selectedLake Garda Escape

Exploring Northern Italy's Beauty

October 3rd - 9th, 2024

Are you dreaming of an unforgettable getaway that combines massage education, cultural experiences and captivating adventures?

If so, we have the perfect retreat for you!

But before we share the incredible details of this massage education vacation, imagine this...

You're standing on the tranquil shores of Lake Garda, Italy's largest lake, surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Alps. 

The panorama before you is simply mesmerizing…crystal-clear water stretching as far as the eye can see with quaint villages dotting the distant shoreline.

You've just strolled through narrow cobblestone streets, lined with colorful bougainvillea-adorned buildings, leading you to the lakefront promenade.

The gentle breeze carries the scent of freshly baked focaccia from nearby trattorias, tantalizing your taste buds and filling you with delight.

Surrounded by the idyllic beauty of the Italian countryside, you find yourself immersed in this moment, letting go of the stresses of everyday life.

The soft rustle of leaves in the breeze, the distant chirping of birds and the gentle lapping of waves against the shore create a symphony of nature's soothing melodies.

Ahhh...doesn't that sound absolutely divine?

Let this enchanting scene inspire you to treat yourself to a magical escape to the shores of Lake Garda in Northern Italy!

And the best part about joining us? For once, there’s nothing to plan or manage. Every aspect of your retreat has been expertly curated, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the serenity of this breathtaking setting without a care in the world.


Lake Garda Escape

with James & Fran Waslaski

During this captivating adventure, you will... 

  • Learn cutting edge Orthopedic Massage techniques that will help your clients and grow your practice (earn 12 NCBTMB CE's)
  • Step back in time as we explore ancient landmarks, medieval castles, bustling piazzas and serene villages 🏰
  • Be pampered in a world-renowned thermal spa. Let nature and healing waters wash away your worries 💆‍♀️
  • Set sail on two picturesque lakes. The best way to experience the lakes of Northern Italy is by boat. We've got you covered! 🚢 
  • Indulge your taste buds in the diverse foods of the region. From hand-rolled pastas to hearty meat dishes, the food of Lake Garda is sure to satisfy even the most discerning of appetites! 🍝
  • Make new friends with massage therapists from around the globe. Laugh, bond, and create incredible memories that will stay with you forever 🥳 
  • And so much more! 🎉

Once a year, go somewhere you've never been before.

~ Dalai Lama

Do any of these sound like you?


✔  You spend most of your time taking care of others


✔  It’s been forever since you’ve given yourself permission to do something utterly fabulous


✔  You’ve been dreaming about taking an adventure “one day”


✔  You can’t remember the last time you laughed until your sides hurt 


Yes? Perfect, then you're in the right place! 🙌

Here's a sample of what you can expect:

Cutting Edge Training

2 Classes in One! 

Integrated Manual Therapy and Orthopedic Massage to Eliminate Multiple Nerve Compression Patterns of the Upper Body PLUS Low Back Pain, Hip Pain and Sciatica: These cutting edge classes showcase user-friendly techniques that will make complicated neck, upper body, lumbar spine and hip issues easy to evaluate and treat.

Under James's expert guidance, learn unique deep tissue release techniques for structural alignment that deliver immediate and lasting results. Experience the magic of 3-D functional anatomy and human dissection models, enhancing James's multi-disciplinary approach to assessment, treatment, and tailored self-care for each condition.

Note: attendance is mandatory in order to earn 12 NCBTMB CE hours.

Exciting Adventures

This is a high-vibe retreat and we have lots of fun adventures in store for you! The Learn~Laugh~Live retreats are carefully curated for those of you who want to see and do as much as possible during your time in Italy.

We'll explore the historic castles and churches, wander through charming villages and delve into the romantic history of Verona, the city that inspired the timeless tale of Romeo and Juliet. You'll trek through the vineyards of a Franciacorta winery, learning the meticulous process behind crafting their renowned sparkling wines.

We'll board boats tours of Lake Garda and Lake Iseo, both renowned for their breathtaking beauty and crystal-clear waters. Together we'll spend an afternoon indulging in a world-renowned thermal spa, where you can relax and rejuvenate in the healing waters. And so much more! 

