A bouquet of tulips announces Mary’s Watermill online arrival

We are delighted to welcome Mary Padgett, the renowned American pastellist, to the team of Watermill online tutors. We have been frustrated that the coronavirus pandemic has meant that she has so far been unable to meet us in person at the Watermill, but we are looking forward to welcoming her here in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, it is wonderful to have her talented tuition for our online courses. (Even though she spells colour funnily!)

For her first subject with us, Mary has chosen a vase of yellow, red and violet tulips, not just for the colo(u)r opportunities they present but “to remind us that spring is (almost) here.” Above is a photograph of the flowers and here below is Mary’s demonstration pastel.

Mary, from Syracuse, New York, says: “Pastel is the ideal medium to explore color. A pastel stick offers more vibrant color than a comparable amount of watercolor, oil, or acrylic paint. Pastel is versatile, it can be applied in a myriad of ways from a fine line to a thick buttery passage.”

Mary’s Zoom session is live on Thursday 22 April at 5 pm Italian time. (4 pm UK time. We know that may be quite early in the morning in the western parts of United States and Canada, and in the middle of the night in Australia and New Zealand! But, even if you can’t make the live session, you can still register and receive an edited video of the demonstration to paint along in your own time. See below.) Registration for this exciting online, interactive session is through the Eventbrite platform and you can join up by clicking here.

The logistical details of Mary’s course:

Just click here to find out more.

Unlike many online painting programmes, Mary’s will not expect you to ‘look over her shoulder’ for a long demonstration, and perhaps be allowed to ask the odd question or two. No, you will be painting along at more or less the same time, trying out the pastel techniques that Mary shows you, step-by-step. She will demonstrate some basic techniques for only a few minutes before you start painting the same subject at home. Then, after you have had your turn, Mary will move onto the next part of the process. Lois Breckon from The Watermill at Posara will be on hand during the session to feed your questions. The session will last a couple of hours.

When you register for the session you will be asked for a donation. Some people ask how much this should be. Our answer? “Like the measure of a Scottish dram: it should offend neither the host nor the guest!” Our Zoom painting demonstrations do take quite a bit of time in preparation and administration and your support is very much appreciated. With your generosity we can plan and run further sessions and, more importantly, provide a regular meeting place for creativity, camaraderie and fun. We hope that you enjoy the international, online painting community that we have created.

When you register you will be provided with two links. The first is the Zoom link for you to join the session. The second link is where you will find Mary’s practice painting to show you where you are heading, two source photos, a colour wheel, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette.

After the event, you are invited to email us with your painting to add to the gallery. In addition, we will send you a link to a video that will enable to you revisit Mary’s step-by-step teaching. That Eventbrite link again: just click here.

When you have painted with Mary online, why not join her for real at the Watermill in Tuscany Italy next year, 30 April to 7 May 2022?

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

Mary Padgett 

Saturday 30 April Saturday 7 May 2022 

Pastels (and other portable media) en plein air

You can find out more by emailing us at info@watermill.net.

Painting by Mary Padgett, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Capture the colours of Tuscany in pastel with Mary.

More exciting adventures at the Watermill. Read all about it!

Just click here to read all about it

Stories on our Grand Awakening and planning your Great Escape, but perhaps most exciting of all on how to play your part as a Watermill Patron – and win rewards. Check out the latest Watermill newsletter by clicking here. Then, join in the fun!

#painting, #watercolor, #watercolour, #watercolors, #acrylic, #pastel, #oilpainting, #writing, #writer, #creativewriting, # memoir, #Languages, #Italian, #knit, #knitting, #Italy, #Tuscany, #travel
Picture: Francesco Lastrucci

Come and share Randy’s passion for painting

Painting by Randy Hale, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

We are really looking forward to meeting, at last, our new watercolour painting tutor Randy Hale. We feel we know him already, since we’ve enjoyed a series of online interactive painting sessions with him, which have proved extremely popular. So it will be great to see him at the Watermill itself for his painting course later this year.

Randy is an exciting watercolourist from Colorado in United States. One of his students says: “Randy knows his stuff and he knows how to teach! The best watercolor instructor I have ever had!” Another says: “He’s an excellent artist and instructor, offering clear and positive help.”

