The Nature of F**k It Retreats
Do people come on their own?
Yes. Actually, many of our guests come on their own. Of course, some people come with their partners… some people come in small groups… but most people come on their own (sometimes leaving partners and families at home as they get a bit of me-time). You’ll meet a group of like-minded people and, in our experience, make friends for life.
What is a typical day like?
The precise schedule is likely to change dependent on the venue and season (at Stromboli, for example, we’re likely to have two sessions a day). At Urbino, the sessions take place in the morning (after breakfast, and running up to lunch-time), the rest of the day is yours, so there’s plenty of time to explore the fabulous estate, have massage or sit around in the spa.
When do the sessions start?
The first day is your arrival day, so there are no sessions then, just a welcome in the evening at 6.30pm and chance for you to settle in and relax.
The first session then starts on the following day in the morning.
In the same way your final day is your departure day and there are no sessions on this day – just breakfast and tearful goodbyes.
Do you do yoga at your retreats?
We don’t run yoga retreats like we did at ‘The Hill That Breathes’. And we don’t teach classic yoga in the F**k It Weeks, though we do teach Qigong, which some people call the Chinese yoga.
It doesn’t involve asanas, but involves slow movements, breathing and energy practice.
Many people who do Qigong and are also yogis, say that it deeply benefits their yoga (with Qigong you become much more flexible and more in touch with Prana and Breath).
We also do breathwork in the F**k It Weeks, which will have an effect on the yoga breathing. But most of all F**k It Weeks are great fun and they change your life.
Are F**k It Retreats child-friendly?
Generally we would say no to anyone under the age of 18, not for the adult content but because they generally just don’t engage with it. Also there is no specific childcare or provision for younger children at the venues.
What are the weeks like and how are they run?
There is a full description of the weeks and contents under each week in the Calendar. Gaia adds – “The weeks are certainly transformational, but not in the way that we’ll make you (or you’ll make yourself) a better person, but that you will realise that you are okay as you are, and that your life can be an expression of that, rather than an attempt to improve or prove something to you or others. When people see that, they also see the poetry of life, or its spirituality, as they lose this feeling of searching and striving, and general hard work to get somewhere: making space for the beauty of what is. This beauty is always there, it’s just that often we can’t see it. Just like our beauty. It’s always there.”
What age range are your weeks?
We have guests in their 20’s and others in their 70’s. The rest are somewhere in between. Age doesn’t matter on a F**k It Retreat: it’s the state of mind that matters.
Is there disability access at the venues?
We’re finding that the best-equipped hotel for those with a disability is the Urbino Estate & Spa. The main house has a lift (going straight to the bar and lounge) to take you from your room (with its accessible bathroom/wet room). The spa is then close by and their staff can help whenever you want. They’ll have the restaurant on the ground floor. And they have a golf cart, if you want to explore their vast estate.
Travel, Arrival and Departure
On what days do I arrive and leave?
If you look at the course dates, you arrive and leave on those dates. So if the dates are Thursday to Thursday (which some of them are), you arrive on the Thursday afternoon, and leave on the following Thursday morning. There are then sessions on the six days in between.
What time should we arrive and depart?
For arrival, it’s best to check in between 3 & 6pm. For departure, please check out before 11am.
Which is the best airport for my retreat?
We have detailed travel information on each of our gorgeous retreat locations on
our Travel page.
Can I buy train tickets at the stations?
Yes you can use the automatic machines if you fancy: there’s an option for English.
In Italy you usually have to get your ticket stamped before you get on the train, using machines dotted around the station. You’ll probably see other people doing it, so just follow their example.
Is there parking at the venues?
Urbino, yes. Stromboli, no cars are allowed on the island.
I’m trying to calculate train journey times from the airport to the nearest station, can you help me?
A great site for calculating times of trains and duration of journeys is: www.trenitalia.com.
I’m trying to work out the specific details of travel to the venue once I leave the airport. Do you have any more tips on how to get there?
We do offer some more detail about your getting to the venues in your holiday pack, which we send to you a couple of weeks before your holiday. But I’m afraid we can’t give details for all possible journey variations.
Weather and what to bring with you
What’s the weather likely to be like during the week I’m interested in?
Given that we’re now running F**k It Retreats from different venues in Italy, the likely weather for each week does vary. In Urbino, near where we live, summer usually kicks off some time in April. Up ‘til that point it can still be very cold. The summer is usually warm and dry – though it’s rarely scorchingly hot (especially at night) as we’re close to the mountains. And it continues that way until some time in October.
Stromboli is in the south of Italy, so it’s likely to be dry and warm (and hot) during the day.
Clearly, though, when it comes to the weather, we can’t guarantee anything. But, whatever the weather, you’re likely to have a wonderful time on a F**k It Retreat.
What should I bring with me on a F**k It Retreat?
We will send you a holiday pack a couple of weeks before your holiday with ideas of what to bring.
What should I wear to the sessions?
It depends on your week, but many of the sessions involve some light exercise, so do wear loose comfortable clothing.
Prices, Payments & Bookings
How early do I need to book? Will the week fill up soon?
Many of our weeks fill up very quickly. It’s always worth booking early so you’re not disappointed (also, certain room types are limited dependent on the venues).
Is there a benefit if I’ve been before?
Yes. If you’ve been to anything at The Hill That Breathes (the retreat we used to run), or you’ve already been to a F**k It Retreat, you get ‘perks’ depending on how many times you’ve been.
Do you have prices in Pounds Sterling please?
We set our prices in euros (as all our costs are in euros)… if you want to know how much this is when converted to pounds, a good site is www.xe.com.
Do I need to pay everything up front?
If you’re booking earlier than six weeks before the holiday, then we ask for just a first instalment (often equivalent to about half the holiday value). The second instalment is then due six weeks before the holiday.
If you’re booking within the last six weeks, we’ll take you through the payments, as they vary venue-to-venue.
What would be the cost for attending half the course?
No, I’m afraid we can’t offer part-weeks. The courses are week-long, and designed for those who want to stay the full week. And we do tend to book up for all our weeks.
Can I stay at the venue a couple of extra nights?
Yes, you usually can. Just ask us and we’ll get a good price for you from the venue.
Are the UK weekend and day events residential and is accommodation included?
They are not residential: we’ve chosen locations in London where it’s easy to find nearby accommodation. There are also many eateries nearby the locations. But you could always bring a packed lunch if you prefer.
When will your calendar for next year be released?
We usually have the following year’s calendar ready by the end of October. If you’re on our mailing list, you’ll be the first to know when it is ready. If you’re not, then do subscribe (just register using the form below)… as you’ll also get regular bits of wisdom from John & Gaia.
Sign-up to stay in touch with us
Got a Question?
Email us at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you.