce you to the magic of San Giovanni Sgadari. Enjoy this brief video introduction.

Located in the Madonie Mountain region in the heart of Sicily, the property sits on a secluded

hillside and features a centuries-old labyrinth garden and oak forest with a small river running through it.

The certified organic farm produces virgin olive oil, wheat, vegetables, fruit, and jam, which are used in the preparation of wholesome vegetarian meals.

The perfect location for a country retreat, the Masseria features a large terrace with panoramic views of the valley and surrounding mountains, charming stone cottages, a swimming pool, and large communal spaces for meditation, yoga, dining, and relaxation.

Sicilian Hospitality

Enjoy the warmth of your Sicilian hosts, delight in the authentic atmosphere of the period architecture and furnishings that surround you, be nurtured by the simple, healthy meals provided by our local chef. Many of the natural ingredients come from the farm itself and the surrounding region. Meals are vegetarian with vegan and gluten-free options available. Please let us know of any other dietary restrictions you may have. Rest assured, we will accommodate your needs to ensure your comfort, health, and well-being throughout your stay in Sicily!


The Masseria offers two room categories: The Deluxe Farmhouse Room is a classic private room with en-suite bath in the main farmhouse building. A collection of stone cottages overlooking the valley offer two additional options. Each Cottage (2-3 occupants) features a double/twin bedroom and a living room with kitchenette, bath, and outdoor patio space. Shared cottages feature additional bedding in the living room area, partitioned with a floor-to-ceiling curtain. All rates include 7 nights accommodation and all meals.


Last-minute deals on remaining spots! *

Scholarship Rate
Shared Cottage
(1 Person)
  • Only 1 Scholarship Left
SINGLE Cottage /
Farmhouse Room
(1 Person)
  • Limited Spots Available
DOUBLE Cottage /
Farmhouse Room
(2 People)
  • Limited Spots Available
Personal Retreat
Lodging & Meals Only
(1 Person)
  • 2 Spots Available
  • Discounted rates good through 11:59pm CET on June 1, 2023. No other discounts or coupons may be combined with Flash Sale, Scholarship, or Personal Retreat rates, which already include significant discounts from the regular accommodation rates.

Room CategoryOccupancyRate
COTTAGE ROOM SingleSINGLE occupancy, SHARED bath1,790 € (1 Person)
DELUXE FARMHOUSE RoomSINGLE occupancy, PRIVATE bath1,790 € (1 Person)
PRIVATE COTTAGE DoubleDOUBLE occupancy, PRIVATE bath2,980 (2 People)
DELUXE FARMHOUSE Room*DOUBLE occupancy, PRIVATE bath2,980 € (2 People)
PERSONAL RETREATLodging Determined 14 days before749 € (1 Person)

Come for your own personal retreat at San Giovanni Sgadari. Join our Art of Being community for three delicious meals each day and our optional 30-minute morning and evening meditation practice sessions. Spend the rest of your time how you please! Work on a creative project, hike in the mountains, or simply enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Spots are limited and personal retreat lodging assignments will be determined on a space-available basis 14 days before the program begins.


  • 7 nights accommodation, towel, sheets, and 1 room cleaning per week
  • 3 Wholesome vegetarian meals each day
  • Non-alcoholic beverages (juice, tea, coffee) & snacks each day
  • Excursion transport to Cefalù
  • Use of meditation cushions and mats
  • Basic art materials, including dry and wet media, paper, and brushes (please bring any specific materials you wish to work with, as well as a journal or sketchbook)

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Airport shuttle from/to Catania (CTA) airport may be booked for an additional fee of 50 € each way*. The shuttle is offered on arrival day (3pm from CTA)) & departure day (10am from the Masseria). Travel time is approximately 2 hours. *Fare is per person based on minimum of 3 people booking the shuttle service. With 2 people, the rate is €75 per person. Rate for 1 person is €150 each way.

Terms & Conditions

Please read all Terms & Conditions before booking.


Get a glimpse for the feel of our program. Join a FREE online workshop in March and April!

AoB | Online Home Retreat
Special FREE Spring Offer!

LIVE Zoom Sessions from Sicily & Hours of Rich Course Content

MAR 26, APR 2, APR 16, 2023