As I say, Randy has not yet visited the Watermill, but he has already produced some wonderful watercolours, from photographs! Above is his impression of our walled garden, with the Watermill buildings behind. And here’s another impression of our village, Posara:

Painting by Randy Hale, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Randy will be with us for a week-long course in watercolours from Saturday 21 August to Saturday 28 August 2021. (You will be Cool and Green: all our rooms are air-conditioned, powered by photovoltaic panels which make us self-sufficient in electricity).

More wonderful Italian rooftops and façades from Randy

I have made one of those fun, 30-second Facebook slideshows, with some of Randy’s earlier paintings, which you can see by clicking here. And I couldn’t resist showing you these ‘quirky critters’ Randy painted on one of his recent online sessions.

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation, pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport and an excursion by train to Lucca or the Cinque Terre).

You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!

And remember, you will be Cool and Green: all our rooms are air-conditioned, powered by photovoltaic panels which make us self-sufficient in electricity.

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

Randy Hale 

Saturday 21 August to Saturday 28 August 2021 

Watercolours

To learn more about Randy and his week at the Watermill, please click here.

Come and join us and make 2021 a year to remember.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Painters in the Watermill walled garden. Picture: Francesco Lastrucci

As things begin to open up, look to the future and book your creative week at the Watermill

The future’s bight… Picture from HotSpot Media by Italian photographer Andrea Zampatti,

As, at last, we are beginning to see the vaccinated delighted the end of the long coronavirus tunnel, now is the time to beat the rush and plan your week on a creative course at the Watermill, in painting, writing, knitting or the Italian language. Not only will you enjoy inspiring tuition, a beautiful setting, warm hospitality, delicious food and wine and the convivial company of like-minded people, you will be able to enjoy a glow of anticipation in the months before your trip.
We have revamped all our 2021 courses and we going to start with a great reawakening on 3 July. We would love you to join us and cast off your coronavirus blues. Here is what we are offering for your (and our) creative reawakening:

Warm sunshine, inspiring tuition, lovely food, great company

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.

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.

Rebecca de Mendonça
31 July – 7 August 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.

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



The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

100 castles, two natural parks, warm hospitality – waiting for you!


Blog two natural parks 2Another discovery when tidying up my old blogs. This one is as true today as it was when I first wrote it a couple of years ago. Now all this coronavirus kerfuffle is clearing away, we are working on our ‘great reawakening’ and hoping to be able to welcome guests again in a few months’ time. Here’s the 2016 blog:

We are so proud of the ambiance of the Watermill and its surrounding countryside and love sharing it with our creative courses guests.

If you’ve been, you’ll know that The Watermill at Posara is a complex of elegant and historic, carefully restored Tuscan buildings, surrounding a sunny courtyard with an adjoining vine verandah, rose pergola and sun-filled walled garden. More gardens lead to walks along the river and the sun-dappled millstream. Tom riverside photo Jun 13Set in a gentle valley, The Watermill stands beside the River Rosaro in the small village of Posara. Peaceful and secluded, yet part of the village, the mill is just a mile or so from the walled medieval town of Fivizzano with its cafés, restaurants and shops. This is the heart of Lunigiana, in the North-west of Tuscany, stunningly beautiful and truly unspoilt part of Italy.

The comune (administrative district) of Fivizzano which, as well as a hundred ancient castles within its boundaries, contains not one, but two environmentally protected areas: the National Park of the Tuscan-Emilian Appennines, the backbone of Italy, and the Regional Park of the Apuan Alps, home of the marble mountains of Carrara. Because of this protected status the air and the water are pure and unpolluted and the area abounds in wildlife.

And you will be Cool and Green at the Watermill: we have installed a hidden array of photovoltaic panels which make us self-sufficient in electricity, powering an air-conditioning system in all the bedrooms and public rooms.

Come and join us and savour La Bella Vita Italiana on one of our unique painting, Italian language, knitting, yoga and cooking weeks. Find our more about everything by clicking here.

We can’t wait to meet you! Below you will find details of all our 2021 creative courses, ready for that ‘great awakening’. As they say around here: Non vediamo l’ora di incontrarvi. We look forward to meeting you.

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

Below you will find our new programme for the 2021 season. Come and join us and celebrate freedom and creativity, and enjoy warm hospitality and convivial company.

