Tuscany Photography Tour (Sold out)
Green rolling hills and steep alleys of fortified medieval towns, golden mists in the morning over Val d’Orcia and Florentine architectural marvels, silvery olive gardens and distinctive local cuisine – Tuscany is all this and much, much more. The profound feeling of tranquility pervades you from the first minutes on this bountiful land and stays with you forever.
Our base for the whole trip will be at Agriturismo Bonello located a 5 km from Pienza on the panoramic road to San Quirico D'Orcia. It’s a great place with a spectacular view, located picturesquely among famous Tuscanian rolling hills and cypress trees. Spacious rooms, large halls with massive fireplaces, a restaurant, outdoor pool will help us find the right mood to appreciate Tuscanian landscapes. And, of course, fabulous local vines and masterpieces of the local cuisine aren’t bad either! Every day we’ll take radial trips off the villa to the fields or towns; there are plenty interesting places to shoot in any weather, we’ll barely see a tiny part of this land – but enough to understand why it became the cradle of Italian Renaissance.
Visit Podere Belvedere, the most-photographed villa of all Tuscany
Climb the walls of Pienza and see the rolling green farmland in the valley beneath
Meet the first rays of the day near the walls of Castiglione D’Orcia, one of the highest points over the famous valley
Walk the farm roads in the smooth hills of Torrenieri and see its famous cypress grove
Visit the tufa rock towns of Sorano, Pitigliano, and Sovana, first inhabited by ancient Etruscans – and relax in the hot thermal baths of Saturnia under the moon
Walk the streets of medieval Siena, Montepulciano, San Gimignano, or Volterra
Discuss the finer points of photography in a dedicated master class pavillion at the villa, complete with a projector
Participate in a pizza master class from our chef at the villa
3-9, May 2023
Maximum of 12 participants
$5,650 (Double Occupancy)
$4,900 (Single Occupancy)
Alcohol and beverages
Items of a personal nature including (but not limited to) laundry services, clothing, Wi-Fi, email, or phone charges
Personal Travel, Medical, Equipment or Trip Cancellation Insurance
Visas (if applicable)
Accommodation and all meals
Instruction and master classes by two professional guides
Day 1: Arrival
We meet you at Rome Fiumicino at 1 PM (international arrivals hall T3). Please have lunch before meeting. Right after the meet-up, we depart to the heart of rural Tuscany. We check in to our beautiful villa Bonello, have some rest, unpack gear and meet our first sunset! Villa Bonello located in the heart of Val D’Orcia, all photography locations are very close to our base for next week! We recommend you to arrive to Italy one day before the start of the tour!
Day 2: Podere Belvedere, San Quirico, Villa Gladiatore, Bagno Vignoni
The day starts early, way before dawn. This morning we’re shooting one of the most famous Tuscany villas, Podere Belvedere. Right after that (if the mists favor us) we move to the south from San Quirico and have a second shooting session. Then we return to the villa for breakfast and a photo processing master class. After lunch, we’re off to the famous Villa Gladiatore, and after the sunset we take a stroll on the ancient Roman village of Bagno Vignoni, just several minutes’ drive away from our sunset shooting location. Then we return to the villa for a gourmet dinner and a relaxed evening by the fireside.
Day 3: Pienza, Val d'Orcia
We meet the first rays of morning sun near the walls of Pienza, to shoot the classical but ever-changing picture: famous villas wrapped in the morning mist under the first sunrays. We’ll try to find a less-than-obvious point of view a bit lower than the usual shooting location. After the session, we’ll go to Pienza, to walk its narrow streets, smell the freshly baked pastries, and enjoy a cup of wonderful Italian coffee. Of course, a short stroll wouldn’t be nearly enough to do justice to this exceptional town; even several days won’t probably suffice. And Pienza isn’t even all about architecture: it’s an absolute must to appreciate the local wines and cheese too. We’ll visit a little nondescript wine shop near the main plaza; but don’t let the looks deceive you – the owner is one of the most famous sommeliers in Italy, supplying wines for the Holy See and the Pope himself. And of course, we’ll get to taste the famous Pecorino di Pienza, one of the finest sheep cheeses in the world, rumored to be a favorite of Lorenzo Medici himself. Then we return to the villa for breakfast, another master class and a lunch. In the afternoon we visit Val d’Orcia and its emerald hills; the evening location will depend on the weather. (B/L/D)
Day 4: Siena, Volterra
This day’s itinerary includes two of the most exemplary architectural gems of the region, Siena and Volterra. We’ll plan our visit a bit differently, though, starting from the sunrise at Crete Senesi. This place is famous for its lunar hills but not quite as popular as Val D’Orcia. We greet the sun in there and then drive straight to Siena to reach it before the daily tourist wave. Siena and Volterra were founded by ancient Etruscans about 8 century BC, so they’re roughly as old as Rome itself. Both of them are perfect for genre and street photography, so that’s what we’ll do this day. We’ll have a quick breakfast on the go – a croissant or a panini with carpaccio, of course with a cup of a rich Italian coffee. In the afternoon, we’ll find a trattoria to have lunch and after that, we’ll relocate to Volterra for sunset shooting and an evening street shooting session afterwards. Then we’ll return to the villa for dinner. (Instead of Volterra, we can have evening shoots in San Giminiano.)
Day 5: Val D'Orcia, Montalchino
We’ll have our morning shooting session near capella Vitaletta in Val D’Orcia (if the weather is good, of course). After the breakfast we’ll have a discussion in photo composition and create a shooting plan for the next days. After the lunch, we’ll drive to Montalchino for an afternoon shooting session from the walls and an evening street shooting afterwards.
Day 6: Sorano, Pitigliano
Today we’ll visit Sorano and Pitigliano, two tiny but bright gems in the Tuscanian crown. These Etruscan towns, hewn in tufa rocks, keep the ancient spirit to this day. Not many tourists, let alone photographers, visit these settlements, so we’re in for a rare treat: narrow and steep cobblestone alleys, potted flowers outside of house doors, mossy red bricks and fantastic colors. We’ll have a lunch in Pitigliano, and after the sunset shoot, finally return to our villa for dinner.
Day 7: Departure
Yes, this is our last day – and yes, we still have to get up before dawn. We’ll have our morning session near the villa, though. Then breakfast, and after that we pack our bags and leave for Rome. Around 2pm we drop you off at the Rome airport.
We highly recommend that you get a travel and medical insurance. Your own domestic medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas.
The tour will always dependent on weather, as the weather can be highly unpredictable.
We always try to help travellers fulfil their dream vacation. If you need to change the details of your trip you are always welcome to contact us and we will make the necessary arrangements.
Please bear in mind that photo tours in Iceland are in high demand. The earlier you reserve your trip the better availability. Please note that Iceland Photo Tours does not include international flights in photo workshops, nor do we handle such bookings.
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Cancellation and Refund Policy
We strongly recommend you to get a Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip. If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $300 service charge. If you cancel and the Workshop does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:
Greater than 90 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $300 service fee.
75 days or more: 75% refund
60 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 60 days: no refund
Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.