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“Perfect painting get away” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Watermill at Posara

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The Watermill at Posara
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Via del Mulino12-20 | Posara, 54013 Fivizzano, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Perfect painting get away”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

An amazing week at the Watermill. Beautiful location, Mike Wildridge was a great instructor, great group of people and painting in spectacular locations. Oh and did I mention the food? wow. I had a lovely room with ensuite bathroom. Ours hosts were great and kudos to the Elves!!
Definitely a trip to remember, and I have the photos and paintings to prove it!

Room Tip: rooms one and two are great and large showers.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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26 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Leeds, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2014

A group of 12 painters met up from all over the UK for a wonderful week watching demonstrations by watercolour artist, Trevor Lingard. We then sketched and painted ourselves trying to learn from Trevor. He is a great teacher and very generous with his time and expertise.

The Watermill at Posara is a lovely place to go for for a week's painting and Bill and Lois Breckon have created an ideal venue. The watermill is a fascinating old building which has been lovingly restored with its riverside garden on one side and a lovely courtyard with garden and terrace on the other.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2014

I attended the very first knitting workshop held at the Watermill. Although we didn't have the instructor advertised (she had a heart attack just days before) I thoroughly enjoyed the week.
We were an international group with lots of knitting and life experiences to talk about.
Our hosts were wonderful and the meals excellent.
Plus I learned a lot from the hurriedly-pressed-into-service instructor, Nancy.
So glad I decided to participate.

Room Tip: You will want to Include shampoo, soap, face cloth with your toiletries as these items are not supp...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wick, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2014

I signed up to a writing holiday at the Watermill shortly after a bereavement, and didn't do my homework thoroughly enough. This place is ideal for anyone who wants to be as far as possible from the outside world. If you adore hills, so much the better. And if having the earth move is your thing? Ideal. We are talking earthquakes, by the way. The building is lovely: a Watermill with many original features retained. The scenery is impressive too. A short distance away is a village with a Medici fountain, cafes, gelaterie and a small supermarket.

Most of the food is prepared in house, by a chalet girl who uses some exquisite recipes. The rooms are mainly en suite, beautifully furnished and clean to a standard hotels in the UK would envy. The limoncello and Aperitivi flows.

My course tutor was one of my writing heroes, and his anecdotes were brilliant.

So what's not to like?

I signed up for a weeks course, paying a months salary for the experience. That didn't include flights- I had two, as I was coming from Scotland. I left after three days and spent another months salary doing what I might have been better off doing from the start- seeing a bit more of the Italian cities.

Why? For anyone with claustrophobia, or a fear of dogs (I was very aware of some pretty dangerous ones in neighbouring properties) it is far from ideal. The Watermill is right up in the hills and there were some pretty scary sounding quakes, which I understand closed off the local railway. I had a room in the part of the building which had a shared bathroom, and was told on no account to lock the door. When you can hear Cerberus baying nearby, that's scary.

I had no wifi access or phone signal in my room, and spent a lot of time prowling in search of a connection with the outside. (something which might endear the place to others) and hadn't realised that my android tablet would not be sufficient for the writing task (Bring a laptop or iPad should be stressed in the guidelines for course participants).

Activity holidays can be brilliant for solo travellers, but you need to ensure that everyone can get along. The activity I had signed up to do- a group writing task - just didn't happen. The others had all brought pre-prepared scripts and wanted to spend the time having feedback on these.

Okay, so I sound like a right moan.

There were things I enjoyed. I liked my tutor. The food was good. There were moments of hilarity such as the evening the bats flew in through open windows and a fellow student hid behind a sofa until they were dealt with. For me, it was just too far and too long away from civilisation, and when lovely Lois arrived mid week, she helped me plan my escape itinerary.

What did I do next? Train to Pisa, change for Florence and two days of galleries and culture, plus a day in Venice before back to Pisa for the journey home.

All in all I'm glad I did the trip. I realised that for me, isolation doesn't do it. I'm a city break girl- if the same course could be offered say in Florence or Venice over a shorter timescale, I'd sign up like a shot and bring my laptop.

As they say- it was an experience

Room Tip: Ask for the main building - avoid the contained flat beside the painting studio.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LBreckon, Owner at The Watermill at Posara, responded to this review, May 19, 2014
Sorry you didn't have the holiday of your dreams. Honestly we don't have Cerebrus at the gates - he's far too well fed to bother with any of that! I agree that Florence is lovely - we live there when we are not at Posara - and the best possible break is to combine your watermill holiday with a Florence add-on, as you say (see our website for more details!). Everyone else on your course last year is coming back this year: they bonded so well with each other and with your scriptwriitng tutor, Laurence Marks. What a master of his art!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2014 via mobile

The Watermill has been renovated by Bill and Lois into a beautiful location ideal for painting and meditation. Located in the Tuscan hills near Fivizano there are lots of picturesque places to paint during your stay. I flew into Pisa where I was picked up by Bill and transported to Posara to settle in and meet others on the course. The food is truly Italian with breakfast and dinner each day at the Watermill. During each day you are transported to different locations to spend the day painting. At lunch time they bring a delicious picnic lunch including wine if you want it. The tuition is done by international watercolour painters who I have found give excellent advice. Overall this holiday was excellent value for money on all counts.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2013

During the summer I enjoyed my sixth painting holiday at the Watermill and I cannot praise the whole experience too highly.
For a single person this is an ideal form of holiday - the groups of like-minded aspiring artists are always very enjoyable company.
Transport from and to Pisa Airport and to the various painting/picnic spots in mini-buses is all laid on - forget about the car - heaven!
The Watermill itself is comfortable with good food and wine. The tutors are invariably top-class. the surrounding countryside is beautiful beyond. A day in Lucca or the Cinque Terrae is a wonderful optional extra.

Room Tip: En-suite rooms available - book early
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florence, Italy
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

The Watermill is the place to go for a relaxing holiday in Italy. Besides the lovely accommodations set in the serene location of the village watermill, the surrounding area offers a chance to experience the real Italian countryside and lifestyle of the local people. One can feel the historical significance of the area by just walking around the property and village. The Breckons are perfect hosts with just the right amount of welcoming advice and invitation.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with family

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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Additional Information about The Watermill at Posara

Address: Via del Mulino12-20 | Posara, 54013 Fivizzano, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Massa Carrara > Fivizzano
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Fivizzano
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A unique setting for inspirational courses and relaxing holidays in Tuscany.Secluded millstream gardens, sun-drenched terraces, millstone tables under the vines for meals al fresco......just some of the charms of The Watermill at Posara in Tuscany, Italy.We specialise in relaxing, inspiring, fun-filled painting holidays and creative writing courses. And, NEW, in 2014 a week of a cappella singing! We also offer unique self-catering holiday accommodation in five self-contained apartments. The mill has been beautifully restored and furnished and all the bright, well decorated bedrooms enjoy lovely views over the river, the gardens or the mountains. ... more   less 

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