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



Time to cast off your coronavirus blues: come and join us for creativity, scenery, hospitality and conviviality. You can find more about everything by clicking here.

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

Follow the advice of The Times and write your life story with Jo at the Watermill

In Saturday’s The Times UK newspaper, Joe Parfitt’s Writing Your Life Stories is listed as one of the 10 Best Learning Holidays of 2021. (We were actually number two, pipped at the post by Novice Birdwatching in Spain, but we are not complaining!)

The Times says: “’Everyone has a book inside them and, in most cases, that’s where it should stay,” goes the rather cruel saying. But if last year’s lockdowns have given you the time to reflect on your life story, a week at the Watermill at Posara, in Tuscany, will give you the tools to get it written. Tutor Jo Parfitt’s seven-step plan covers characterisation, emotion, evoking a sense of place and, crucially, how to find your voice.”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Sharing your life experiences on the vine Verandah at the Watermill on one of Jo’s previous courses.

I’m not sure that I agree with the Times writers’ rather cynical opening sentence, but we do agree that Jo’s week-long course at Posara was sitting on the road to writing success. Her course is the ultimate workshop on how to write your life story. It will run from Saturday 14 August to Saturday, 21 August 2021.

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

Jo Parfitt is an author, journalist, teacher, blogger, conference speaker and poet. She has published 32 books herself, has helped more than 250 authors get into print and more than 2,000 people to begin writing.

Jo’s a compassionate, inspiring, and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’.

The Write Your Life Stories creative writing course is designed to help you produce your best work, to find your true writer’s ‘voice’ and to write authentically. Among other things, you’ll discover the secret of SPICE, the seven steps to writing life stories. Jo says: “The course at the watermill will provide a safe haven in which to unlock your creativity, write from your heart and hone your writing craft. You will be empowered to write in a compelling way, bringing your experiences to life.”

The workshop will include several methods and genres and is perfect for anyone wanting to write about their own lives for an effective journal, memoir or blog. If you would enjoy an injection of inspiration in a calm and supportive environment, this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.

Here are some comments from guests on Jo’s previous courses at the Watermill: “The most magical trip to Tuscany, which will stay with me forever!” “It is a very special and beautiful place, and everything was organised so perfectly. Jo is a great tutor and we all had an amazing time.”

It was just wonderful. The attention to detail and beauty are a sure recipe for a wonderful stay. Jo is an inspirational teacher.”

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation, pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport and an excursion by train to Lucca or the Cinque Terre).

You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!

And you will be Cool and Green: all our rooms are air-conditioned, powered by photovoltaic panels which make us self-sufficient in electricity.

Here are the details and links for Jo’s course. We already have 10 bookings, but there is room for one or two more writers. We would love to welcome you here.

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

Jo Parfitt One or two places remaining

14 -21 August 2021

Writing your life stories

To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please click here.

Time to look forward to a creative New Year

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

The guy above is Janus, the two-faced Roman god of beginnings, gateways and departures. He gave his name to January, of course, and is depicted here as an old man looking back and a young man looking forward.

Here at the Watermill, we are firmly looking forward, both to our continuing interactive online painting sessions and to a full programme of creative weeks at the Watermill itself in 2021. Why don’t you look forward, too, and release your creativity once more in the company of like-minded people?

Our interactive, online sessions every Thursday afternoon (British time) have proved a great success, with hundreds of people joining in, painting along with our inspiring Watermill tutors. And in February there will be another of our extraordinary ‘virtual’ painting weeks, where every day you ‘visit’ the stunning Tuscan locations around the Watermill, in the company of painting tutor Mike Willdridge. You can see details of all the Watermill’s online activities by clicking here.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Mike’s demonstration painting of the village lane to the mill during our virtual week.

We already have many bookings for next year’s creative courses at the Watermill, in painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language. Some 215 places are already taken out of a potential total of some 250/260. So now is the time to direct your gaze firmly forward, like the young Janus on the right above. Cast off the old year, embrace the new.

We would love to welcome you here and we have made a little slideshow to try to capture the atmosphere the Watermill. You can view it by clicking here. And below you will find details of all our painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language weeks. Come and join us: it will be a wonderful way of celebrating a new beginning.

