Find your Oomph! retreat 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.

Pre-course

Caroline will contact individual participants before the start of the retreat to get to know you a little, and so that she can plan accordingly. Therefore, the ‘Oomph! Activities’ schedule is flexible and will be fleshed out nearer the time.

Itinerary

Saturday

  • Arrival Day. Everyone is picked up at Pisa airport in the morning by air-conditioned minibus or car for the beautiful drive to The Watermill.
  • Lunch (oven-roasted vegetables with feta cheese and couscous; spinach and ricotta tarts; fresh fruit) will be served in the dining room in The Watermill courtyard
  • In the afternoon: Introductory Oomph! session
  • 17:00 - Millstream and riverside walk for those who want to come
  • 18:45 - Aperitivi on the vine verandah before a short minibus drive to the nearby walled Medieval town of Fivizzano
  • 19:30 - ‘Introduction to Tuscany’ dinner at the Elvetico caffé, sampling the freshly cooked delights of the unique local cuisine. Local wines
  • 21:30 - Transport back to the mill.

Sunday

  • 08:00 Pre-breakfast meditation/activity in the Watermill studio, the walled garden or the riverside gardens
  • 08:30 - Buffet breakfast in the Watermill dining room
  • 09:30-12:30: Playful Oomph! activities to help set clear personal intentions for the week. The morning is interspersed with plenty of breaks, and a chance to book 1-1 Oomphwork coaching sessions with Caroline if required
  • 12:30 - Lunch in the Watermill dining room: Sample menu (all menus will vary according to the availability of fresh local produce): fennel baked in white wine and cream, and topped with fresh breadcrumbs and parmigiano; panzanella al mulino, a traditional Florentine salad brought up to date by the watermill chefs: olive oil, bread, onions, tomatoes from the garden, capers, olives, fresh basil from the garden; songino (lamb’s lettuce) topped with fresh nasturtium flowers and/or borage flowers, with a honey and mustard vinaigrette; bresaola (air-cured Italian beef) with parmigiano shavings; fresh fruit in season (possibly including Watermill figs). Local wines
  • 14:30-17:30 - Group coaching/discussion and further empowering Oomph! activities. Intentional downtime, during which there will be the possibility for some 1-1 sessions with Caroline.
  • 17:30 - 19:00 - Free time to enjoy the gardens, maybe even a cheeky nap in the sunshine!
  • 19:00 - Join everyone for a refreshing aperitivo on the Vine Verandah
  • 19:30 - Dinner in the Watermill courtyard dining room. Sample menu: gorgonzola soufflé, Tuscan lentils and Tuscan sausage (there will be a vegetarian option) with fresh vegetables and garden potatoes; pears baked in red wine, vanilla and cinnamon, served with a mascarpone cream
  • 21:00 – Evening session to be confirmed. (After-dinner teas, coffee, digestivi are available in the communal sitting room.)

Monday

  • 08:00 - 08:30 Pre-breakfast meditation/activity in the Watermill studio, the walled garden or the riverside gardens
  • 08:30 Buffet breakfast in the Watermill dining room
  • 09:30 - 12:00 Oomph! activity and transformative practices
  • 12:15 - Pre-lunch historic stroll: We’ll take a short ride in a comfortable air-conditioned minibus to Verrucola (about 10 minutes’ drive). Short walk around the take in the imposing castle and beautiful village, with notes on its history
  • 13:00 - Lunch at Il Castello trattoria at Verrucola. Sample menu: pasta with tomato sauce; Stufatino alla Romana (Roman beef stew); fresh fruit; wines; coffee/tea. Vegetarian option available.
  • 14:30 - Transport to the watermill
  • 15:30 - 18:00: Further transformative practices, plus personal reflection time, during which some 1-1 sessions may take place.
  • 18:00 - 19:00: Free time for relaxation. Facilities for tea- and coffee-making, biscuits etc., available in the communal kitchen
  • 19:00 - Aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30 - Dinner in the Watermill courtyard dining room. Sample menu: Farfalle alla primavera (pasta with fresh seasonal vegetables); cotoletta alla Milanese con tacchino (turkey breast escalopes) (There will be a vegetarian option); fresh seasonal vegetables from our gardens; panna cotta.
  • 21:00 – Evening session. (After-dinner teas, coffee, digestivi are available in the communal sitting room.)

Tuesday

  • 08:00 - 08:30 Pre-breakfast meditation/activity in the Watermill studio, the walled garden or the riverside gardens
  • 08:30 - Buffet breakfast in the Watermill dining room
  • 10:00 - Trip to the local market in the nearby walled Medieval town of Fivizzano: by minibus or car. Browsing around the local market stalls -- merchants come with everything from local produce – cheeses, hams, mushrooms, roast chicken, fish, vegetables, flowers -- to leather bags, clothing, bling jewellery and fabrics. Walks along the city walls
  • 12:30 - Lunch at the local pasticceria/gelateria: fresh panini with cheese or ham filling; home-made ice-cream
  • Minibus returns to the mill after lunch (some people might care to walk back.)
  • 14:00 - 18:00 Oomph activity and group coaching/discussion
  • Individual Shiatsu sessions available (extra at cost) or relaxing at the Watermill. Facilities for tea- and coffee-making, biscuits etc., available in the communal kitchen
  • 19:00 - Aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30 - Dinner in the Watermill courtyard dining room. Sample menu: risotto con funghi porcini (the ‘king of mushrooms’); Arista (Tuscan-style roast pork) (there will be a vegetarian option); fresh seasonal vegetables from our gardens; fresh fruit salad with home-made amaretto mousse ice-cream
  • 21:00 – Evening session. (After-dinner teas, coffee, digestivi are available in the communal sitting room.)

