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Language holidays' itinerary

This exciting itinerary starts and ends at Pisa airport, because that is where most of our international guests arrive. We’ll discuss with you the best times to arrive there.

The indoors/outdoors activities will obviously depend on the weather. The activities can also be tailored to the aspirations of the students (culture/history/environment/local produce etc.)

First Saturday:

  • Pick-up at Pisa airport between 1100 hrs and 1300 hrs (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.
  • Early evening: aperitivi on the vine verandah; brief welcome from The Watermill and Langues Servicesteams. Discussion of the week’s activities.
  • Transport by mini-bus to the nearby walled Medieval town of Fivizzano (about 5 minutes’ drive).
  • Dinner: an introduction to Tuscan cuisine at the Caffé Elvetico in the Piazza Medicea 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

  • Continental breakfast at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioche, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea).
  • First language session/assessment (say 1000 hrs to 1230 hrs) by Langues Services, on the vine verandah, the studio (overlooking the gardens and the river) or the main salotto, as appropriate.
  • Lunch in the watermill courtyard dining room: finocchio al forno (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 according to the season and a mustard vinaigrette dressing.
  • Afternoon language session at the mill: (say 1430 hrs to 1500 hrs).
  • Early evening: aperitivi on the vine verandah.
  • 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 main salotto.

Monday

  • Continental breakfast at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioche, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea).
  • Morning language session (say 1000 hrs to 1200 hrs) by Langues Service, on the vine verandah, the studio or the main salotto, as appropriate.
  • Transport to Verrucola (around 1215 hrs; about 10 minutes’ drive): impressive castle with village nestling around; walk around the village. Short talk on its history. Talk to passing inhabitants.
  • Lunch at Il Castello restaurant at Verrucola (1300): pasta; Roman beef stew (Stufatino Alla Romana); fresh fruit; wines; coffee/tea.
  • Possible activity in the early afternoon: Walk across the valley, via ancient bridge, then through olive groves and vineyards to the church at the village of Pognana.
  • Mid-afternoon (say 1530 hrs): transport from Pognana to the watermill.
  • Afternoon language session (say 1600 hrs to 1800 hrs)
  • Early evening: aperitivi on the vine verandah.
  • Dinner at the mill: tagliatelle con funghi; scaloppine Milanese di tacchino with seasonal vegetables; Macedonia di frutta fresche with home-made amoretto mousse ice-cream, Wines.
  • After dinner: Coffee/tea and digestivi in the main salotto.

Tuesday

  • Continental breakfast at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioche, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea).
  • Short morning language session (say 0930 hrs to 1100 hrs) by Langues Services, on the vine verandah, the studio or the main salotto, as appropriate.
  • Transport to Fivizzano (around 1115 hrs): market day: produce stalls etc.; opportunity to explore city walls. Talk to stall-holders, café staff etc.
  • Lunch in Fivizzano: Panino, home-made ice cream and coffee at the Gelateria Ricci in Fivizzano.
  • Transport (say 1400 hrs) to the watermill.
  • Afternoon language session (say 1430 hrs to 1800 hrs) Early evening: aperitivi on the vine verandah.
  • 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 main salotto.

Wednesday

(No formal teaching sessions this day)

  • Early continental breakfast (say 0800 hrs) at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioche, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea).
  • Transport (say 0830) 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 1830).
  • Transport to watermill.
  • Early evening: aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 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 main salotto.

Thursday

  • Continental breakfast at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioche, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea).
  • Morning language session (say 0930 hrs to 1200 hrs) by Langues Services, on the vine verandah, the studio or the main salotto, as appropriate.
  • Light lunch at the mill: Home-made goat-cheese-and-tomato torta with home-made coleslaw; fresh fruit.
  • Afternoon: Transport to Pontremoli (around 40 minutes) for guided tour, including statue stele, by Farfalle in cammino OR Exploring the via Francigena with Faralle in cammino. Guided historical tours in Italian
  • Transport to watermill late afternoon.
  • Early evening: aperitivi on the vine verandah.
  • Dinner at the mill: Warm pesto rice salad; porchetta alla Toscana, with a green bean and feta cheese salad; orange cheese cake. Wines.
  • After dinner: Coffee/tea and digestivi in the main salotto.

Friday

  • Continental breakfast at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioche, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea).
  • Morning language session (say 0930 hrs to 1145 hrs) by Langues Services, on the vine verandah, the studio or the main salotto, as appropriate.
  • Transport (say 1200 hrs) to Monte dei Bianchi (circa 30 minutes)
  • Explore village: ancient houses and church, spectacular mountain views, valleys, hill-top villages, olive groves, etc. Posible visit to local vineyard.
  • Walk (circa 1000 metres) to Vecchio Tino restaurant for special gourmet lunch: risotto con pere e gorgonzola; san martino baked in chestnut leaves, seasonal vegetables; sorbetto con limone e prosecco. Coffee, tea. Wine.
  • Transport to the watermill.
  • Farwell language session (say 1600 hrs to 1800 hrs) by Langues Services, on the vine verandah, the studio or the main salotto, as appropriate
  • Early evening: prosecco on the vine verandah.
  • Dinner at the mill: Chicory leaves with olives and peperoncino; 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 main salotto.

Saturday

  • Continental breakfast at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioche, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea).
  • Transport to Pisa airport between 8.30am and 9.30am. 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).

This is a draft itinerary. It can be altered to suit the group’s cultural requirements, to be discussed with each participant.