Marks & Gran Scriptwriting itinerary

This is a rough outline of the Scriptwriting week’s itinerary. It is not a straitjacket but rather a framework and we’ll alter it according to the group’s needs – and the weather!

First Saturday:

  • Pick-up at Pisa airport between 11:00 hrs and 13:00 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; Welcome and discussion of the week’s activities from The Watermill team and Laurence and Maurice.
  • 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.

Sunday

  • Continental breakfast at the mill.
  • 10:00 onward: First scriptwriting/discussion session, on the vine verandah, the studio (overlooking the gardens and the river) or the main salotto, as appropriate.
  • 13:00: Lunch in the watermill courtyard dining room.
  • Afternoon: More scriptwriting sessions, one-to-one tutorials and/or team writing exercises.
  • 19:00: aperitivi on the vine verandah.
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill:
  • After dinner: Coffee/tea and digestivi in the main salotto. Showing of, and discussion about, films and TV series that have become ‘classics’.

Monday

  • Continental breakfast at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioche, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea).
  • Morning session (say 10:00 to 12:15): Scriptwriting/discussion session, on the vine verandah, the studio (overlooking the gardens and the river) or the main salotto, as appropriate.
  • 12:15: Transport to Verrucola: impressive castle with village nestling around; walk around the village. Short talk on its history.
  • Lunch at Il Castello restaurant at Verrucola.
  • Transport to the Watermill.
  • Afternoon: More scriptwriting sessions, one-to-one tutorials and/or team writing exercises.
  • 19:00: aperitivi on the vine verandah.
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill.
  • After dinner: Coffee/tea and digestivi in the main salotto. Showing of, and discussion about, films and TV series that have become ‘classics’.

Tuesday

  • Today is market day. To accommodate those who would like to visit the market, the day has been adjusted. Continental breakfast at the mill
  • Short morning creative writing Scriptwriting/discussion session, (say 09:30 hrs to 11:00 hrs) on the vine verandah, the studio (overlooking the gardens and the river) or the main salotto, as appropriate.
  • Transport to Fivizzano (around 11:15 hrs): market day: produce stalls etc.; opportunity to explore city walls.
  • Early lunch in Fivizzano: Panini, home-made ice cream and coffee at the Gelateria Ricci. Transport (say 13:30 hrs) to the watermill.
  • Afternoon: More scriptwriting sessions, one-to-one tutorials and/or team writing exercises.
  • 19:00: aperitivi on the vine verandah.
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill.
  • After dinner: Coffee/tea and digestivi in the main salotto. Showing of, and discussion about, films and TV series that have become ‘classics’.

Wednesday
(No formal teaching sessions this day.)

  • Early continental breakfast (say 0800 hrs) at the mill.
  • 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.
  • Early evening: aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill.
  • After dinner: Coffee/tea and digestivi in the main salotto. Possibly: Showing of, and discussion about, films and TV series that have become ‘classics’.

Thursday

  • Continental breakfast at the mill.
  • Morning creative writing session (say 10:00 hrs to 12:30 hrs) on the vine verandah, the studio or the main salotto, as appropriate. More scriptwriting sessions, one-to-one tutorials and/or team writing exercises.
  • Light picnic lunch at the mill.
  • Afternoon: More scriptwriting sessions, one-to-one tutorials and/or team writing exercises.
  • 19:00: aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill.
  • After dinner: Coffee/tea and digestivi in the main salotto. Showing of, and discussion about, films and TV series that have become ‘classics’.

Friday

  • Continental breakfast at the mill.
  • Morning creative writing session (say 09:30 to 11:45) on the vine verandah, the studio or the main salotto, as appropriate. More scriptwriting sessions, one-to-one tutorials and/or team writing exercises.
  • Transport (say 12:00 hrs) to Monte dei Bianchi (circa 30 minutes)
  • Explore hill-top village: ancient houses and church, spectacular mountain views, valleys, hill-top villages, olive groves, etc.
  • Walk (circa 600 metres) to Vecchio Tino restaurant for special gourmet lunch.
  • Transport to the watermill.
  • Afternoon: Final scriptwriting session, with discussion, feedback.
  • 19:00: aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill.
  • 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 8:00am and 9:00am. Those with late flights may leave their bags at the airport and take a (very short) taxi ride to Pisa for sightseeing.

Jo Parfitt's "Write your life stories" 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-work

Before the course it is advised that you read some books on writing. The following are recommended:

  • Naked, Drunk and Writing by Adair Lara
  • The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
  • Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

Bonuses

All students receive a copy of Jo's Just Write notebook, valued at £5 on Amazon and a copy of her Write Your Life Stories workbook, sold at £47. All students will also receive a 30-minute personal session with Jo by phone or Skype after the course is finished. Students also receive a critique of up to 2,000 words of their writing after the course finishes and sent by email.