Wednesday

  • Day’s excursion to Lucca
    Today we take a break from our daily schedule and take a trip together to the old city of Lucca, one of the treasures of Tuscany. You don’t need to worry about anything at all; all logistics are arranged so we can fully take in the day. The minibus will take you to the nearby station after breakfast and pick you up to bring you back in time for aperitivi and dinner.

    Lucca is our favourite Italian city, imposing dark red brick walls, wide enough to walk (or cycle: hire a bike) all the way round. The centre is wonderful with superb architecture, notably the San Michele church, the Cathedral, the medieval Piazza del Anfiteatro echoing the shape of the old Roman amphitheatre, the classical splendour of the Piazza Napoleone. And there are shops where you’ll find great shoes and leather goods, and there’s an elegant pedestrian shopping street, the Via Filungo.

    The train heads slowly from the station at Aulla on the single-track railway, meandering through the Alpi Apuane regional park, taking about an hour and 30 minutes to get to Lucca (and about one hour and 45 minutes back, don’t ask why!), but the journey itself is worthwhile not just for the great scenery (the impressive marble mountains, sparkling rivers, hilltop villages) but for observing Italian life.
    For lunchtime, we are very happy to give you the ingredients for a packed lunch, but most people seem to prefer to choose their own café or restaurant for lunch (we can make recommendations) and enjoy a leisurely Italian meal in the heat of the day.
  • Around 19:30 - Aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • Around 20:00 - Dinner in the Watermill courtyard dining room. (Sample menu: fagiolini (warm green beans with gat’s cheese) ; baked salmon (a vegetarian option is available); fresh seasonal vegetables; Torta della Nonna speciale.
  • 21:00 – Evening session. (After-dinner teas, coffee, digestivi are available in the communal sitting room.)

Thursday

  • 08:00 - Pre-breakfast meditation/activity in the Watermill studio, the walled garden or the riverside gardens
  • 08:30 - Buffet breakfast in the Watermill dining room
  • 10:00 - Short trip by mini-bus and car to a nearby privately-owned convent
  • 10:30 - Beautiful Laughter meditation in the cloisters of this beautiful convent. Time will also be given to enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Vacuum flasks of hot water for tea-, coffee-making.
  • 12:30 - Picnic lunch at the convent: light, delicious and nourishing, including farro salad, frittata with fresh vegetables and vegetable tarts fresh from the local baker
  • 14:00 - Transport to the Watermill
  • 15:00 - 18:00 - 1-1 sessions. Individual Shiatsu sessions available (extra at cost) or relaxing at the Watermill. Facilities for tea- and coffee-making, biscuits etc., available in the communal kitchen
  • 19:00 - Aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30 - Dinner in the Watermill courtyard dining room. Sample menu: an amuse gueule of endive leaves with tuna, olives and a hint of peperoncino; a special homemade lasagne with a ragú, made by our Italian grandmother Mirella (a vegetarian option is available); local pecorino sheep cheeses, served with fresh pears and drizzled with Lunigiana honey, the only honey in Italy to be DOP – denominazione di orgine controllato; green salad from the garden; Mirella’s home-made tiramisú (to die for!) Wines.
  • 21:00 – Evening session. (After-dinner teas, coffee, digestivi are available in the communal sitting room.)

Friday

  • 08:00 - Pre-breakfast meditation/activity in the Watermill studio, the walled garden or the riverside gardens
  • 08:30 - Buffet breakfast in the Watermill dining room
  • 10:00 - Leave for 1000-year-old village of Monte dei Bianchi in minibus and car
  • 10:30 - Explore village with stunning views over Apuan Alps mountains, vineyards and wooded valley. Walk (half a mile) to gourmet hill-top restaurant with fabulous views the setting for On-location yoga in the restaurant grounds, olive groves
  • 13:00 - Gourmet lunch at the hill-top restaurant. Sample menu: risotto with gorgonzola and pears; freshly caught San Martino fish (char), oven-baked on chestnut leaves, with rosemary sprigs from the garden; seasonal vegetables; a sorbet with prosecco and lemon. Local wines
  • 14:30 - Return to the Watermill
  • 15:00 - 18:00 Oomph! mega-joy-boost playtime and discussion to consolidate all that we’ve learned. Facilities for tea- and coffee-making, biscuits etc., available in the communal kitchen
  • 19:00 - Prosecco on the vine verandah
  • 19:30 - Farewell dinner together in the Watermill courtyard dining room, celebrating local specialities. Sample menu: Insalata tepida di riso con pesto (warm pesto rice salad), Involtini di pollo (rolled chicken breast with cheese, ham, herbs), a vegetarian option is also available. Torta di cioccolato di Capri (chocolate cake made with crushed almonds instead of flour)
  • 21:00 - Farewell evening Oomph! session. (After-dinner teas, coffee, digestivi are available in the communal sitting room.)

Saturday

Arriverderci e buon viaggio
After breakfast, we take off for the airport by car or air-conditioned minibus. We hope that you will leave refreshed, renewed, rejuvenated, inspired -- and armed with practical knowledge to help you carry your Oomph! retreat experience into your daily life.

What’s included:

Everything, apart from your flights!

  • Seven nights’ accommodation
  • Transfers to and from Pisa Airport at specific times
  • All meals: Italian home cooking at the Watermill, and also trips to local cafes and restaurants. There is always a vegetarian option. (Wine is also offered.)
  • All taxes
  • Facilitated discussions and group coaching with Caroline, including transformative practices to embody joy and inner freedom into your everyday life – whatever else is going on around you
  • 1-1 sessions with Caroline where possible, and if required
  • Built in downtime for reflection or to do your own thing
  • Trips most days to local places of interest
  • A special day out to visit Lucca by train