Time to stop being stufa (or stufo, come to that). Escape for a creative week at the Watermill

Picture: The Local

The Italians have a word for it, that feeling of being fed up, sick and tired of the situation, which I guess many us us have been feeling for many months now. And Italy being Italy, you can also make an expressive gesture while saying it, breathing out first syllable in exasperation: “stoof-o.

Sono stufo or Sono stufa: I’m fed up. (It depends on whether a man or a woman is talking.)

Stufo (masculine) or stufa (feminine), comes from the verb stufare, to stew, and you may have seen a stufado, a stew, on a restaurant menu. We serve a delicious stufatino alla romana, a little Roman beef stew, on one of our Watermill creative course outings to a local trattoria. As a noun, a stufa is a stove.

We are grateful to Jessica Phelan, editor of The Local Italy, our online English language newspaper, for reminding us of the word, which seems particularly apposite after months of our lives being curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sono stufo. Picture: Daily Italian Words

But now we are beginning to see a vaccinated light at the end of the gloomy tunnel, there is no need to be stufa or stufo anymore. Now is the time to cast off those coronavirus blues, booking a glorious release in a creative course at the Watermill. We promise you inspiring tuition, stunning surroundings, warm hospitality delicious food and the convivial company of like-minded people on a week you will remember with pleasure for years to come.

Sono contento. Did someone mention food? Picture: The Atlantic.

The Watermill is planning a ‘grand re-awakening’ of sun-filled, fun-filled courses in painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language, starting in the middle of June and we would be delighted if you could join us.

Our inspiring painting courses:

Here is the complete list of our painting tutors for next year. You can find out more about each of them by clicking on their Profile page link in their entries below.


The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Mike Willdridge
12 – 19 June 2021
Watercolours
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page


Paul Talbot-Greaves
19 – 26 June 2021 
Watercolours
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Rebecca de Mendonça
26 June – 3 July 2021
Pastels and Mixed media
To learn more about Rebecca and her course at the mill, please visit her 2021 Profile Page.


The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Vicki Norman
3 – 10 July 2021 
Oils and watercolours (and other mediums)
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please visit her 2021 Profile Page.


The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Carl March
10 – 17 July 2021 
Drawing and watercolours en plein air
To learn more about Carl and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Randy Hale
21 – 28 August 2021 
Watercolours
To learn more about Randy and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Mike Willdridge
28 August – 4 September 2021 x places left
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Mike Willdridge
4 – 11 September 2021
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Milind Mulick
11 – 18 September 2021 
Colourful watercolours
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Brienne M Brown
18 – 25 September 2021 
Watercolours
To learn more about Brienne and her course at the mill, please visit her 2021 Profile Page.


The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Tim Wilmot
2 – 9 October 2021 
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


Ali Hargreaves, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Ali Hargreaves
9 – 16 October 2021 
Watercolours
To learn more about Ali and her course at the mill, please visit her 2021 Profile Page.


The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Grahame Booth
23 – 30 October 2021 x places left
Watercolours
To learn more about Grahame and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.



Our enabling writing courses:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
24 – 31 July 2021 
Scriptwriting
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and their course at the mill course at the mill, please visit their 2021 Tutor Profile Page.


The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Jo Parfitt
14 -21 August 2021
Writing your life stories
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2021 Tutor Profile page.



Our relaxing knitting weeks:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Knitting retreat
17-24 July 2021
Knitting and la Bella Vita To learn more about our knitting retreat, please click here



The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Louisa Harding
7 – 14 August 2021
Knitting and la Bella Vita
To learn more about Louisa and her week at the Watermill, please visit her 2021 Profile page.



Our enhancing language week:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Francesca La Sala
16-23 October 2021
A novel approach to learning Italian
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please visit our Language Programme Page



More Italian tips for daily well-being: get out and about and change your coffee-drinking habits

From Italy with love

Today is the last in our series on 10 Italian lifestyle habits that add to the quality of daily living, based on suggestions from Patrick Browne in The Local, our Italian English-language newspaper. The first is rather difficult to achieve in these restricted times; and in the UK and the USA at least, the paucity of true Italian café’s makes the second quite difficult too. Starbucks ain’t quite the same!

Habit #9: Go out and about

Patrick says: “When Italians go out, they tend to move around a lot. They don’t just head to the nearest watering hole with their friends – they actively hit many venues over the course of the evening.

While the endless debate about where to go next can get tiresome, an Italian night out is great for socializing because it brings you into contact with many more people.

It also favours the group dynamic as your itinerary will tend to take you to places that different people in your group like: introverts who like quiet bars and extroverts who love crowded clubs all get a fair kick of the ball.”

Habit #10 Italianize your coffee habits

Picture: The Local

Patrick says: “Generally speaking, having a coffee is a quick affair in Italy. You drink it standing up at the bar. Coffee culture elsewhere tends to involve long, lingering sips, where you sit down for as long as you like and get endless refills.”

And then there is the dreaded cappuccino rule: “If Italy has taught us anything at all, it’s that you should NEVER drink a cappuccino after your afternoon or evening meal. Nobody is sure why, but it’s a no-no. It just is.”

I think the reason why is that Italians feel that milk is more difficult is more difficult to digest and therefore should only be taken in the morning. Italians are becoming more relaxed, though, and accept that we mad Brits or Yanks have peculiar coffee-drinking habits and they’ll serve us cappuccino in the afternoon. I cheat by having a caffe macchiato, a black coffee with a splash of cold milk.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these 10 quirky tips from Italy to add to your enjoyment of life. We are off to our local café for a morning cappuccino and a nice chat!

The Orcagna, one of our favourite Florentine cafés. Spot the dog! He’s friendly too.