A note about the feedback sessions

You will notice how group feedback has been incorporated into the lessons. Past students claim that being able to share their work in a safe environment is the best part of the course. No one will be forced to share their work, however, if you do not want to.

First Saturday:

  • Pick-up at Pisa airport between 11:00 hrs and 13:00 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.
  • 18:30: aperitivi on the vine verandah; brief welcome from The Watermill and Jo Parfitt. Discussion of the week’s activities. - Sharing our writing dreams.
  • 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. - Continuing to share our writing dreams.

Sunday

  • Continental breakfast at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioche, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea).
  • 09:15 to 13:00: First writing/discussion session, on the vine verandah, the studio (overlooking the gardens and the river) or the main salotto, as appropriate. Discover the secret of SPICE, the seven steps to writing life stories -- and put this into practice right away, all before lunchtime!.
  • 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: - Siesta and Homework to be completed
  • 18:00-19:30: - Aperitivi and feedback on the vine verandah
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill: Dinner in the Watermill courtyard dining room. Sample menu: tris of fresh tomato purée with stracchino and ricotta cheeses, sformata di piselli (home-made compôte of peas, pickled zucchini stuffed with anchovies; arista di maiale (Tuscan-style roast pork) with seasonal vegetables; home-made chocolate mousse. 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 session (say 09:15 to 11:15), on the vine verandah, the studio or the main salotto, as appropriate - Writing about people.
  • Transport to Verrucola (around 12:15; about 10 minutes’ drive): impressive castle with village nestling around; walk around the village. Short talk on its history.
  • Lunch at Il Castello restaurant at Verrucola (13:00): pasta; Roman beef stew (Stufatino Alla Romana); fresh fruit; wines; coffee/tea.
  • Transport to the Watermill
  • 16:00 to 18:00: - Class: Adding emotion and feedback
  • 19:00: aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill. Sample menu: black rice served on piquant carrot purée; crespolini (crêpes/omelettes with a vegetable filling), vegetables and potatoes; home-made apple crumble. Wines
  • After dinner: Coffee/tea and digestivi in the main salotto.

Tuesday

Today is market day. To accommodate those who would rather visit the market, the day has been adjusted.

  • Continental breakfast at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioche, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea).
  • Morning creative writing session ( 09:15 hrs to 11:15 hrs) on the vine verandah, the studio or the main salotto, as appropriate. - This morning we explore how to evoke a sense of place and add vivid descriptions to your life stories
  • Transport to Fivizzano (around 11:30 hrs): market day: produce stalls etc.; opportunity to explore city walls. - After the market, you will need to find a quiet spot in which to do some writing practice.
  • Lunch in Fivizzano: Panino, home-made ice cream and coffee at the Gelateria Ricci.
  • Transport (say 13:30 hrs) to the watermill.
  • 16:00 to 18:00: - Class: Finding your voice and feedback
  • 19:00: aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill: Sample menu: farfalle alla primavera (butterfly pasta with fresh vegetables); scaloppine Milanese di tacchino (turkey escalopes with seasonal vegetables), zucchini fritti, a speciality of our chef Mirella; home-made pannacotta. 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 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.
  • Early evening: aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill: Sample menu: tagliatelle ai funghi porcini (tagliatelle pasta with porcini mushrooms); salmone al forno (salmon fillets baked in the oven); salad in season, or other fresh vegetables; home-made tiramisù. 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).
  • First morning creative writing session ( 09:15 hrs to 11:15 hrs) on the vine verandah, the studio or the main salotto, as appropriate. - Today is about writing on a theme
  • 11:15 hrs Depart by minibus for 'Il Convento dei Carmine', a privately owned monastery with ancient cloisters and frescoes, gardens and views
  • 11:45 to 12:45 hrs Second morning creative writing session: finding your plot
  • 13:00 hrs Picnic lunch at the monastery, pick-up in the afternoon to be arranged
  • 14:00 hrs Transport back to mill
  • 16:00 to 18:00 Hrs: Writing funny and feedback
  • 19:00: aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill: Sample menu: Gorgonzola soufflés; Tuscan sausage and lentils with a balsamic vinegar dressing, grilled aubergines, sauté potatoes; Torta di cioccolato da Capri (chocolate cake made with crushed almonds instead of flour). 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 creative writing session (09:15 to 12:00) on the vine verandah, the studio or the main salotto, as appropriate. - Getting ideas and letting it flow
  • Transport (12:15 hrs) to Monte dei Bianchi (circa 30 minutes)
  • Explore village: ancient houses and church, spectacular mountain views, valleys, hill-top villages, olive groves, etc.
  • 13:00 hrs Gourmet lunch at Al Vecchio Tino restaurant: risotto con pere e gorgonzola; san martino baked in chestnut leaves, seasonal vegetables; sorbetto con limone e prosecco. Coffee, tea. Wine.
  • 14:30 hrs Transport to the watermill.
  • 18:00-19:30: - Feedback and aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill: Sample menu: Insalata tiepido di riso con pesto (warm pesto rice salad), Involtini di pollo (rolled chicken breast with cheese, ham, herbs), Pears braised in red wine, with cinnamon and vanilla. 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 8:00am and 9:00am. Those with late flights may leave their bags at the airport and take a (very short) taxi ride to Pisa for sightseeing.

