Frequently asked questions
Below are a few frequently asked questions relating to our painting holidays in Tuscany. If there are any further questions you need answering, please do not hesitate to contact us using our Contact Form.
At the Watermill
The Watermill is an historic building, dating from the 17th Century, and there are steps both internally and externally.
The Vasari Suite and the Ghirlandaio and Uccello bedrooms are accessible from ground level, with the odd step. The other bedrooms are on the first and second floors (US: second and third floors), accessed by internal and/or external stairs.
The painting studio is accessed by a flight of a dozen or so external steps.
The Vine Verandah in the Walled Garden, where aperitivi are served, has three stone steps leading from the Courtyard.
Painting on location
(click HERE for the typical painting itinerary)
Our transport will drop us off at lovely locations, but sometimes there will be a short walk to get to the best painting spots. The maximum walk (at Verrucola castle and village) is some 80 metres down quite a steep slope. At Fivizzano there is a walk of a similar distance, gently uphill from the lower gate of the town to the main piazza where the market is held. At the other locations our minibuses will drop you off within a few metres from where you will paint. As well as mobility, please also be certain you are able to carry what you need during your location painting sessions.
If you have doubts about your mobility, it would be wisest to bring a spouse or friend or carer who can help you.
The above gives an indication of steps at the Watermill
None whatsoever. Everything is included in the cost of your course: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals (including dinner with wine at charming local restaurants), and local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport; the excursion by train to Lucca or Cinque Terre).
All you have to do is to get to Pisa and we do the rest.
On the excursion day (transport is free), at breakfast time we'll provide materials for your own picnic lunch or, if you prefer, you can buy yourself a snack or a more formal lunch when you are out - it's up to you!
Other than that you only need money for personal needs, postcards and the odd cappuccino in the piazza.
We can organise special optional excursions for non-participating partners (npps) and will discuss these with the npps when they arrive. These extra excursions will be at cost. The Watermill makes no profit from them.
We pick you up at Pisa airport on the first day between 11am and 1pm. We organise precise pick-up times to fit in with our guests' flight arrivals times.
Transfers to the mill later than 1pm are extra, at cost. If you arrive later than 1pm, we can arrange a local taxi to come to pick you up at Pisa airport. This will be cheaper than hiring a taxi at Pisa airport. The cost for a taxi is of the order of 180 Euros. Alternatively, there are trains from Pisa Centrale (shuttle train from airport) to Aulla Lunigiana station and we can arrange to pick you up there, where the taxi fare will be far cheaper than from Pisa. If there are other people arriving outside our pick-up hours, we'll let you know and you will be able to share the transport costs.
Alternatively, you may care to arrive a day early and stay in Pisa overnight (See Where can I stay in Pisa? below) and come to the airport on the Saturday morning. The airport is close to the town and there is a shuttle bus from the centre, as well as a train and taxis. We will tell you the precise times we will pick you up from the airport on Saturday morning.
We depart for Pisa on the last Saturday after breakfast. In practice, this usually means there are two minibuses, leaving at around 8:30 am and 9:30 am, but precise timing does depend on all our guests' flight times. Since the mill is about a one-anda-quarter-hour to one-and-a-half-hour's drive from Pisa airport and since check-in starts two hours before flight time, your ideal return flight time should be later than about 12 noon. (A 1200 flight would mean having to be at the airport at 1000 and leaving the Watermill at 0830).If your flight is earlier than noon, we’ll try to help with our complimentary drop-off, but it depends on all our guests’ departures – and if your flight time means that you have to leave Posara before 7.30 am, we will arrange a taxi for you, for which you will have to pay.
Those with late afternoon or evening flights from Pisa may find it more convenient to leave their bags at left luggage in the central railway station (Pisa Centrale) and take a (very short) taxi ride or walk into to Pisa for sightseeing. There is a regular shuttle train from the station to the airport (Pisa Aeroporto), taking about five minutes. It is probably wisest to check shuttle times before sightseeing/lunch, to ensure arrival at the airport on time.
If you prefer, we can drop those with late flights at the airport itself in the morning. There is also a left luggage service there, located in the Arrivals area, open from 8am to 8pm, but it apparently costs €20 per bag. You can leave your luggage there and hop on the Pisamover shuttle train from Pisa Aeroporto station to Pisa Centrale station in the centre of town. The airport is close to the town and the shuttle only takes about five minutes. Or you can take a taxi from the rank just outside the Arrivals area if you prefer.
