The Rather Helpful F**k It Retreats Holiday Pack (for The Hill)

Yippee, you’re coming to Italy!

This little document will help you pack correctly, get on the right plane, train, and arrive at the correct address, in the easiest and most enjoyable way. 

Actually, before we really get stuck in – we need to make something clear – as we get a lot of questions about it –

You’re going to be travelling on the start and end dates of your retreat –
Eg. If your retreat is June 29- July 6, you’ll be travelling over on 29th and aiming to arrive at The Hill between 3-7pm (7pm is when we have an introductory chat). And then you’ll be leaving on the 6th July (usually after breakfast, but that clearly depends on your flights).
Inbetween those days are 6 days of sessions, and they’re usually in the morning (so in the above example, there would be sessions on the 30th June and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th July).

So you’re on your way to The Hill That Breathes, also known as ‘Villa Marsi’, as it’s the Marsi family that runs The Hill.

First, some ideas of what to bring:

Well, bring everything you’d normally bring on holiday of course (including swimmers as there is a lovely pool at The Hill).

  • Plus some shoes or sturdy trainers that you can walk in as there are some lovely walks to do around the 100 acres of woods at The Hill.
  • Bring comfortable clothing for the sessions – remember we’ll be doing some gentle exercises and some moving around… you don’t need full lycra gear, but it’s best not to wear heels and a mini-skirt.
  • Bring a waterproof or equivalent just in case.
  • Do bring gear in case it gets chilly (even in high summer there might be times when it gets a bit chilly in the evening) – and bring thick socks (or slippers if that’s your thing) for the sessions.
  • A notebook. And pen. Or pencil. Or crayon.

Some Italian words for your trip:

grazie (grat-see-ay): thanks
per favore (pear-fav-or-ay): please
buongiorno (boo-on-jaw-no): hello (during the day)
buonasera (boo-on-a-sarah): hello (in the evening)
ciao (chow): hello / bye, but very informal for friends or kids
sono inglese (so-no-in-glay-say): I’m English
non ho capito (non-oh-cap-ee-toe): I haven’t got a clue what you’re on about old chap (follow this with ‘sono inglese’)
pizza (pizza): pizza
gelato (gel-ah-toe): ice cream
acqua (ack-wa): water
che caldo (kay-kal-doe): My goodness, it’s hot
che bello/a (kay-bell-o/a): How beautiful
scusi (scu-zee): Excuse me
vorrei (vo-ray): I would like
andare (and-are-ay): To go
come ti chiami (komay tee kiamee): what’s your name
this is my phone number: just write it down and give it to them

Some thoughts on the weather:

We all want the weather to be gorgeous for your week. But sometimes it’s not.
If it’s not, it’s unlikely you’ll have a whole week of bad weather.

The great thing about a retreat like this is that you’ll have a great time whatever the weather… for a variety of reasons: you’re doing sessions for a few hours a day for a start; and The Hill has great indoor spaces so you’ll be hanging out with new friends (so an afternoon drinking tea, or playing games, or something else, with these new friends, looking out over the hill surrounding The Hill would be rather pleasant).

Okay, weather details: we know the weather in Urbino very well, as we live used to live there:

Spring can have some gorgeous days, even very warm (ie. t-shirt weather) but there might also be some cold days. So pack for different conditions.

The pool will be open when The Hill is open, so you can have a dip whatever the weather.

Summer usually kicks off at some time in April. Up ’til that point it can still be cold (yes, often with snow in deep winter). The summer is usually long, warm and dry. The warmest month is July, closely followed by June and August. And if you’re bothered by heat, you’re unlikely to have a problem at The Hill.  Even just the warmest times, there’s often a breeze at The Hill. And the fabulous thing is that, because you’re in the hills, it’s almost always somewhat cooler at night (than, say, the coast, where air-con is a must when it’s hot) so you’ll be okay sleeping.

Autumn / Winter…  well, we’ve noticed that there’s often a real change in the weather around mid-October.  That’s when it can become colder.  And autumn cosy.  And it really is cosy.  We love this season.


If you prefer to do the research yourself, you’re aiming to get to Villa Marsi, Via Ca’ Loreto, 3, Urbino (PU) 61029.

This, though, is how people generally get to The Hill.


The best two airports to aim for are Bologna and Ancona (and sometimes Rimini too, which is about the same distance on the train to Pesaro as Ancona is). We, and most guests, tend to fly to Bologna unless we’re getting a great deal into Ancona.

Bologna (Marconi) Airport is the larger, but a little further away. You get a lot of choice because many airlines fly there (and back!).  Eg. From the UK, you will find flights from at least Easyjet, Ryanair and British Airways.

Ancona Airport is smaller, but closer to The Hill, and with less choice of airlines (though Ryanair do fly there regularly).  Do check it though, as the prices tend to be good.

From the airport to The Hill

So, from Bologna airport to The Hill, door-to-door:

The shuttle-bus to Bologna railway station is just outside the airport (turn right as you exit the airport) and runs regularly. You can buy the ticket on the bus itself (about €6). The railway station is the last stop (or was every time we took it). It takes about 20 minutes.