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

Our inspiring painting weeks

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

Keiko Tanabe Places available

Saturday 17 April to Saturday 24 April 2021 

Watercolours 

To learn more about Keiko and her week at the Watermill, please click here.

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

Mary Padgett Fully booked, waiting list open

Saturday 1 May to Saturday 8 May 2021 

Pastels (and other portable media) en plein air

To learn more about Mary and her week at the Watermill, please click here.

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

Carl March  One or two places available

Saturday 15 May to Saturday 22 May 2021 

Drawing and watercolours en plein air

To learn more about Carl and his week at the Watermill, please click here.

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

Grahame Booth  Fully booked, waiting list open

Saturday 22 May to Saturday 29 May 2021 

Watercolours

To learn more about Grahame and his week at the Watermill, please click here.

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

Sandra Strohschein (1)  One or two places remaining

Saturday 5 June to Saturday 12 June 2021 

Watercolours

 To learn more about Sandra and her week at the Watermill, please click here.

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

Sandra Strohschein (2)  Fully booked, waiting list open

Saturday 12 June to Saturday 19 June 2021 

Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra and her week at the Watermill, please click here.

Paul Talbot-Greaves Places available

Saturday 19 June to Saturday 26 June 2021 

Watercolours

 To learn more about Paul and his week at the Watermill, please click here.

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

Rebecca de Mendonça  Three or four places remaining

Saturday 26 June to Saturday 3 July 2021 

Pastels and mixed media

To learn more about Rebecca and her week at the Watermill, please click here.

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

Vicki Norman  One or two places remaining

Saturday 3 July to Saturday 10 July 2021 

Oils and watercolours (and other mediums)

To learn more about Vicki and her week at the Watermill, please click here.

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

Sue Ford Places available

Saturday 10 July to Saturday 17 July 2021 

Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic

To learn more about Sue and her week at the Watermill, please click here.

Painting by Caroline Deeble, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Caroline Deeble Places available

Saturday 7 August to Saturday 14 August 2021 

Watercolours

To learn more about Caroline and her week at the Watermill, please click here.

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

Randy Hale Places available

Saturday 21 August to Saturday 28 August 2021 

Watercolours

To learn more about Randy and his week at the Watermill, please click here.

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

Mike Willdridge  Recently opened, places available

Saturday 28 August to Saturday 4 September 2021 

Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics.)

  To learn more about Mike and his week at the Watermill, please click here.

Mike Willdridge One place available

Saturday 4 September to Saturday 11 September 2021 

Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

To learn more about Mike and his week at the Watermill, please click here.

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

Milind Mulick  Places available

Saturday 11 September to Saturday 18 September 2021 

‘Colourful Watercolours’

 To learn more about Milind and his week at the Watermill please click here.

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

Brienne Brown one or two places remaining

Saturday 18 September to Saturday 25 September 2021 

Watercolours

 To learn more about Brienne and her week at the Watermill, please click here.

Charles Sluga  Places available

Saturday 25 September to Saturday 2 October 2021 

Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

To learn more about Charles and his week at the Watermill, please click here.

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

Tim Wilmot One or two places remaining

Saturday 2 October to Saturday 9 October 2021 

Watercolours

To learn more about Tim and his week at the Watermill, please click here.

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

Ali Hargreaves Two places available

Saturday 9 October to Saturday 16 October 2021 

Watercolour and mixed media

To learn more about Ali and her week at the Watermill, please please click here.


Our elevating knitting weeks

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

Norah Gaughan Places available

24 April – 1 May 2021 

Knitting and la Bella Vita

To learn more about Norah and her week at the Watermill, please click here.

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

Louisa Harding Fully booked, waiting list open

29 May – 5 June 2021 

Knitting and la Bella Vita

To learn more about Louisa and her week at the Watermill, please click here.

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

Knitting retreat Three or flour places remaining

17-24 July 2021 

Knitting and la Bella Vita

To learn more about our knitting retreat week at the mill, please click here.


Our illuminating creative writing weeks

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

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran Places available

8 -15 May 2021

Scriptwriting

To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and their course at the mill, please click here.

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

Jo Parfitt Two or three places remaining

14 -21 August 2021

Writing your life stories

To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please click here.


Our impassioned Italian week

Francesca La Sala Two or three places remaining

16-23 October 2021

A novel approach to learning Italian

To learn more about Francesca an her course at the mill, please click here.