Please let us know your flight details (particularly arrivals) as early as you can, so we can make all the necessary arrangements.
The deposit is non-returnable, unless you cancel within 14 days of the booking.
If the course has to be postponed because of official restrictions due to disease, terrorism or on armed conflicts, the deposit may be transferred to a course with the same tutor at a later date, or to another tutor of your choice.
If you have to cancel four to eight weeks before departure, a charge of 40%of the total price is payable; at two to four weeks, 60%; at one to two weeks, 80%; at less than one week, 90%. Once the course has started, 100% is payable. We highly recommend that you take out travel insurance that includes provision for you having to cancel.
We don’t stay there ourselves of course, but our travel advisers and guests have in the past recommended:
- Bologna Hotel Pisa http://bologna.pisahotelsitaly.it/ - 4 star
- Alessandro della Spina http://www.hoteldellaspina.it/ - 3 star
- Hotel Roma http://www.hotelroma.pisa.it/ - 3 star
- Relais dell'Orologio http://www.hotelrelaisorologio.com/eng/#!/page_splash - 5 star
- One of our guests regularly stays at the cheap and cheerful B&B Gate 52: http://www.gate52pisarooms.it/ and he swears it was exceptional value and very convenient.
- We also have heard good things of the 4 star Republica Marinara http://www.hotelrepubblicamarinara.it/en/
- And, very near the tower, Hotel Pisa Tower https://www.hotelpisatower.com/ - 3 star
Added by guests in 2017/8:
La Corte di Stelio www.lacortedistelio.it Tel: +39 050 2200092
Excellent B&B, very close to the airport, ideal for late arrival and Watermill pick-up next day at the airport. Hot and cold drinks available 24/7, good buffet breakfast. Very friendly family business.
Hotel Roma Www.hotelroma.pisa.it Tel: - +39 050 550578
Excellent B&B, just across the road from the city walls and the Baptistry, Cathedral, and Leaning Tower. Also, there is a bus stop outside the hotel to get to other areas of Pisa.
Added by guests in 2018/9:
Palazzo Kinsky, 52 Via San Martino, just south of the river.
Added by tutor Randy Hale in 2022
La Corte di Lisa B&B, Via San Bernardo 22. https://www.lacortedilisa.com/
Adjacent to Piazza della Pera with about 7-8 restaurants an bars all around the perimeter. Filled with local families on a Friday evening! (NE part of Pisa, yet on south side of river).
The best airport to arrive at is Pisa, which has many daily flights to and from international destinations. You might also care to fly into Florence and spend a few days there. There is a regular train service from Florence Santa Maria Novella station to Pisa Centrale, where there is a shuttle train which takes only a few minutes to arrive at Pisa Aeroporto, where we pick our guests up on the morning of the first Saturday of their holiday week.
We recommend that you do not book your flights until we have told you that sufficient numbers have enrolled on a course to make it viable, and that it will definitely run. We will let you know this at the earliest opportunity, (many months before the start of the course) to help you get the best deals on flights online or through your local travel agent. When booking your flights, please note our complimentary pick-up and drop-off times, which you can find in the section above. And don't forget to take out travel insurance.
Of course you can. You can park at the mill and we'll give you full instructions on how to get here. (We haven't lost anyone yet!). We reckon you can do Calais to the mill easily in two days using the French autoroutes and the Italian autostrade and it is even more fun if you take three days and make a holiday of the journey. We recommend stops near Strasbourg and beside Lake Como if you make a three-day trip. We'll gladly share our experiences of motoring down, suggesting routes and places to stay.
Yes, of course. Italian electricity supply is 220 Volts, You will need an adaptor from your plug to a 2-pin continental socket. Most of our bedrooms now have a good wi-fi signal, but if you have any problems, you will find the best signal in the communal sitting room.
Your tutor will be in touch well before the course with a suggested list of materials, but we are generally very relaxed and there's no obligation to bring anything specific.
To save you being overloaded on your flight we can provide:
- lightweight portable easels
- portable chairs
- drawing boards
- water bottles
- white spirit
No, all linen and towels are provided. There's also a washing machine for communal use, but please ask us first so we can fit you in around the mill's laundering.
There are hairdryers in each room. If you bring your own, the electricity is 220V. You will need an adaptor from your system to a two-pin European plug.
