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L’arte di mangiar bene Itinerary

Here's a draft itinerary for our appetising L’arte di mangiar bene week. We’ll be very flexible, however, according to the weather, availability of fresh produce and the needs of the group.

First Saturday:

  • Pick-up at Pisa airport between 11:00 and 13:00 (1pm). Transport by mini-bus or car to the watermill
  • Light lunch in the watermill courtyard dining room
  • Afternoon: - Settling in; exploring the mill, the gardens and the river
  • 17:00-18:00: - Helping to prepare antipasti for the evening aperitivi
  • 18:45: - Early evening: aperitivi on the vine verandah; brief welcome from The Watermill team. Discussion of the week’s activities
  • A meal at Caffé Elvetico
  • 19:15: - Transport by mini-bus to the nearby walled Medieval town of Fivizzano (about 5 minutes’ drive).
  • Dinner: - An introduction to Tuscan cuisine at the Caffè Elvetico in the Piazza Medicea in Fivizzano: locally made antipasti, including hams, salumi, crostini, bruschetta, caprese, torte locale varie; ‘patriotic pasta’ (three different pastas, with red (ragú), white (salsa di noci) and green (pesto) sauces, the colours of the Italian tricolore; local pecorino, fresco and semistagionato, served with insalata verde; locally made dolci. Local red wine and white wine; acqua minerale, coffee/teas.

Sunday:

  • 08:30: - Continental breakfast at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioches, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea)
  • 10:00-11:00: - Cookery session: Baking bread with Tuscan flours
  • A salad with nasturtiums from the watermill's garden
  • 11:15-12:30: - Cookery session: helping to prepare rustic panzanella; a dish of baked fennel; a gluten- and dairy-free cannellini cake; foraging for salad leaves, edible flowers.
  • 13:00: - Lunch in the watermill courtyard dining room: finocchio al forno (fennel baked in a white wine, cream and cheese sauce); bresaola with parmesan shavings, olive oil and rucola; panzanella (the watermill’s own recipe); hard-boiled eggs with mayonnaise and caperi; insalata verde (from the watermill garden in season) with borage or nasturtium flowers and a mustard vinaigrette dressing
  • 15:00-17:00: - Cookery session: Ceci, borlotti beans and other Tuscan pulses: how best to enjoy them
  • 19:00: - Early evening: aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30: - Dinner at the mill: pasta primavera, with fresh local vegetables in season; maiale arosto, Italian-style roast pork, with vegetables in season, roast potatoes; zucchini fritti, a speciality of our chef Mirella. Home-made torta della nonna. Wines
  • After dinner: - Coffee/tea and digestivi in the mill sitting room.

Monday

  • 08:30: - Continental breakfast at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioches, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea)
  • 10:00-12:00: - Cookery session: Making pasta; preparing sugo, salsa and other pasta sauces
  • 12:15: - Transport to Verrucola (about 10 minutes’ drive): impressive castle with village nestling around; walk around the village. Short talk on its history
  • 13:00: - Lunch at Il Castello trattoria at Verrucola: pasta with tomato sauce; Stufatino alla Romana (Roman beef stew); fresh fruit; wines; coffee/tea. Discuss recipes with trattoria chef.
  • 14:30: - Transport to the watermill
  • 15:00-17:00: - Cookery session: making amaretto ice cream, bruschetta and crostini
  • 19:00: - Early evening: aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30: - Dinner at the mill: your homemade pasta; scaloppine Milanese di tacchino with seasonal vegetables; Macedonia di frutte fresche with home-made amaretto mousse ice-cream, Wines.
  • After dinner: - Coffee/tea and digestivi in the mill sitting room.

