What is a coaching retreat? Until a few months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to answer this question. But after meeting a really inspiring coach and roaming around the Umbrian hills where the coaching retreat takes place, I feel I know enough to not only write about her retreat but also to vouch for the experience.

First, some clarity about what a coaching retreat is.  In Ilaria’s words, her Coaching Retreat is an inspiring and re-energising experience designed to make you rest, find clarity and gain personal balance.

Much more than a holiday, this coaching retreat is a week long residential experience designed for anyone going through a period of personal and professional transition.

The idea behind the retreat is that often we find it difficult to make important decisions because of fear and self-doubt. I think we have all experienced that: when we consider a new job or a change in life, it is normal to questions ourselves. We can’t have the certainty that we are making the right decision, often the decision involves some sort of real risk and the unknown is often worrying. After all, we don’t know it: having some anxiety about the outcome of a certain move is all but unnatural.

But sometimes our natural worry can take over and prevents us from making ANY move, leaving us stuck. When this happens, we might need time and guidance to center ourselves and gain clarity on what to do.

This retreat is designed to help you go through such times and regain self-awareness and self-confidence so you can make positive sustainable decisions.

The coaching retreat is facilitated by an amazing Italian woman, Ilaria, an experienced, professional career, and life coach and it offers a safe environment where you can pause and rest, taking a break from your routine. It will give you the chance to relax and reflect, but its dynamic and action-oriented approach will also help you get motivated and inspired to set personal goals and create a plan to achieve them.

Where does the retreat take place?

The coaching retreat takes place in Umbria, a land of rolling hills, olive groves, and medieval villages. Umbria is known as  ‘Italy’s green heart’ but as well as beautiful nature it flaunts some medieval gems such as the town of Orvieto, Narni, Perugia and St Francis’ hometown, Assisi.

The retreat is hosted in a lovely agriturismo (country house) near the medieval town of Todi and the beautiful Marmore waterfall, on the spiritual route of Cammino di San Francesco, less than 2 hours out of Rome by car.

An ancient country house, the agriturismo has been fully restored and equipped with all modern comforts as well as an outdoor swimming pool for guests, making it the ideal setting to experience the coaching process.


Next available dates: TBC  Please sign up to this blog (email sign up form on your right) to get info about the next retreat first!

How does it work?

The Coaching Retreat offers group workshops and individual coaching sessions.

Workshops are 2-hour long and take place daily while the 3 individual sessions are spaced throughout the week so that you can get the most out of the coaching process. Each individual session lasts 1 hour. Individual sessions are strictly confidential.

The retreat guarantees a safe, non-judgmental, nurturing and reinvigorating environment. The groups are kept small and the Retreat participants are the only guests during the Retreat week.

Who would be my coach?

The coach, Ilaria Dondero, is an experienced professional career and life coach who specialises in transition & change management. Ilaria is originally from Genoa, Italy, and has been living in Dublin for the past 10 years. All workshops and one to one sessions are held in English. Her approach to coaching is structured and dynamic, with a particular focus on actions.

You can learn more about your coach here.

What about accommodation?

Pucci Country House offers a mini-apartment and double en-suite bedrooms. Single rooms are available, but a single room supplement applies. Breakfast is served every morning in the restaurant and is made of a variety of local fresh products. Pucci Country House’s manager, Matteo, lives there with his family and he takes pride in offering a variety of Italian dishes and a selection of local specialties.

How much does it cost and what is included?

The Coaching Retreat takes place from Saturday to Friday, with 6 nights accommodation.  The cost of the Retreat includes:

  • 2-hours daily group coaching workshop
  • 3 1-hour individual coaching sessions
  • Accommodation, breakfast, lunch
  • 2 dinners
  • Evening cooking demonstration
  • Truffle and Wine taste evening
  • Fresh linen and towels
  • Daily room cleaning

Price: euro 1.480 per person

Please note: Flights, transport, personal insurance and meals other than the ones described are not included. The closest airport is Rome.

The Retreat week also offers the opportunity to explore Umbria’s culture, cuisine and natural environment. To make the most of your stay in Umbria, you can enjoy many additional activities that can be booked before or during your retreat week at an extra cost.

  • Canoeing, rafting and canyoning on the River Nera
  • Cycling
  • Exploring the Marmore’s Waterfall
  • Visiting Rocca of Narni, epic setting for C. S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Hillwalking on the Cammino of San Francesco
  • Olives harvesting (subject to seasonality)


So what do you think: would you like to get clarity in the heart of Italy?


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