Trips to Italy

La Verna, Italy

La Verna, Italy, one of the “Places of the Higher Self”

Catherine and her husband Dr. Kees den Biesen organize and lead small groups to discover the hidden wonders of Italy which holds a special place in their hearts. From 2001 to 2007, they lived north of Rome in a 13th century stone house which they partly restored. Before that Kees spent four years studying theology in Rome. They have recently moved back to Umbria after missing the people, land, and sacred light too much.

Places to the Higher Self, 18-23 September 2017

Continuing with the theme of “Synthesis,” after the International Meeting at Casa Assagioli,  we travel east to visit medieval churches and mountain hermitages, allow our souls to soar from La Verna, discover beautiful villages and, of course, enjoy the cucina locale. During this five-day journey, you will have a chance to discover places of transcendence in the green heart of Italy – in the forest-covered Tuscan and Umbrian Apennines, the home of many generations of seekers and saints of the transpersonal. We hope you can join us. For more information, see A Journey to Places of the Higher Self.

Dante Trips in the Casentino

Past trips have included a small group of Dante enthusiasts who traveled together for eight days from Firenze into the Casentino. Catherine and Kees’ love of “slow travel” brought the Dante lovers to hidden churches and sacred sites that date back to the time of the Etruscans, including visits to Camaldoli Monastery and La Verna where St. Francis retired to in prayer and ultimately received his stigmata.

Dante Trips to Ravenna and Umbria

In May 2015, they successfully organized another Dante trip to Ravenna where the great 13th century poet lived out his last days. Most recently, in October 2016 they traveled with another small group to Perugia and Fabriano focusing on how Franciscan and Benedictine life and saints appear in Dante’s Divina Comedia.


To learn more about upcoming trips in 2017, please contact Catherine below or visit PoeticPlaces where you can find detailed programs (in Dutch and English) along with photos of upcoming trips.


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