I specialize in trips to Italy because, as the son of an Italian mother, I grew up in Italy for 4 years, and later I have traveled from north to south of Italy as a gymnastics and dance teacher since 1988, both to learn Italian dances and folk culture as well as Southeast European dances to teach in many cities.
My first dance journey with partecipants went to Tuscany in 1992, more precisely to the Maremma, where I found the most beautiful dance room in Tuscany in Podere Novo: with a wooden sprung floor and a wide view over the gentle hills to the sea. My holiday workshops with gymnastic, dance and excursions to places of scenic, historical and cultural interest took place here about 20 times: Etruscan sites, gardens and parks such as the tarot garden of Niki de St. Phalle or the park of Daniel Spoerri, warm sulfur springs of Saturnia. ..
In 1995 the wonderful seminar room in Umbria was added. On the ruins of a small old church, Santi Borgni built a meditation and dance room. When the door is open, the light of the "green heart of Italy" pours in. And on the patio in the courtyard there is vegetarian food, Indian, Italian, fantastic. A simple but beautiful way of life close to nature - of course I always take the participants to nearby Assisi to commemorate our brother Franz.
In 1998 Ischia was added as a destination: an Hotel with a dance terrace by the sea, its own sandy bay, family atmosphere, where Mama Maria and Uncle Aldo still cook and the guests arrive by boat. Sometimes sit intimately in the "own" hot thermal spring in the sea, sometimes visit one of the large thermal baths of Ischia in a sophisticated way, then climb the Epomeo as fit as a fiddle and enjoy an aperitif or an ice cream at "Calise" in the evening.
In 2005 I went to Salento/Apulia with participants for the first time, after meeting the well-known pizzica (tarantella) researcher Giorgio Di Lecce in 2001. He had founded the dance and music group ARAKNE MEDITERRANEA, which was one of the first to publicize the folk culture of Salento again: dance until you drop - and get up healthy again. In addition to the 9 communities in which griko, the ancient Greek of the ancestors, is still spoken, the excursion program includes the enchanting cities of Otranto and Gallipoli, the impressive provincial capital Lecce and of course the wide sandy beaches and rocky coasts.
From my numerous trips and seminars, I also know many original places in Calabria that look forward to guests visiting and, despite their seclusion, meet and exceed the standard of accommodation that normal Central Europeans expect. Tiriolo, for example: no one knows who hasn't already been there, and it was already inhabited in ancient times. Even Odysseus is said to have been here, with the king of the Phaeacians. From Tiriolo you can see 2 seas: the Ionian and the Tyrrhenian. At the festival of San Rocco in Gioiosa Ionica, hundreds and more dance and jump through the streets. I don't know of any faster tarantella than the one from Reggio Calabria.
The Aeolian Islands. I lived in Alicudi, the westernmost of the Aeolian or Aeolian Islands, in 2003-2004 and have come to appreciate these "Pearls of Sicily" for their wild beauty and diversity. During my stay in Alicudi, I held a dance seminar that ended with a dance party in front of the village church, with a view of the sea as far as Sicily - fantastic. A dance seminar by the sea on the island of Salina followed in 2006. Salina, the greenest of these volcanic islands, has 2 crater mountains over 800 meters high. Of course, I climbed one of them, the partially wooded one, with the participants to enjoy the wonderful view of the pearls of Sicily with red wine, focaccia and pecorino.
Sicily - Trinacria, as it was called in ancient times - was the destination of my dance, hiking and cultural trips from 2020 to 2022. I traveled through the island for 2 weeks with the participants, following in the footsteps of the Phoenicians, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Staufers, who settled the island, walked over the 2000-year-old mosaic floors of the Villa Romana, danced in ancient amphitheaters and hiked on Mount Etna. And before or after: relax for a week or two on the island of Alicudi, without cars, only on the move with mules or on foot, lying on the mini beach or on the boulders, falling asleep at night to the rolling of the waves and pebbles and in the morning to the screams of the Waking up with kestrels and marveling at the play of wind and light on the islands of Aeolos...Name me, Muse, the man who experienced the island so freely! (loosely adapted from Homer's Odyssey)