When you get to the railway station, buy a ticket for a train to ‘Pesaro’ (if you want to pre-check train times, etc, take a look on  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.  The journey to Pesaro is about 2 hours, but does vary depending on the number of stops. (Do note that there are two different entrances at the station, one for the faster trains, one for the trains that make local stops and, rather confusingly, they have two sets of platforms, numbered in the same way, so make sure you’re on the correct Platform 2 if ‘2’ is your platform).

Once you’ve arrived at Pesaro, go directly outside the railway station and get a taxi to The Hill. We have agreed on a special price for the taxis from Pesaro to The Hill with taxi driver boss and friend, Mattia. The prices are in the full price list further down this page.

There are always plenty of taxis outside the station, but not all of them have a deal with us. So the best thing to do is to text Mattia, the boss (not mafia boss, taxi boss) on: +39 348 264 7775 once you are on the train, and let him know your name, arrival time in Pesaro and that you are part of the F**k It group. He’ll have one of his taxi drivers (who have agreed the price and know where The Hill is) waiting for you at the station. Specifically, they will wait outside the main entrance (the station is small), holding a sign with your name on it.

From Ancona Airport to The Hill, door-to-door:

There is a shuttle-bus to the closest railway station (Falconara Marittima -15 minutes, not Ancona which is further away). The shuttle-bus is just outside the airport (turn left as you exit the airport), but the buses are every hour. You also can get a taxi to the Falconara Marittima train station, it costs €15 and it takes 10 minutes.

From this station catch the first train to Pesaro (remember to stamp your ticket before you get on the train, using machines dotted around the station). Once in Pesaro follow the same instructions as above (in the section from Bologna) to get to The Hill.

From Rimini Airport to The Hill, door-to-door: 

Take a bus or taxi from the airport to the train station (Rimini).

From this station catch the first train to Pesaro (remember to stamp your ticket before you get on the train, using machines dotted around the station). Once in Pesaro follow the same instructions as above (in the section from Bologna) to get to The Hill.

Taxi Prices:

This is a guide to the prices that Mattia offers.
If you find that the prices quoted are different, please let us know (it means they’ve gone up).

Taxis are priced for a regular car (ie. capable of seating 4 people) or a larger vehicle (capable of seating 8 people).

‘Holidays’ refer to Sundays and bank holidays.

From Pesaro station, regular car – €65 (holidays €75)
From Pesaro station, larger vehicle – €100 (holidays €110)

From Ancona airport, regular car – €155 (holidays €175)
From Ancona airport, larger vehicle – €230 (holidays €240)

From Bologna airport, regular car – €255 (holidays €280)
From Bologna airport, larger vehicle – €400 (same on holidays)

If you would like to get a taxi directly from one of the airports, arrange it before your trip with Mattia – call: +39 348 264 7775 or e-mail (he speaks English and he’s really nice).

Address and full name of the Venue (to give the taxi driver, but Mattia’s taxis know the destination):

Villa Marsi,
Via Ca’ Loreto, 3,
Urbino (PU)



If you need to contact Sandor or Christa Marsi, who run The Hill… for example, if you’re arriving late, you can email them –
Of, if you really need to, you can call them –
0039 0722 345 128

If you need to contact the John & Gaia Team, please use the normal email (ie.

Once you arrive at The Hill.

So, you’re aiming to be arriving before between 3 & 7pm.

When you get to the venue, the Marsis will welcome you and take you to your room.

You can then do what you fancy – rest, go for a walk, visit the pool for your first dip of the week or have a drink or a snack (it is worth having lunch on your way over).

We meet as a group at 7pm with a brief intro from the Marsis and from us. In that meeting you’ll also be asked about any dietary requirements (even if you’ve told us in the booking process please tell the Marsis about any requirements you have). After this brief meeting, we’ll enjoy dinner together at around 8pm. The sessions will start the next morning.

If you know you will be arriving after 8pm please e-mail the Marsis, so they can put some food aside for you.

A Typical Day:

After a gorgeous breakfast, there will be a gorgeous session – lasting all morning – then a gorgeous lunch, followed by a gorgeous free afternoon (think lounging by the pool, walks, chats, Urbino, ice cream, etc.) and to finish off, a gorgeous dinner, drinks, laughs, then a gorgeous bed. What a gorgeous life.

There are no sessions on arrival and departure day.


There will be extras at The Hill – wine, bottled water, snacks, etc..  You can pay at the end of the week.

You’ll need some cash for taxis, ice creams in Urbino and any local craft items or naff tourist trinkets that take your fancy.

A-ha, last thing to say (in case you haven’t read this anywhere else).  If you’re thinking about spending a night or two extra at The Hill, please do contact the Marsis directly to book that.  And do explain that you’re coming for a John & Gaia Retreat but that you want that extra night(s) – so they can make sure you have the same room (if it’s available).

That’s it then, we look forward to seeing you soon / later (depending on when you’re reading this).

Ciao & love,
John & Gaia x