Cave & Forest Monastery

Help us build a unique contemplative space right outside Bari: a Buddhist forest monastery, a meditation retreat center, an educational farm, and more in the countryside of Acquaviva delle Fonti, a small town right outside Bari.

"Just as a bee gathers nectar from the flower without damaging its color and fragrance, so the wise man moves through the world."

Dhammapada v.49

Three places in one

  • Buddhist Monastery
  • Spiritual Island
  • Holistic Center

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Acqua Viva is a spiritual project under the banner of the economy of generosity and mutual aid. Located at the center of the Sant'Elia forest in Acquaviva delle Fonti (BA), it will house a Buddhist forest monastery, a contemplative retreat center, an educational farm and a residential program, offered entirely on a donative basis. Sogre Energy will collaborate with Empty Cloud Italia in the implementation of programs and workshops on sustainability, reforestation, educational pathways for children and more.

The project will be developed across an area of 55 hectares (135 acres) in the countryside of Acqua Viva Delle Fonti, in the lower Murgia of Bari, surrounded by fields of wheat, olive trees and vines. The area is served by Bari and Brindisi airports. In addition, Acqua Viva is located on the route of the Apulian Aqueduct pedestrian cycle route.

Economy of generosity

The programs offered by Empty Cloud Italia will be offered at no cost, by free-will donations, in the spirit of Buddhist generosity

Forest Monastery

Part of the Sant'Elia Forest will be exclusively dedicated to the contemplative monastic practice of bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs (Buddhist male and female monks)

Meditation Retreat Center

Spiritual teachings will be regurlarly offered at the retreat center, with room and board offered without a price-tag

Vegetarian Cooking

Preparation of vegetarian community meals, with emphasis on local traditional dishes and eastern cuisine.

Buddhist Meditation

The center will offer weekly study, meditation and mindfulness programs for cultivating the heart and mind.


Help us turn this dream into reality



The center of ACQUA VIVA will be the home of a Spiritual Island that will offer to the public intensive meditation retreats, workshops on sustainability, organic farming and more, entirely by donation. 





The teachings

of the Buddha

in Apulia

There is no donation too small to make this dream a reality. Help us reach the goal.

Diversity, Culture and Tradition

From the elderly to children, everyone will be welcome at ACQUA VIVA. 

We want to nurture the re-discovery of the local area and culture, foster an inter-generational dialogue aimed at the preservation of tradition, and at the same time be open to diverse immigrant cultures and spiritual traditions.

Synergies and Opportunities


Re-evaluation, research and re-discovery of the existing archaeological site of Sant'Elia's Cave.


Exploration and documentation of local karst formations, including caverns, sinkholes, and natural springs. Formation of a detailed archaeological map of the territory, including registry of ancient sources.

Land Valorization

Re-discovery of Sant'Elia cave, underground sinkholes and opening to the public
Reforestation of downy oaks and native species
Educational Pathways
Supervision and promotion of the area with the creation of wildlife trails
Movable and sustainable architecture 
Enhancement of on-site water by restoring the existing cistern/source

Contact us!



"Hate cannot appease hate,
only non-hate can do so.
This is an eternal law."

Dhammapada v.4

monks in italy

Empty Cloud Italia