Delectable Cuisine

Prepare your palette for a culinary experience like none other! The Lombardy region of Italy features fresh fish, creamy risottos and hearty pasta dishes.

You’ll have the opportunity to sample Risotto di pesce, a rich seafood risotto, as well as Luganega, a traditional pork sausage seasoned with garlic, pepper, and fennel.

We’ll nibble on Formaggella del Tremosine, a semi-soft cheese produced in the surrounding mountainous and savor Torta delle Rose, a delightful rose-shaped pastry filled with a sweet custard or almond cream.

And don’t stress if you’re a vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or have any other dietary restrictions. We promise to make sure you have plenty of choices. One thing is for'll never go hungry!

Fabulous Friendships

Remember heading off to camp or inviting friends over for sleep-overs when you were a kid? Weren't those moments fun? Well, we think you’re never too old to gather for an adventure that inspires your "inner child!" 

Are you a little competitive? Join us for an entertaining version of Italy Trivia or our selfie scavenger hunt. We’ve planned some fun activities to help you get back in touch with your silly side! 😂

This whole week is designed to give you plenty of time to visit with old friends or make new ones. If you’re craving a little alone time, head out for a stroll along the lake or simply lay by the pool and watch the clouds drift overhead. Whether you come on this retreat with a friend or make a few while you are here, you’ll never feel alone (unless you want to be alone) and you’ll never be left out. 🤗

Meet Your Hosts:

We are SO excited you are considering joining us in Lake Garda! We promise you won’t regret investing in this gift to yourself. 😍

James Waslaski, Your Massage Mentor

James integrates over 30 years of expertise in manual and sports therapies to enhance the education and patient outcomes for all manual therapists. He has pioneered new protocols for pain-free orthopedic massage, pain management, sports injury, and sports enhancement treatments. 

A published author, renowned international lecturer and approved NCBTMB provider, James was inducted into the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame in 2008 and awarded teacher of the year at the Canadian Massage Conference in 2012 and the World Massage Festival in 2015.

James teaches his cutting-edge seminars throughout the world. In addition to working with collegiate, professional and Olympic athletes, he has taught massage therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, osteopaths, chiropractors, nurses and physicians.

Fran Waslaski, Your Fun Facilitator

Fran has been a licensed massage therapist in Florida and Texas for over 25 years. She and James met at her very first massage conference in 1995. Since then, she’s owned her own clinic as well as worked in a variety of settings, including spas and chiropractic offices.

Fran is currently the office manager at The Center For Pain Management and handles all the accounting. She helps organize and run the seminar business alongside her husband, James.

Prior to becoming a massage therapist, Fran was a professional dancer, performing in musicals, dance companies and on cruise ships. She still loves to dance (and teach others), so when you hear the music pumping, grab your dancing shoes! 💃 🕺 

Linda Beach, Your Retreat Concierge

Linda has been a massage therapist and CE instructor for over 30 years. She met James way back in the early 90's and was at the event where he met his lovely wife, Fran. ❤️

In 1998, Linda opened a chain of massage & esthetic schools in South Carolina and hosted James for CE classes many times. She sold her schools in 2016 to work from her laptop while she travels the world hosting retreats and teaching others how to create a business they don’t need a vacation from. 🌎 ✈️ 

Linda's passion for Italy knows no bounds; it's inspired her to create a business dedicated to showcasing the enchanting wonders of this captivating country! She's so excited to be facilitating this retreat for James and Fran and showing YOU all the beauty this region of Italy has to offer.

Currently living in beautiful Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Linda loves spending time with her rescue pup, her 3 grown “kids” and two adorable grandsons, Luca and Charlie. 🥰 

I'd love to join you in Italy! 🇮🇹

Check out this incredible itinerary!

Day 1: October 3rd

Arrive into Italy and make your way by train to Desenzano del Garda, where we’ll be waiting with open arms at our lovely lakeside hotel. 