Tuesday

  • 08:30: - Continental breakfast at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioches, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea)
  • 10:00-11:00: - Cookery session: making a flourless chocolate torta
  • A Choclate torta da Capri
  • 11:15: - Transport to Fivizzano for market day: vegetables, fruit, hams, cheeses, mushrooms, porchetta etc
  • 12:45: - Lunch at the Gelateria Ricci in Fivizzano: panino with cheese and ham, home-made ice cream and coffee
  • 14:00: - Transport to the watermill
  • 15:00-17:00: - Cookery session: the art of preserving vegetables, with Marida
  • 19:00: - Early evening: aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30: - Dinner at the mill: Chicory leaves with gorgonzola dolce, walnuts and honey; chicken involtini with grilled zucchini slices and sauté potatoes; chocolate torta da Capri, Wines.
  • After dinner: Coffee/tea and digestivi in the mill sitting room.

Wednesday
(No formal teaching sessions this day)

    Vernazza Cinque Terre
  • Early continental breakfast (say 08:00 hrs) at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioche, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea).
  • Transport (say 08:30) to Aulla station for train to Cinque Terre or Lucca
  • Morning and afternoon: - Sightseeing in the Cinque Terre or Lucca. Packed lunch provided by the watermill (or guests can buy their own lunch or a snack at location).
  • Train back to Aulla (arrives circa 18:30).
  • Transport to watermill.
  • 19:15: - Early evening: aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:45: - Dinner at the mill: gorgonzola soufflés; salmone al forno with a pistacchio crust and tomato salsa; insalata; pears baked in red wine with a mascarpone cream. Wines
  • After dinner: - Coffee/tea and digestivi in the mill sitting room.

Thursday

  • 08:30: - Continental breakfast at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioches, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea)
  • 09:30-10:30: - Walk to Flavio’s orto to pick fresh vegetables in season
  • Convento di Carmine
  • 11:00-12:30: - Cookery session: help with preparation of Fede’s tasty picnic with the freshest of ingredients (farro salad, frittata with fresh vegetables, goat-cheese-and-tomato tart, lemonade)
  • 12:45: - Transport to atmospheric Convento di Carmine for a picnic in the grounds
  • 14:30: - Return to mill
  • 15:30-16:30: - Cookery session: How to make the best risotto. Mirella demonstrates her technique for panna cotta.
  • 19:00: - Early evening: aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30: - Dinner at the mill: Warm pesto rice salad; porchetta alla Toscana, with a green bean and feta cheese salad; panna cotta. Wines
  • After dinner: - Coffee/tea and digestivi in the mill sitting room.

Friday

  • 08:30: - Continental breakfast at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioches, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea)
  • Vecchio Tino restaurant
  • 09:30-11:00: - Cookery session: fruit preserves, making grape and rosemary jelly
  • Transport (say 11:00) to ancient hilltop village of Monte dei Bianchi: spectacular mountain views, valleys, hill-top villages, olive groves, etc.
  • 11:45-13:00: - Visit to local organic vineyard, with tastings
  • Walk (circa 1000 metres) to Vecchio Tino restaurant for special gourmet lunch (1315): risotto con pere e gorgonzola; san-martino fish baked in chestnut leaves, seasonal vegetables; sorbetto con limone. Coffee, tea. Wine. Talk with chef
  • 14:30 - Transport to the watermill
  • 15:00-17:00: - Cookery session: making limoncello and biscottini
  • Early evening: - Farewell prosecco on the vine verandah, with chicory leaves with olives and tuna antipasto
  • 19:30: - Dinner at the mill: home-made lasagne al forno; pecorino fresco and semistagionato, with fresh pears and local acacia and chestnut honeys; insalata fresca; zucchini fritti; home-made tiramisù. Wines
  • After dinner: - Coffee/tea and digestivi in the mill sitting room.

Saturday

  • (time to be arranged) - Continental breakfast at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioches, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea).
  • Transport to Pisa airport between 08:30 and 09:30. Those with late flights may leave their bags at the airport and take a (very short) taxi ride to Pisa for sightseeing

We can cater for vegetarians and others with dietary requirements (please tell us in advance).