Conference Location

Vallombrosa Retreat Center
250 Oak Grove Ave
Menlo Park, CA 94025

(650) 325-5614

Vallombrosa

We are meeting at the Vallombrosa Retreat Center, on the Peninsula of the San Francisco Bay Area

Vallombrosa Center in Menlo Park is located on a ten-­‐acre site that wasoriginally the home of E.W. Hopkins, the nephew of Mark Hopkins. The Hopkins home, known as the Old Mansion, was built during the Civil War period.

 Originally a simple wooden structure, it was later expanded and decorated with its distinctive Italianate touches. Vallombrosa is graced by trees from all over the world. The gingko tree of Chinese origin, located in front of the Old Mansion, is the largest of its kind in the area. The trees, and the interplay of the sun and shadow throughout the grounds, undoubtedly influenced Mr. Hopkins in naming his estate.

 The name “Vallombrosa” means “shady glen,” and refers to a beautiful forested area southeast of  Florence, Italy. It was there in 1095 that St. John Gualbert established a monastery of Benedictine monks that survives to this day. At one point in his life, John Milton visited that monastery, and he wrote of the “shady glens of Vallombrosa” in his Paradise Lost.

To learn more about this beautiful center, visit their website.

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