Scriptwriting itinerary

We’ll publish the inspiring screenwriting itinerary when this course is confirmed, but here’s the fundamental structure (it’s not a straightjacket and we’ll alter it according to the group’s needs – and the weather!

First Saturday:

  • Pick-up at Pisa airport between 11:00 hrs and 13:00 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; Welcome and discussion of the week’s activities from The Watermill team and Laurence and Maurice.
  • 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.

Sunday

  • Continental breakfast at the mill.
  • 10:00 onward: First scriptwriting/discussion session, on the vine verandah, the studio (overlooking the gardens and the river) or the main salotto, as appropriate.
  • 13:00: Lunch in the watermill courtyard dining room.
  • Afternoon: More scriptwriting sessions, one-to-one tutorials and/or team writing exercises.
  • 19:00: aperitivi on the vine verandah.
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill:
  • After dinner: Coffee/tea and digestivi in the main salotto. Showing of, and discussion about, films and TV series that have become ‘classics’.

Monday

  • Continental breakfast at the mill (cereals, fruit juices, fresh bread/toast, brioche, jams, fruit, boiled eggs, coffee, tea).
  • Morning session (say 10:00 to 12:15): Scriptwriting/discussion session, on the vine verandah, the studio (overlooking the gardens and the river) or the main salotto, as appropriate.
  • 12:15: Transport to Verrucola: impressive castle with village nestling around; walk around the village. Short talk on its history.
  • Lunch at Il Castello restaurant at Verrucola.
  • Transport to the Watermill.
  • Afternoon: More scriptwriting sessions, one-to-one tutorials and/or team writing exercises.
  • 19:00: aperitivi on the vine verandah.
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill.
  • After dinner: Coffee/tea and digestivi in the main salotto. Showing of, and discussion about, films and TV series that have become ‘classics’.

Tuesday

  • Today is market day. To accommodate those who would like to visit the market, the day has been adjusted. Continental breakfast at the mill
  • Short morning creative writing Scriptwriting/discussion session, (say 09:30 hrs to 11:00 hrs) on the vine verandah, the studio (overlooking the gardens and the river) or the main salotto, as appropriate.
  • Transport to Fivizzano (around 11:15 hrs): market day: produce stalls etc.; opportunity to explore city walls.
  • Early lunch in Fivizzano: Panini, home-made ice cream and coffee at the Gelateria Ricci. Transport (say 13:30 hrs) to the watermill.
  • Afternoon: More scriptwriting sessions, one-to-one tutorials and/or team writing exercises.
  • 19:00: aperitivi on the vine verandah.
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill.
  • After dinner: Coffee/tea and digestivi in the main salotto. Showing of, and discussion about, films and TV series that have become ‘classics’.

Wednesday
(No formal teaching sessions this day.)

  • Early continental breakfast (say 0800 hrs) at the mill.
  • 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.
  • Early evening: aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill.
  • After dinner: Coffee/tea and digestivi in the main salotto. Possibly: Showing of, and discussion about, films and TV series that have become ‘classics’.

Thursday

  • Continental breakfast at the mill.
  • Morning creative writing session (say 10:00 hrs to 12:30 hrs) on the vine verandah, the studio or the main salotto, as appropriate. More scriptwriting sessions, one-to-one tutorials and/or team writing exercises.
  • Light picnic lunch at the mill.
  • Afternoon: More scriptwriting sessions, one-to-one tutorials and/or team writing exercises.
  • 19:00: aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill.
  • After dinner: Coffee/tea and digestivi in the main salotto. Showing of, and discussion about, films and TV series that have become ‘classics’.

Friday

  • Continental breakfast at the mill.
  • Morning creative writing session (say 09:30 to 11:45) on the vine verandah, the studio or the main salotto, as appropriate. More scriptwriting sessions, one-to-one tutorials and/or team writing exercises.
  • Transport (say 12:00 hrs) to Monte dei Bianchi (circa 30 minutes)
  • Explore hill-top village: ancient houses and church, spectacular mountain views, valleys, hill-top villages, olive groves, etc.
  • Walk (circa 600 metres) to Vecchio Tino restaurant for special gourmet lunch.
  • Transport to the watermill.
  • Afternoon: Final scriptwriting session, with discussion, feedback.
  • 19:00: aperitivi on the vine verandah
  • 19:30: Dinner at the mill.
  • 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 8:00am and 9:00am. Those with late flights may leave their bags at the airport and take a (very short) taxi ride to Pisa for sightseeing.