Italy is one of the most vibrant, exciting and photogenic destinations in Europe. With a rich historic past, breath-taking landscapes and the allure of La Dolce Vita (wine, gelato, taste sensations), it’s easy to understand why visitors fall in love with Italy! We have designed a photography tour that showcases the best of Italy has to offer – from the classical architecture of Rome to the winding roads in Tuscany and the riveting views of the Ligurian coast at the Cinque Terre – where you will be photographing views and scenes that others can only dream of taking.
Tour dates: 13 May – 24 May 2018
Tour length: 12 days
Minimum 6 guests. Maximum 10 guests. This tour is suitable for photographers of all levels.
Pace: Easy. Walking tours on cobbled roads and lanes in Rome and Florence; some steps to ascend/descend. Some locations will require hiking along graded tracks and trails in Tuscany and the Cinque Terre. You will need to be able to carry your own camera equipment and, in some instances, your own luggage.
12 unforgettable days immersed in Italian culture, food, wine and, of course, the amazing photography!
Italy is one of my favourite destinations in the world and this tour lets me share my passion for things Italian with you. The destinations selected for you on this tour are places that have resonated deeply with me as a photographer and traveller, for reasons that range from the magnificent photographic opportunities they present to the remarkable cultural and gastronomic delights that are offered. I’ve returned to Italy again and again and you’ll understand why when you experience all that this tour has to offer!
This tour is unashamedly about the truly iconic moments that Italy has to offer — we’ll be photographing classical scenery in Rome, exploring the sights and tastes of Florence, rambling all over the beautiful Tuscan countryside with cameras in tow and finding ourselves in the remarkable Cinque Terre, with its colourful villages perched high above the Ligurian coast. Our travel will be a combination of private bus and local trains, so that we can experience Italy in a more authentic and personal way. We will stay in traditional hotels and albergos in the heart of cities and towns, where we will be mere walking distance away from some of the best places to photograph, eat and drink!
Unlike other photography tours of Italy, this one doesn’t just breeze you in and out of locations. Instead, we spend two to three nights in each location, so that we will have the time to really savour and soak in what makes each town or destination unique — from its food and wine, to its people and landscapes.
Built into this tour are memorable experiences that will make you fall in love with the Italian Way: wine tastings, authentic meals, relaxing cruises and exclusive tours to historic sites. This is a tour for photographers who are looking to experience Italy in a most fulfilling way and return with superb memories and stunning photographs that will be the envy of everyone.
DAYS 1 – 2: ROME, THE ETERNAL CITY
Welcome to Rome, the Eternal City! The tour begins in Rome at our hotel in the heart of this ancient city. The hotel is within a stone’s throwaway from the Trevi Fountain and we will spend our first afternoon and evening exploring the cobblestone lanes and piazzas nearby before we tuck into an Italian feast at a local trattoria.
Our time in Rome will be full of amazing photographic opportunities, beginning with photographing the monolithic Colosseum at sunrise, before it gets crowded with tourists and sight-seers. Then, we cut across the city to Vatican city, where we stroll down Via della Concilliazione, surrounded by grandiose architecture as we make our way towards iconic St Peter’s Basilica.
There will be opportunities for street photography here as we see the Vatican City awake around us, as priests, nuns and other officials pace about the piazza. Later, we visit Piazza Navona and the Pantheon on foot before returning to our Rome hotel. In the late afternoon, we journey across the Tiber to photograph Rome at sunset from a superb vantage point that allows us to capture two icons of Rome in a frame: Castel Sant’Angelo and St Peter’s Basilica, lit by the glow of the setting sun.
DAYS 3 – 4: FLORENCE
For the earlybirds, we have a morning shoot at the Roman Forum, a short 15-20 minute walk from our hotel, where we will photograph the sun rising from behind ancient columns and ruins. We then take our transfer to Stazione Termini in Rome to catch our super-fast high-speed train to Florence. Grab a window seat (finestra) and watch the countryside blur past as you enjoy one of the fastest way to travel in Italy!
We have two nights in Florence, which gives us ample time to truly immerse ourselves in a city famed for its art, history and culture. Our Florentine highlights include a private tour of the Il Duomo di Firenze and the Accademia, within which is housed Michelangelo’s most famous sculpture: the statue of David. Sunrise will see us shooting the iconic Ponte Vecchio, the famous bridge spanning the Arno River. For sunset, we travel to Piazzale Michelangelo to photograph the vista of Florence in the warm glow of the setting sun.
