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Our Story

Welcome to Mandali

Only an hour’s drive from Milan, Mandali is a beautiful new spiritual retreat center built on a hilltop, overlooking lake Orta in Northern Italy. Mandali is created by the Mandali Foundation, a non-profit organisation founded by Dutch entrepreneurs Wouter Tavecchio and Wildrik Timmerman and one of their teachers, Cali Ornelas.

The story behind Mandali starts with two friends with high-flying careers as organizers of international dance festivals. The success of their business filled their high-paced lives with joy and abundance, yet left their minds stuck in a hamster wheel. This is when they experienced a profound need for deepening their lives. Driven by the wish to create more meaning in life, they started attending silent meditation retreats and started spreading a different, more “spiritual” message at their dance events. They experienced a deep connection with spiritual practice, which lead to their dream: to create a center for transformation, a place where guests can experience inner peace and wellbeing in a safe and supportive environment.

After a long search for the right location, the right architect and years of planning and building, Mandali opened its doors in March 2017. The center welcomes teachers and students from all traditions from all over the world, both beginners and experienced practitioners. The founders believe that it is essential to take time for oneself in an environment that supports inner growth.

Architects Gian Carlo and Matteo Primatesta have been able to translate the principles of the Mandali foundation into their beautiful design of the center. Inspired by Italian villages from the Middle Ages, they used local craftsmanship and traditional building materials such as marble and reclaimed wood to create a center with cobbled streets, arched doorways and stone walls. Perched on a cliff with a stunning view of Lake Orta, Mandali radiates a tranquil and mystical, monastery-like atmosphere.

Mandali is a non-profit, purpose designed retreat center. Its testament states that it can never be sold or used for commercial purposes.

Wouter & Wildrik

Our core team


We believe it is essential to take time for
yourself in a Sacred place