After you settle into your room, take a stroll around the property or get some well-deserved rest. Later that evening, we’ll gather for a sumptuous welcome feast. You’ll get to know your fellow retreat participants while we review the itinerary for the incredible week ahead. What a great way to kick off our time together!

Meals included: dinner

Day 2: October 4th

Following an expansive buffet breakfast, we'll gather for our first session. Under James's guidance, you'll immerse yourself in a hands-on class, laying the foundation for an enriching journey of learning and discovery.

After class, we’ll indulge in a delicious lunch buffet, then head right across the street to embark on a voyage across the shimmering waters of Lake Garda. Our first destination is Sirmione, where we'll explore the impressive Scaliger Castle, soaking in its rich history and stunning views.

Next we’ll continue our odyssey across the lake as we sail past Rocca di Manerba, Isola dei Conigli and the regal Isola del Garda, each a testament to the allure of this magnificent region.

Once back at the hotel, the evening is yours to enjoy. Why not savor dinner at the hotel’s exquisite restaurant or head out for a lively night in nearby Desenzano del Garda.

Whatever you choose, be sure to get a good night’s rest because tomorrow is going to be amazing!

Meals included: breakfast, lunch

Day 3: October 5th

After a delightful morning of learning, we'll indulge in another sumptuous buffet lunch at the hotel before embarking on an afternoon escapade to Verona.

Accompanied by our knowledgeable private guide, we'll step into the storied streets of this enchanting city, where Shakespearean tales intertwine with centuries of history. Our first stop? The iconic Verona Arena, a breathtaking Roman amphitheater that stands as a testament to the city's ancient grandeur.

From there, we'll wander through the charming lanes to behold the timeless beauty of Juliet's House, where the legendary balcony whispers tales of star-crossed love. We’ll explore bustling piazzas and ancient architecture as we learn about Verona's rich tapestry of culture and heritage. 

Once we return to our hotel, feel free to wind down this incredible day any way you choose.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch

Day 4: October 6th

Today you get to choose from a number of adventures! We’ll have tours for every taste, including an exhilarating electric bicycle tour, with sweeping views of Lake Garda’s distant shores.

Why not rent a bike at the front desk and pedal into town to explore Castello di Desenzano, a medieval castle overlooking the town with panoramic views of Lake Garda. 

If you’re up for a relaxing stroll, head to the lakeside promenade which stretches all the way from the hotel into the town's historic center. There you can wander through the narrow streets, filled with shops, cafes, and charming architecture. Don't miss Piazza Malvezzi, the main square, and its elegant buildings.

Why not visit the Museo Civico Archeologico Giovanni Rambotti and learn about the history of the area? This archeological treasure houses a collection of unique finds from Desenzano and the surrounding region.

Or, if you’d just like to relax at the hotel, you can head to the pool or the spa downstairs. 

Whatever you decide, we’ll gather back together for dinner so we can all share stories of the day’s adventures.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 5: October 7th

After a bountiful breakfast, we’ll continue our day with another illuminating hands-on class. Then pack your swimsuit and grab your sunscreen because we're heading out on a spa adventure! 💦

Our destination is QC Termegarda, a breathtaking spa located in the sprawling grounds of a 15th century Renaissance residence. Here you’ll indulge in a sumptuous lunch buffet, then a series of “themed” hydromassage tubs, steam rooms, saunas, relaxation rooms and indoor and outdoor jetted pools.

You’ll have the entire afternoon to experience all the wonders of this spa playground. To top it off, we’ve included the incredible (and healthy) lunch buffet. We promise this spa experience will forever hold a place in your heart as the ultimate relaxation escape!

Meals included: breakfast, lunch

Day 6: October 8th

Rise and shine! Today is our last day of hands-on class, where all the fabulous techniques you’ve learned this week will come together. I hope you’re proud of yourself because we are! 🙌 

Now get ready for a final escapade. After class, we’re off to explore Lake Iseo and the Franciacorta wine region. Our first stop is a family-owned winery where we’ll trek through the vineyards and learn how this sparkling wine is produced. You’ll get to sample the grapes while enjoying expansive views of the surrounding hills. Next we’ll enjoy a light lunch at the winery before heading out to the charming town of Iseo.