Florence offers fantastic street photography opportunities in its streets and public squares, including Piazza della Signoria and the classical sculptures under the Loggia di Lenzi. You’ll also have time to stroll and shop in Florence, soaking in the sights and sounds of the city of the Medicis.
DAYS 5 – 7: THE TUSCAN COUNTRYSIDE
We board our bus for a cross-country trip to the medieval hilltop town of Montepulciano, our home for the next three nights.
Montepulciano lies at the heart of the Val D’Orcia, classical Tuscan country with its rolling, cypress-clad hills, isolated villas and meandering roads. This is the land that has inspired countless postcards and paintings and it is what we imagine when we think of the classical Italian countryside. Because we are visiting in spring, the land is covered in lush green grass and crops, interspersed with splashes of red from garlands of wild-growing poppies.
The photography here is spectacular, and we will be joined by a local professional photographer who will be our guide during our time here. We will be chasing the light here with landscape photography across the valleys at sunrise and sunset, taking in the winding roads lined with cypress trees and lone chapels and farm houses dotted across the countryside. If we’re lucky, we will have misty mornings where the undulating lines of the landscape will emerge out of the mist like a fairytale landscape. We will immerse ourselves in Tuscan life and culture, as we embark on street photography in the narrow lanes and cobblestone piazza of hilltop towns and, of course, you’ll have enough leisure time to explore and shop.
Included in our Tuscan experience are a number of gastronomic highlights: wine tasting in a medieval wine cellar, a visit to a traditional organic farm to sample cheese and wine, a traditional lunch at Bagno Vignoni, a town known for its terme (hot springs) and a traditional Tuscan dining experience in Montepulciano. Your taste buds may never be the same again after our time here!
DAYS 8 – 10: THE CINQUE TERRE
From the verdant valleys of Tuscany, we travel by private bus to the spectacular Cinque Terre (or Five Villages) of the Italian Riviera! We have three nights here, with ample days to explore and photograph the spectacular scenery of colourful cliffside villages perched above the rugged the coastline and to soak in the Mediterranean sun and enjoy a refreshing dip or two in the crystal clear sea.
The five villages of the Cinque Terre are connected by the Sentiero Azzuro, a scenic walking trail that winds its way through vineyards, mountains and valley. Thankfully, the villages are also connected via railway that makes travel between them faster and much more comfortable! Our base of operations is the fifth village, the village of Monterosso al Mare, with our hotel a mere 5 minute walk from the train station. From here, we will explore the other villages, chasing the beautiful Golden Hour at the scenic old harbours in Manarola and Vernazza, and visiting the charming villages of Corniglia and Riomaggiore for their spectacular views across the Ligurian Sea.
A highlight of our time in the Cinque Terre is a private half-day boat cruise from Riomaggiore to take in the sights of the five villages from the sea, as we sail into quiet coasts and hidden bays. Our stay in the Cinque Terre will also give us time to unwind: Monterosso al Mare is a resort village known for its clean beaches, restaurants, bars and shops, so there will be plenty of time for us to catch some relaxation with a spritz, white wine and aperitivo.
DAYS 11 – 12: RETURN TO ROME AND DEPARTURE
Our time in the Cinque Terre draws to a close as we return by train to Rome, the start of our Italian adventure, with experiences of a lifetime and photographs that will be the envy of your friends and family. But the Italian experience isn’t over yet — as we gather together one last time to enjoy an Italian three-course dinner in Rome and are joined by Canzone musicians who will serenade us with Italian madrigals on the last night of our tour.
With hearts full with all things Italian, we then bid each other farewell as we continue our onward journey, knowing that we will return to this enchanting country again and again to taste once more La Dolce Vita!
A deposit of AUD$900* will secure you a place on this tour. This deposit is refundable if the tour does not go ahead (we require a minimum of 6 guests to run this tour).
Final payment of the balance by 28 February 2018.
Bookings close 30 November 2017.
* Please note that a credit card service fee of 2.6% will be charged if you’re paying via credit card (Visa or Mastercard only)
For details of the Terms and Conditions of our tours, including cancellation charges, please read our Photography Tours Terms and Conditions.
To join this tour or contact us with your questions, please use the form below or email seng [at] venturephotography.com.au or telephone 0417 604 614.