In an emergency it's probably best for your friends or relatives to contact Bill on his Italian mobile: +39 327 379 9178. Or Lois at +39 328 471 3589. Or you can call our manager Karsten on his mobile: +39 347 979 3294.
If you bring your laptop you can receive emails in our communal sitting room.
Please note that the numbers above are correct; don't add or subtract zeroes to those above.
Please see the Note on mobility above if you have any doubts about your capacity to climb steps or walk short distances.
At the Watermill there are steps, both internally and externally.
The maximum walk (at Verrucola castle and village) is some 80 metres down quite a steep slope. At Fivizzano there is a walk of a similar distance, gently uphill from the lower gate of the town to the main piazza where the market is held. At the other locations our minibuses will drop you off within a few metres of your destination.
If you have doubts about your mobility, it would be wisest to bring a spouse or friend or carer who can help you.
The Wednesday excursion is to Lucca or the Cinque Terre is by train. How much walking you do when you get there is entirely up to you! There is some strenuous walking in the Cinque Terre if you want to do it, but there are ferry boats (and trains) between the villages.
Non-participating partners are welcome to join the groups. You should certainly come on the day we go to the wonderful Al Vecchio Tino restaurant (usually the Friday) in its spectacular setting, and on the excursion to Lucca or the Cinque Terre on the Wednesday. And we have many suggestions for fun places to visit and things to do while your partner is busy on the course. If you come by car, of course, you will enjoy even more freedom. Many non-participating partners, however, find it rather relaxing to choose a quiet spot in the walled garden or the riverside gardens and settle back with a book or enjoying a dappled-sunlight snooze....
Visit our Partners activities page HERE for more information
Comments on our 2023 painting holidays
A few of the many comments from our 2023 painting holiday guests
My sincere thanks to you both for being such incredible hosts during my recent painting holiday with Ali at The Watermill. Your attention to detail and expert planning meant that our only “task” each day was to simply get on with enjoying the delicious food, tremendous hospitality and spectacular surroundings. MA
We spent a wonderful week at The Watermill on a terrific painting course with Ali Hargreaves. Lois and Bill are incredible hosts and their attention to detail and expert planning are brilliant. Our only “task” each day was simply to get on with enjoying the delicious food, tremendous hospitality and spectacular places to which we were transported. All the staff were delightful, but Karsten deserves a special mention for ensuring the smooth running of all Lois and Bill’s plans so brilliantly. PoT
Sad to leave the Watermill at Posara after an amazing week. Bill and Lois are the perfect hosts and our tutor Ali (Alisart) was inspirational and great fun. The food was superb and the wine flowed – all locally sourced – Italian cooking at its best. The accommodation at the location was stunning, said by the river with beautiful gardens and an incredible bamboo forest. The Watermill is also Cool and Green. All the Bedrooms have air-conditioning provided by the sun’s energy! The sola!- powered cells make it self-sufficient in electricity generation. A wonderful week with a lovely group. MA
I have recently returned home from a painting holiday based at The Watermill in Posara, Tuscany and have to say it was a wonderful experience from start to finish. Bill and Lois Breckon have thought of everything to make their guests feel comfortable, relaxed and 'at home' at The Watermill. The location is beautiful, peaceful and interesting - who would have expected to be walking through a bamboo wood on the first day? My bedroom (named Fra Angelico, after an Italian artist) was a quiet haven to return to each evening. One of my favourite rooms downstairs was the lounge, where we would gather after dinner for coffee and liqueurs. Big, comfy sofas that swallow you up, tables laden with interesting books and walls adorned with paintings by visiting art tutors. Just a delight of a room. Meals throughout the week were delicious and beautifully presented. Home-made marmalade and jam at breakfast was an added pleasure for me. Off-site locations for painting meant an exciting start to the day, not really knowing what to expect and the journey giving us sight of the surrounding countryside. This was my first painting holiday and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Art sessions were laid back with no pressure to paint a particular scene. I liked the fact that you could paint what appealed to you most at each location. Being in a group was good because we all inspired each other and the tutor Ali Hargreaves was there to help if we struggled to capture the image properly. She was highly creative, fun and easy going. Would I recommend a painting holiday at The Watermill in Posara to others? Would I recommend Ali as a tutor and most important of all, would I go there again? Absolutely to all three questions. IP
This was a return visit and, as on previous visits, it didn’t disappoint (apart from the weather). The course itself, which was led by Georgia Farrell, had just the right balance of tuition, support and free knitting time. Most days there was something special to do such as a visit to the local market in Fivvizzano, or lunch in a delightful small walled hill town, or a visit to Cinque Terre. The Watermill itself is a haven of peace and calm. The food is amazing, the rooms are beautiful and immaculately clean and who doesn’t love apéritivi time, not to mention post dinner digestivi? Lois, Bill and Karsten and their team are brilliant hosts.