Lake Iseo, one of the four great lakes in the Lombardy Region of northern Italy, has an unrushed and authentic feel. The lake is pristine and surrounded by quaint towns dotting the hilly verdant backdrop. After some time exploring the town, we’ll board a ferry for a ride to Monte Isola, the largest lake island in Italy. Hike to the top for incredible panoramic views or simply sit by the shore and watch the boats sail by.

When we return to the hotel, freshen up and then join the group for our farewell dinner. Expect hugs, tears, laughter and a surprise or two!

Meals included: breakfast, dinner

Day 7: October 9th

Today is the day you start your journey back to the “real” world. We’ll gather at breakfast for our final farewells before you continue your onward journey. If you’ve chosen to extend your stay in Italy, we'd be happy to offer suggestions on where to explore next. 

While it’s always sad to say goodbye, this isn’t the end of our time together. We’ll see each other in our private Facebook group to share photos and stories. You’ll have made unforgettable memories and some new friends to help remind you that life is short so never ever stop exploring!

Arrivederci! 👋

Meals included: breakfast

This all sounds amazing! I want to come to Italy...Per favore 🙏

Our Beautiful Accommodations...

Elegant 4* Accommodations

Located on the southwest shores of Lake Garda and less than 2 miles from the charming town of Desenzano del Garda, the beautiful 4* Hotel Acquaviva del Garda will be our home away from home. Surrounded by a well-kept garden, our modern hotel offers panoramic views of the lake, Sirmione and the Scaligero Castle. From the moment you step foot into the elegant lobby, you are greeted by warm smiles and exceptional hospitality.

The well-appointed rooms, adorned with tasteful decor and modern amenities, provide a peaceful sanctuary where you can unwind and indulge in classic Italian comfort. The hotel’s thermal spa, with its healing waters and expert therapists, offers a range of revitalizing treatments that soothe the body and soul. You’ll enjoy a heated pool, sauna, steam room and herbal tea room. When you’re ready for some time in the sun, you can wander out to the sparkling pool or the bubbling tubs on the lakeshore.

Delicious cuisine awaits at the hotel's gourmet restaurant, where local flavors blend seamlessly with international influences to create dishes inspired by the Italian and Brescia cuisine. Each morning you’ll indulge in a breakfast buffet overflowing with homemade pastries, seasonal fruit and a variety of sweet and savory dishes. Whether strolling along the lake, being pampered in the spa, or enjoying a sunset cocktail on the terrace, a stay at Hotel Acquaviva del Garda promises to be an unforgettable experience. Heavenly!

What’s Included

  • 6 nights double occupancy at a lovely 4* hotel
  • Private ground transportation in comfortable, air-conditioned vehicles for all group activities
  • Daily breakfast buffet, brimming with an enticing array of sweet and savory delights including eggs, meats, cereals, pastries, and fresh fruits
  • Three dinners and four lunches prepared from an extensive selection of traditional Lombardy fare. Yes, we can cater to your dietary restrictions. Trust us, you won’t go hungry!
  • 12 hours of cutting-edge manual therapy training with industry expert James Waslaski** 
  • An afternoon exploring the vibrant and romantic streets of Verona, a city immortalized by Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet."
  • Travel back through time as we meander the tunnels and turrets of Castello Scaligero, an ancient and well-preserved fortress
  • Unforgettable fun in the sun at QC Termegarda, one of the most fabulous thermal spas in Italy! 🤩 💦
  • Private boat excursions across the sparkling waters of both Lake Garda and Lake Iseo
  • A wine trekking adventure through the picturesque vineyards of a Franciacorta winery
  • Daily use of the hotel's wellness center, including an indoor heated pool, sauna, steam room and hydromassage
  • Wi-fi, safe, TV, hair dryer and A/C in each room
  • Detailed itinerary covering each place we’ll visit, with cultural tips and interesting facts…plus a Italian language “cheat sheet”
  • Incredible conversations, priceless connections and copious laughter
  • Access to our private Retreat Facebook group where we’ll be sharing flight deals, packing tips and interesting facts about the region
  • 12 NCBTMB CE hours available for massage therapists
  • Surprises and awesome bonuses (see below)!


