23.11.2018. Le Sirenuse
Positano has its heart torn between two demanding lovers, the sea and the land. Many visitors only ever discover the first, incarnated in a swooningly beautiful, much-photographed seaside town with a vocation for easy living, excellent cuisine and an innate sense of style. But positanesi are always looking upwards, drawn to the mountains that cradle the town in their embrace. Not as wild as they appear from a distance, the hills above the town are dotted with kitchen gardens, olive and lemon groves, remote chapels, monasteries and shrines, and lofty perched villages like Montepertuso and Nocelle. Steep slopes are criss-crossed by ancient mule paths built and maintained by the community over centuries. Once these were busy thoroughfares; today they have taken on a new life as footpaths and trekking routes.
At Le Sirenuse, we have always kept alive this link with our rugged hinterland – by sourcing local produce from terraced plots, mountain farms and producers of ‘heroic’ Amalfi Coast wines, by leading walking tours up the famous 1,700 steps to the village of Nocelle, by encouraging out guests to visit the many food and craft artisans that lead vertical lives up in the hills. Many of our staff members have close family links with these mountain communities.
Lived to the full, Positano is a yin and yang place of unique natural balance, of sea and hills, elegance and rusticity, exertion and repose. We have decided to celebrate this healthy, holistic way of life with a new initiative, to be launched in March 2019: Dolce Vitality, a weeklong fitness, detox and weight-loss retreat set against the majestic backdrop of the Amalfi Coast. Tough but life-affirming, it takes place just twice a year, in the peace of early spring and late fall, when this natural paradise sparkles like a freshly painted canvas.
True to the grounded, local spirit of the retreat, we have drawn on talents and energies in our midst to help us translate a long-held dream into reality. Talents like our hotel works manager, a keen trail runner and Positano ‘Iron Man’ deeply rooted in the culture and ecology of the Amalfi Coast mountains he traverses, who will lead guests on vigorous morning hill-treks with sweeping coastal views. Our spa manager, a Tramonti mountain girl who honed her technique and skills in Rome, Florence and Milan, will oversee a programme of massages and spa treatments that aim to “reawaken the five senses that get dulled by the noise and stress of modern life”, while our resident fitness coach will take Dolce Vitality guests through a series of low-impact strength training exercises designed to restore muscle tone and activate body and mind. Finally, Michelin-starred chef Gennaro Russo, who grew up in the agricultural hinterland of Naples, will channel his passion for genuine, locally-sourced ingredients into a calorie-controlled vegan menu that is both healthy and delicious.
Dolce Vitality guests will also engage in mindful dawn and dusk yoga sessions, delve deep into the area’s rich art, history and geology, scale Mount Vesuvius, one of the world’s most famous active volcanoes, and venture underground to visit Positano’s fascinating, recently-discovered Roman villa. All this in a hotel open exclusively for a score of privileged Dolce Vitality guests, making this a unique opportunity not only to shed a few extra pounds, but to discover the quiet, unhurried Positano of the positanesi, as the resort wakes up, stretches, and prepares for the new season, or winds down and relaxes at the end of the old one.
Just twenty places are available on each of two annual retreats (six nights, Sunday to Saturday) at a cost of €6,000 per person, irrespective of whether guests are individual participants in single-occupancy rooms or couples who wish to share. Enquire now about Dolce Vitality Spring 2019 (24-30 March) and Fall 2019 (3-9 November).
For more information, visit the Dolce Vitality website at sirenuse.it/dolcevitality