The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.
Cool culture under the Tuscan sun

Paint the glorious scenery of rural Tuscany, Italy, in watercolours, without leaving home. Our ‘virtual’ painting week video set is now on sale

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
From one of the videos: Mike’s demonstration painting of the village lane to the mill.

The Watermill’s first online, interactive ‘virtual’ painting week proved to be one of our great successes of 2020. Towards the end of last year, more than 100 people painted along with our friend and tutor Mike Willdridge every afternoon for seven days, ‘visiting’ the glorious locations we normally go to on our ‘real’ painting weeks.

We created videos of each of the seven sessions, which were made available to the participants as part of the ‘virtual’ painting week deal. And now you, too, can join in the fun: you can buy the seven edited videos from Vimeo for just €36.84 (Euros) for the complete set. Since each of the video sessions is round about an-hour-and-a-half long, and the total running time is more than 11 hours, we think this is excellent value for money. (It is about £33 (English pounds) or $45 (US dollars).)

You will receive all seven episodes: you can stream them at any time and watch them on TV, mobile and tablet. Or you can simply download them to watch and paint along in your own time. Yes, you will be able to paint the glorious scenery of rural Tuscany, Italy in watercolours, without leaving home! Click here to see some images and hear Lois Breckon telling you what’s on offer.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Another still from our Vimeo video. You can view it by clicking here.

A comment from one of the participants on our virtual week: It was a fabulous week and over all too quickly. It was the best thing I have done all year. Mike’s demonstrations were so clear and informative. I felt I learnt more in seven days than I have in seven years!

We are planning another ‘virtual’ week early in February, and we’ll keep you posted as this develops. In the meantime, catch up with the delights of our first ‘virtual ‘week with the inspiring videos. That link again.

Happy painting!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Mike’s demonstration painting for your last day in the mountains.

“Who sent you to me? God?” Puccini on Caruso’s singing

Original La Boheme poster 1896 by Adolfo Hohenstein. Allposters

Sharing a Facebook post a couple of days ago on a remastered recording of Enrico Caruso singing Holy Night prompted me to revisit a blog I made some time ago of another extraordinary recording of the renowned tenor. It was Che gelida manina, from Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme, made in 1906.

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

The story is that Puccini was reluctant to have Caruso audition for the lead role of Rodolfo in the opera. The singer was not prepossessing: “short and tubby, with an undistinguished moustache and an undesirable Neapolitan accent,” according to one report. But so remarkable was his voice, tha t immediately after hearing him Puccini gave him the part, saying: “Who has sent you to me? God?”   You can listen to a digitally remastered version by clicking here. Hearing that voice more than a hundred years later, you can see what Puccini meant.

In the same blog last spring, I also included a link to a marvellous contemporary voice, Kiri Te Kanawa, singing Puccini’s O mio babbino caro. The link also has a built-in romantic ‘Ahh’ factor (perhaps to the point of soppiness, but indulge yourself, it’s Christmas) as it is accompanied by scenes from A Room with a View, as Lucy Honeychurch falls in love. Just click here.

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

The Italian festive cake battle: panettone or pandoro?

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

I don’t know whether you are aware of the great Italian Christmas cake debate: the battle between panettone (left above) and pandoro (on the right)? Bills a panettone man, but Lois and Lara favour pandoro. Guess which one was purchased and graced the Breckon’s Christmas table? Bill is hoping that a gourmet friend will bring some panettone when they come visiting, though given the current rules, it is unlikely that many friends will be knocking on our door.

What’s the difference? The dome-shaped panettone is from Milan, a sourdough-type sponge with citrus peel and candied fruit embedded in it. Delicious! Pandoro originated in Verona and is rather taller and star-shaped. Eggs beaten into the batter give it its yellow colour. There is a hint of vanilla, but the real flavour comes from liberally dusting the whole thing in icing sugar.

These cakes are very much festive season specialities, so we doubt whether there will be any about during our Italian language course here in October, for you to join in the debate. We can, however, promise you delicious home-cooked Watermill Italian food as well as a chance to get your tongue around one of the world’s most delightful languages. (Did you see what I did there?)

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 mill, please visit our Language Programme Page, by clicking here.