Can’t wait to go back again next year. AW
Spending a week every year since 2017 at The Watermill has been such a pleasure and something to always look forward to. Bill, Lois and Karsten are such wonderful hosts! I've joined several knitting courses and one Italian language course which were all great fun and relaxing. And the food, especially on the days that Lois is cooking, is just something else to look forward to ! The rooms are lovely and all have air-conditioning. The places we visit each year remain spectacular even after so many times, they are well worth it. LM
Just had a lovely time on a knitting week at the Watermill. A lovely place with good food and company, you are made to feel very welcome . Even heavy rain can't spoil it! Food allergy catered for with no fuss. SU
Thank you both and the whole team for such a fantastic holiday. Given the reviews on the website my expectations were high, but my experience there exceeded all my expectations, and some! JJ
Non-artist tagged along with spouse. Went on a watercolors art workshop with my wife and had a fantastic week. My wife is the artist and I was there as a "nonparticipant". We had one day for an excursion together to Cinque Terra but otherwise I tagged along with the group as a non-participant. While there were options to arrange activities such as river fishing through the watermill, or staying at the watermill and relaxing on the beautiful grounds to read, write or work, I opted to tag along with the art group and enjoy the hiking and walks around the various painting locations. Karsten was very helpful in letting me know of the different trails. The friendly encounters with town residents, vineyard workers and shop workers were great as well as the scenery and the sights. The meals were provided and all were delicious and of the locale. One evening the local high school saxophone band performed for us before dinner. I'm sure the art workshop was great but I'm glad I tagged along with my wife for a wonderful week in Tuscany. SB
Still coming back to reality after such a great experience at The Watermill. We were truly spoiled by Lois, Bill and Karsten,who really know how to make their guests feel like personal friends with nothing being too much trouble. Meals were superb and the wine flowed whilst we thoroughly enjoyed the company of the other guests. We both learnt so much from Pamme who gave her all to everyone at whatever level of painting experience we began the week with. One of our most memorable holidays to be sure... CM
An Effortless Vacation for Artists. Our painting group from Florida regularly takes one-week trips in the U.S. and abroad, but nothing as effortless as The Watermill at Posara in Tuscany, which promised just get to Pisa and we’ll do the rest. The week flew by with excursions to a castle, a monastery and quaint villages. When we weren’t painting, we enjoyed prearranged lunches in local restaurants and even better meals at The Watermill. Even on the grounds of the restored mill, we sketched the river, the gardens and antique mill gear. Lois and Bill Breckon, our hosts, cheerfully presided over pre- and post-dinner drinks. By the end of the week, we had many wonderful paintings of the Tuscan countryside and fantastic memories. TA
I arranged for Fort Myers Beach Art Association artists to have a retreat without an instructor as we have done several other times in various locations. Lois and Bill were easy to work with and shared our excitement throughout the 2 year planning process. We had 18 artists and spouses at the Watermill in May and all of us were thrilled with every aspect of the visit. The grounds and buildings are beautifully and thoughtfully restored. The food and drinks were generous and delicious. We were taken to beautiful locations to paint and usually have lunch either at a local café or one time brought in by Karsten, our guide. My husband and I stayed in the Vasari apartment which was right next to the kitchen and early morning coffee. A lovely terrace was just outside to enjoy. Lois and Bill have the week planned perfectly and were most gracious in helping with any need that arose...like cold medicine as the germs were passed around. We can't say enough about how wonderful our week was. MB
Thank you so much for your excellent and efficient hosting, planning and delicious food (so good, I have just spent a fortune at our local Italian deli in an attempt to replicate some of your dishes). Please pass on my thanks to Karsten for his patience in answering all our questions and for sharing his knowledge of the history of the area, and to your staff for looking after us so well. .James Willis, as always, was an excellent teacher and this wonderful trip will long remain as a highlight of my efforts to create a passable watercolour 'en plein air.' CH