    *Hotels and excursions are subject to change in the event of non-availability. Any substitution will be at an equal or greater value.

    **Attendance at each class is mandatory in order to receive NCBTMB approved CE credits 

I'm in...just give me payment details please! 💰💳

Check Out These Bonuses!

Travel Planning

It can be overwhelming trying to find the best flight routes (and prices!) and figure out where to stay pre & post retreat. You'll likely need help with train and ferry schedules too. Take advantage of Linda Beach's expertise with Italy travel by hopping on a Zoom call with her!

Pre-Trip Happy Hours

Before our big adventure, we'll host monthly group calls to discuss our exciting plans and get to know each other. Not only will you be prepared for the journey ahead, but once we join together for our Welcome Dinner, it’ll be like meeting up with old friends!

Private Facebook Group

As soon as you register, you’ll be invited to join our private group where you can meet your travel companions and find the perfect roommate. We'll be sharing travel tips and other important information about the Lake Garda Escape!

Pay in Full Bonus

(Value: $350)

Pay in full and get a one-hour 1:1 coaching call with Linda! You are welcome to use this valuable bonus before or after our trip.

What’s Not Included

  • Your international round-trip flights (we’ve got some great tips on snagging a deal though!)
  • Transportation to the hotel in Desenzano del Garda and your onward travel after the retreat
  • Meals not listed above (we wanted to give you the freedom to sample the amazing foods of Italy!)
  • Alcoholic beverages, incidentals, laundry, spa services, personal phone calls or other activities not already mentioned
  • Souvenirs and shopping sprees (leave room in your luggage because you won’t believe the shopping in Italy!)
  • Tips for drivers, porters, housekeeping, spa, hotel and restaurant staff (Note: many restaurants include a service charge in the final bill (we'll discuss tipping etiquette on our group call)
  • Trip insurance (which we highly recommend!)

Want to share this adventure with your partner, bestie or favorite family member?


We have set aside a very limited number of spaces for your PLUS ONE to join you.*

They must register at the same time as you do. Your Plus One does not have to attend the training workshop (more pool time! 😎) but will be able to participate in everything else we have planned. (*must be 18 or older)


Double Occupancy


Per Person - Pay in Full Price (Payment Plan Available)

  • 6 nights shared occupancy in a beautiful 4* hotel
  • Daily breakfasts, four lunches and three dinners

  • Private ground transportation for all group excursions
  • Relaxing thermal spa outing
  • Fascinating tour of a medieval castle
  • Exciting adventures all over Northern Italy
  • 12 hours of cutting-edge manual therapy training
  • Private Facebook group, Zoom sessions, gifts, surprises & more!


Double Occupancy: Plus One*


Per Person - Pay in Full Price (Payment Plan Available)

  • 6 nights shared occupancy in a beautiful 4* hotel
  • Daily breakfasts, four lunches and three dinners

  • Private ground transportation for all group excursions
  • Relaxing thermal spa outing
  • Fascinating tour of a medieval castle
  • Exciting adventures all over Northern Italy
  • Private Facebook group, Zoom sessions, gifts, surprises & more!

    *does not include massage training

Single Occupancy*


Per Person - Pay in Full Price (Payment Plan Available)

  • 6 nights shared occupancy in a beautiful 4* hotel
  • Daily breakfasts, four lunches and three dinners

  • Private ground transportation for all group excursions
  • Relaxing thermal spa outing
  • Fascinating tour of a medieval castle
  • Exciting adventures all over Northern Italy
  • 12 hours of cutting-edge manual therapy training
  • Private Facebook group, Zoom sessions, gifts, surprises & more!

    *limited availability

Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers!

Hurry, this retreat will fill up fast! Grab your spot today.

Take me to my options. I'm already packing! 🧳🎒

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

~Mark Twain

Would you like to know more about this amazing journey?

We get it, we're excited too! Our retreat concierge, Linda Beach, would love to hop on a call and answer any questions you might have! Just click the button below...⬇️ 

Let's chat!