Why Italy Is the Best Destination for Forest Bathing

Courtesy Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

The Japanese practice is being reinvigorated at Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco.

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Forest Bathing or "Shinrin Yoku" has grown in popularity recently after the scientifically studied benefits became widely known. The practice involves walking and exploring the woods and helps reduce stress and depression and lower blood pressure. And though it was born in Japan, Italy's forests and ancient trees are particularly effective.

While it is well known that walking among the trees has a positive impact on one's health, a forest can be even more effective on our health if its plants are capable of releasing particular substances from foliage: like monoterpenes or phytoncides. Mediterranean forests, in particular, are filled with these, according to experts.


Durston Saylor/Courtesy Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

"Forest Bathing in this area is extremely powerful as the Mediterranean forest and ancient trees are proven to be particularly effective in stimulating the immune system and reducing stress," Davide Bertilaccio, Regional Vice President and Managing Director at Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, told Departures. "April is also the best time of year as the trees are full of leaves, and guests can admire the greenery of the forest while listening to the sounds of nature."

To take advantage of this natural amenity, Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco—an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property—decided to host a Forest Bathing and Yoga retreat this April. Throughout the four-day program, Italian bio researcher and Forest Bathing expert Marco Nieri will lead slow, meditative walks amongst the enchanting woods of the estate. The yoga portion will then be taught by Italian Certified Anusara yoga instructor Alessandra Pergreffi who will lead guests through movement, meditation, and breathwork.


Durston Saylor/Courtesy Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

Plus, the retreat will kick off with a bioenergetic seminar at a sacred historical site in nature within the estate. During this time, participants will learn how ancient knowledge helped determine ideal locations for these iconic establishments, and the therapeutic powers of green spaces will be showcased with a stroll through the Tuscan hills and woodlands.


Courtesy Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

"We're thrilled to be hosting this inaugural retreat with a leading Italian Bioresearcher and Forest Bathing expert," added Bertilaccio. "With the pristine landscape of rolling woodlands, our bucolic Tuscan resort is the perfect environment to practice Forest Bathing. To complete the experience, we sought to reinvigorate the mindful walks by adding Anusara Yoga sessions to enhance physical and mental rejuvenation for our guests."

The retreat will be held from April 16–19, 2020, and starts at $2,095 per night in a Junior Suite.