It was a great pleasure to be there and meet you both. No doubt we will remember your wonderful hospitality, delicious cuisine, comfy premises, breathtaking environment, flawless service, kindness of everyone we met … a great blend of many beautiful and pleasant things that made our journey unforgettable. On top of all these pleasures painting with a master was certainly the icing on the cake. It was another delightful, challenging and learning experience we took with us. We learned a lot from Herman and on my behalf I can not wait to practice the new techniques I learned. We are immensely encouraged to do more plein air workshops. Last but not least Painting at The Watermill Posara can become an addiction! GK
A Week in Paradise. It was a perfect week that far exceeded our expectations-our comfortable room with a beautiful view, the gourmet food, the friendly, helpful staff and the beautiful grounds. We were pampered. Meals at the Mill were served at a large dining table. During the week we were taken to restaurants where we were served local, but gourmet food. A "picnic" lunch was a beautiful spread brought by trucks and served in a room of an old monastery. Our painting group was driven to interesting sites to paint in a van and cars with impeccable coordination and timing. Lois, Bill and Karsten are truly gracious, amazing hosts. CR
What an invigorating week it was for me~ sweet dreams & soft pillows, lively conversations on the vine (wine) terrace, out-of-this-world food and natural beauty around each curve. Thank you, thank you, thank you! CB
Writing My Life in My Twenties. I arrived at the Watermill knowing I was going to be a lot younger than the other participants (I just turned 23!), but I knew in my heart that this course was something I really, really wanted to do. To say it exceeded my expectations is an understatement!
I was welcomed with open arms from the minute I stepped in the front door, after arriving hassle free to the Mill thanks to Bill and Lois’. I instantly connected with everyone in the small group as a result of hearing their life stories. They took me under their wing, making me feel safe and included, knowing this was my first solo trip!
Jo, our tutor, can only be described as magic (she will definitely hate that I used an empty adjective here..Sorry!) The tasks she set pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to find my authentic writing voice. She encouraged me to pursue my goal of writing about my life now, in my twenties, and taught me how to do this effectively. I produced more stories that week than I had in my three years as an English undergraduate.
The hard work of Bill, Lois, Karsten and the rest of the marvellous staff will have you wanting for nothing at the Watermill. Food, drinks and transport are all taken care of for you. The carefully crafted itinerary meant that not only did we get to do our classes with Jo, but were brought to many different landmarks such as a castle, a monastery, the market and the dazzling city of Lucca.
Finally, the Watermill itself is like a movie set. I already miss opening the door of the Donatello suite and being met with the beautiful landscape in front of me. I can’t recommend the Watermill enough, no matter what age you are or what stage of life you are at. AS
Exceptional workshop holiday in beautiful Italian retreat. We attended a one week 'writing your memoir' course at this idyllic location.
Lois and Bill have created something which is truly magical.
Sense of being welcomed and the relaxing environment is among the best we have ever known in our extensive travels. Everything is included and nothing is too much trouble. It was an exceptional week with the retreat element being calm and the teaching sessions very stimulating. We met a diverse group of like-minds and hope to stay in touch for a very long time. J&P L
The painting course was an excellent time, not only for me, but for all the participants. There was all the time a tremendous feeling from the moment I came and met you in this wonderful peaceful place. Thank you very much for making my dream come true. AS
This is a beautiful setting for a relaxed holiday which we paired with a painting course lead by Fiona Graham Mackay.
Bill and Lois are perfect hosts and ensured our stay was a seamless week of healthy, delicious, culinary delights, with aperitifs, digestives, tours and painting in and around the Watermill. Their colleague, Karsten, a gem, was on hand to help and lead us when Lois and Bill were not there for a couple of days. So, we felt very nurtured. From a painting viewpoint there is certainly plenty to enjoy both around the Mill and its surrounding woodland and river features and also a great studio. Daily trips were arranged, usually nearby, which provided interest for both artists and their non painting partners although I could easily have stayed at the Watermill on some days without going further afield.
We chose to go to Cinque Terre (alternative choice Lucca) for one full day which was a treat for us. Again, we were well informed about train times etc once we had been driven to Aulla the nearest station. We completed the Blue walk between the furthest two towns which was worth doing although a challenge. AD
Aspiring artist’s delight. Wonderful time had.Great company of fellow artists and splendid hosts.Loved the bed pillows, the food, the relaxed atmosphere. Excellent time had by all attendees;I was on an art course. Fiona Graham-Mackay is such a great tutor. PR-S
Our time at the mill has drawn to an end. It has been the most magical and precious time with like minded people and friendships born from across the globe that will last a lifetime. I have been challenged artistically and grown in my skill level which was exactly what I wanted and needed. I have been brave enough to try new things, and supported and encouraged by the amazingly talented #belindabiggs in a non threatening and nurturing environment, hosted by the amazing Louis, Bill, Karsten and their staff in ways I can't even begin to explain (they were exceptional), eaten the most amazing locally grown and sourced meals, and seen some of Italy not everyone gets to, painted and crafted in some very remote and God inspiring and stunning places. This is a week I will hold close, close, close, to my heart as one that has changed and grown me in ways I can't begin to put words to. MA
Painting holidays: previous guests' comments
A few of the many comments from our previous painting holiday guests:
was so pleased with my experience at the Watermill. The attention to detail was impressive--well cared for property, clean rooms (all with own bathrooms) with amenities and regular housekeeping, delicious meals, logistics for each day's activity well-planned and precise; I did not have to worry about anything except focusing on my painting which is what I went there to do! The hosts, Bill and Lois, are friendly and kind (and orgainzed!) Karsten and the rest of the staff also welcoming and ready to assist with any question. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and will visit again. Meals were great and my request for vegetarian substitutes as needed readily met. Transportation to and from airport provided. This is a gem of a place! JW
I feel so lucky to have spent a week at the watermill and i give it my most enthusiastic recommendation. my list of appreciations is long, but foremost is that every detail is accounted for - there are simply NO logistical hitches! guests are totally free to both pursue what they came to do - in my case painting - and to enjoy the beautiful surroundings (of which i took at least 1000 photographs). nothing was lacking - the facilities are a wonderful blend of history, beauty, and functionality; the food is plentiful, soulful, and clearly made by hand; the house wines are lovely (not to mention the daily aperitivi and digestivi); and the espresso flows at any time of day. the hosts even lent me a mat and weights so i could continue my daily workout routine. there were absolutely no extra charges or fees. in short, my painting tutor was able to totally focus on her students in this environment - what an amazing luxury.
I had a wonderful time at The Watermill.. A fantastically beautiful setting and accommodation, with amazing hospitality, and food to die for. A really special group of people, we painted with the superb artist Keiko Tanabe, such a great lady, such fun, and so generous with her time. I hope you consider visiting The Watermill if you are near to Pisa, italy because for me it was the trip of a lifetime!!! HM
Just back from possibly the best Art workshop at the Watermill at Posara. Tutor non other than the renowned Keiko Tanabe. Art, food, wine were tried but friendships were born and will continue. Lois, Bill and Karsten were absolutely super hosts. If you haven't been there, put it on your wishlist. PM
We just can’t thank you enough for such a fabulous week at The Watermill. It is such a lovely place to be, but you and your staff go over the top to make it an exceptional week. And Lois is such a good cook! Have you ever considered compiling some of your recipes?
We had a fabulous group of painters. A delightful mix. And of course, Keiko is not only a painter she does a terrific job teaching and tuning into individuals. MLW & WW
Having just enjoyed my 15th, yes 15th, painting week at The Watermill at Posara, now fully operational again after lockdown, I can with enthusiasm say that I can think of no more exhilarating setting for such a holiday.
The welcome from Bill and Lois Breckon is as warm as ever. The accommodation, together with all the delicious menus, consisting almost exclusively of locally produced ingredients, is faultless. All rooms are en suite.
Over the years I have chosen a variety of teachers, experts mainly in watercolour. All have been stimulating, helpful and encouraging.
Non-painting partners are most welcome. They can either join the artists on their daily excursions or simply relax in the beautiful gardens or beside the picturesque river Rosaro which provides the water for the mill-race which still runs beneath the old Tuscan buildings now so attractively restored and adapted.
One day mid-week is free for an optional visit either to Lucca (longish but very picturesque train journey) or to the Cinque Terre (sometimes crowded), but both enjoyable - fares included in the price.
I cannot praise a 'Watermill at Posara' painting holiday too highly. WS
This was my first visit to The Watermill. I was there as a solo traveller. My week was art-tutored by the decidedly talented, stimulating, patient and knowledgeable Maggie Renner Hellmann. Words don’t do justice to all her charming and artistic attributes. As a complete novice, she guided me with tact and inspiration and I ended up quite proud of my watercolour daubs that resembled those by a 2 year old. Still, practice makes perfect!
The accommodation in picturesque rural surroundings in Tuscany was very comfortable and restful with all amenities. Everything ran like clockwork. Delicious food appeared as if by magic at mealtimes washed down by copious quantities of local wine. Excursions and transport were well planned and there were no hitches. Nothing was too much trouble for Lois and Bill Breckon or for Karsten.
Members of staff were unobtrusive and everything imaginable was done to render it a memorable week. The fellowship of other participants (painting and nonpainting) was interesting and congenial. All in all, it was a most enjoyable holiday. SJ
Thank you for all your work , welcome and hospitality to make our week in the Watermill so pleasant. The place is very beautiful and conducive to art and relaxation. The food was really lovely and so beautifully presented. I really appreciated all the extra effort you made to see that we, non painters, were educated and entertained. SC
We had a wonderful time last week. Loved it all—the Botticelli room and the comfy bedding. Our delightful hosts. Your organization and thoughtfulness. Karsten! Our excellent drivers. The location and the beautiful Watermill property in general. The help you gave us both before and during the week. I would encourage others to take classes at The Watermill. SS
Best holiday I've had in years! A wonderful week spent painting watercolour landscapes with the inspirational guidance and teaching of Paul Talbot Greaves. Everything was taken care of, all we had to do was paint - and eat! Our group of 12 visited a market, hill-top villages, a former monastery and the glorious city of Lucca, using the sketches and photographs we made to help us produce work in the studio later. Each evening featured a delicious three course meal, cooked by Lois or other members of her local team - I must have put on about half a stone! My single room was plain but comfortable, spotlessly clean, with an en suite shower and superb views of the beautiful grounds. The only downside couldn't be helped - the weather was unusually chilly for late April/early May. But the wonderful scenery and the beautiful flowers of the Tuscan hills more than made up for it. Thank you, Bill and Lois and all your many splendid helpers, for the best holiday I've had in years - and I've got some nice paintings to show for it! PT
Our accommodation was great and very palatial. The hospitality was wonderful. The itinerary was perfect for us and we really appreciated Bill's knowledge of Italian culture and traditions. Chris (non-painting partner) was grateful for the advice Bill gave him on the local walks and he thoroughly enjoyed himself. I enjoyed painting with Paul again and as usual learnt new techniques to improve my work. He is such a talented artist and so good at pitching his tuition to the needs of his students.
The locations we visited were so traditional and interesting and I have many images to refer to for future projects.
We loved the local Italian food, so different from other food we have had in other areas of Italy. Thanks for the yummy chocolate cake recipe. I shall definitely be making one when the family come round.
What a great group of people, I know I shall be keeping in touch with several . A wonderful holiday! Thanks to you both and your staff for looking after us so well. S&C H
A very big thank you for the wonderful week at the Watermill—it was way and beyond any of my expectations! You both are such caring and warm hosts, which added to the enjoyment and inspiration of having Keiko as our tutor — your attention to detail. And gourmet food served was not something I had expected, nor was the beauty of the rooms, villa and rose blooming gardens!! I am taking away many happy memories indeed! MR
Thank you all for a brilliant, brilliant holiday... with the awful weather it could have been a bit miserable, but thanks to your impeccable organisation, truly superb meals and fabulous accommodation in a glorious setting, it was a real joy despite the rain!! Of course. our wonderful tutor, Keiko, was so warm and friendly, so enthusiastic, and truly inspirational that that made a huge difference too. HM
Thank you both and all the staff for your wonderful hospitality. it is like coming home and I am so looking forward to seeing you again next year! MB
Sandy was a fantastic tutor and kept our noses to the proverbial millstone! The food, the wine, the organisation, the host and hostess and all the staff were superb. SC
Thank you for giving us such a lovely time at the Watermill it was way beyond my expectations and Vicki’s tuition took me out of my comfort zone, which is what I needed. I’m looking forward to putting my new plein air skills to practice... IW
It really was another lovely week as I am sure other participants have indicated. I particularly enjoyed Mike’s tutorage. I felt that I had actually achieved something at the end of the week but of course the painting is only part of it. LD
I had an absolutely wonderful time at the Watermill. I haven’t had such a stimulating time for years! Very unusually I hardly read a word of my book for, as soon as I collapsed on my bed for a rest and a read, I found I wanted to get up and carry on sketching or painting. I very much appreciated the fact that everything about the holiday had been so well thought out. It meant that I could “relax” and enjoy myself, in beautiful and friendly surroundings, doing what I had come for. RH