Green rolling hills and the steep streets of fortified medieval towns.
Golden morning mist over the Val d’Orcia and Florentine architectural marvels.
Silver olive trees and unique local delicacies.
Tuscany is everything and more!
From the first minute you set foot on this luxurious land, a deep sense of calm will permeate you and be with you forever.
Our base for the entire trip will be Agriturismo Bonello, 5 km from Pienza, on the scenic road to San Quirico D’Orcia. It’s a great place with stunning views, picturesquely set among the famous Tuscan hills and cypress trees. Spacious rooms, a hall with a huge fireplace, a restaurant, and an outdoor swimming pool help us find the right mood to enjoy the Tuscan countryside. And, of course, a masterpiece of wonderful local wines and local delicacies can’t go bad either!
Every day we take a radial excursion from the villa to the fields or town; there are so many interesting places to take pictures in any weather, and we barely see a small part of the country – but enough to understand why it would be an Italian Renaissance cradle.
To secure your spot on this workshop, select from the below to either pay a deposit or in full.
Completing your payment confirms acceptance of the Terms and Conditions as outlined.
Day 1: Arrival
We will meet you at 13:00 in Rome Fiumicino (International Arrivals Hall T3). Please have lunch before the meeting. Immediately after the meeting, we drive to the heart of the Tuscan countryside. We check in at the beautiful Villa Bonello, rest, unpack and watch our first sunset!
Villa Bonello is located in the heart of Val D’Orcia, and all the photo spots are very close to our base next week!
We recommend that you arrive in Italy the day before your trip!
Day 2: Podere Belvedere, San Quirico, Villa Gladiatore, Bagno Vignoni
The day starts before the break of dawn. This morning we are shooting one of the most famous villas in Tuscany, Podere Belvedere. After that (when the fog suits us) we moved south from San Quirico for a second shot. Then we head back to the villa for breakfast and a photo editing master class. After lunch, we drove to the famous Gladiator Villa and after sunset we walked through the ancient Roman village of Bagno Vignoni, just a few minutes drive from our sunset shooting location. We then return to the villa for a gourmet dinner and a relaxing evening by the fireplace.
Day 3: Pienza, Val d’Orcia
We meet the first rays of the morning sun near the walls of Pienza, capturing a classic but kaleidoscopic image: in the first rays of the sun, the famous villa is shrouded in morning mist. We will try to find a less obvious vantage point, a bit lower than usual. After the meeting, we drove to Pienza to stroll the narrow streets, smell the freshly baked pastries and enjoy a wonderful cup of Italian coffee. Of course, a short walk is not enough to do justice to this remarkable city. Even a few days might not be enough. Pienza is not only about architecture: the local wines and cheeses must also be appreciated. We visited an unassuming little wine shop near the main square; but don’t let the looks fool you – the owner is one of Italy’s most famous sommeliers, serving wine to the Holy See and the Pope himself. Of course, we will also taste the famous Pecorino di Pienza, one of the best sheep cheeses in the world and said to be Lorenzo Medici’s own favorite. Then we head back to the villa for breakfast, another master class and lunch. In the afternoon we visit Val d’Orcia and its verdant hills; the location in the evening depends on the weather.
Day 4: Siena, Volterra
Today’s itinerary includes two of the region’s most iconic architectural gems, Siena and Volterra. However, we will plan our visit slightly differently, starting with sunrise at Senesi in Crete. This place is famous for its Moon Hill, but not as popular as Val D’Orcia. There, we saluted the sun and headed straight to Siena to get there before the daily peak of tourists. Siena and Volterra were built around the 8th century BC. Founded by the ancient Etruscans, they are therefore as old as Rome itself. Both are great for genre and street photography, so that’s what we’re going to do today. We had a quick breakfast en route – a croissant or panini with carpaccio, and of course a strong Italian coffee. In the afternoon we’ll find a small restaurant for lunch, then we’ll move to Volterra and shoot on the road at sunset and then at night. Then we went back to the villa for dinner. (We can shoot night scenes in San Gimignano, not Volterra.)
Day 5: Val d’Orcia, Montalcino
Our morning shoot took place near Capella Vitaletta in Val D’Orcia (only in good weather, of course). After breakfast, we discuss the composition of the picture and make plans for the next few days. After lunch, we drove to Montalcino for afternoon shots on the walls and then street shots in the evening. (B/L/D)
Day 6: Solano, Pitigliano
Today we visit Solano and Pitigliano, two small but shining jewels in Tuscany’s crown. These Etruscan cities carved into tuff still retain their ancient spirit. Not many tourists, let alone photographers, visit these settlements, so a rare treat awaits: narrow, steep cobblestone streets, potted flowers on the front door, mossy red brick and dreamy colors. We will have lunch in Pitigliano and finally return to our villa for dinner after sunset shots.
Ultimately, during this workshop, our goal is to put you in the best locations at the right time with the best light so you can capture fantastic images of this stunning season.
Day 7: Departure
Yes, this is our last day – yes, we still have to get up before sunrise. However, we will have a morning meeting near the villa. After breakfast, we packed our bags and headed to Rome. At around 2:00 PM we will take you to Rome Airport.
A mild level of fitness is required for this workshop.
Most shooting locations are easily accessible via a short hike. However, sometimes this may be across rough, uneven, icy or muddy terrain that includes elevation changes. Our Guides will let you know if a photography destination involves a long hike, steep incline or particularly challenging terrain, and provide alternative shooting locations or other options if you don’t feel comfortable.
Participants should also be able to carry their own camera gear while hiking.
Sometimes we may remain in a location shooting for a few hours. Participants should be comfortable outdoors for extended periods of time in various weather conditions such as wind, rain, sun and extremes of temperature. Wherever possible, our Guides will keep the vehicle available nearby so participants can rest and take a break.
All participants should be in good physical shape with no mobility issues. If you have any concerns about your suitability, then reach out to us and we will be happy to discuss the particular location details of the workshop with you.
You must advise Viking International Phototours in advance and in writing via email of any illness, injury, or pre-existing medical conditions that might reasonably be expected to affect your participation during the workshop.
This workshop requires a minimum number of participants to proceed, and may be rescheduled or canceled due to low participant numbers.
Please note that Viking International Phototours are not liable for travel expenses incurred to reach the workshop destination or any other personal expenses incurred in preparing for your workshop. For this reason, we require that you obtain Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance.
We also recommend you do not book travel or make any trip-related purchases before the workshop has been confirmed.
Accommodation options on our photography workshops may include:
• Double Occupancy where you will share a room with your traveling companion;
• Double Occupancy where you are paired with another workshop participant of the same gender; and/or
• Single Occupancy in your own room.
Your accommodation selection is made when you book the workshop.
During this workshop, we will be staying in clean, comfortable accommodations that include hotels, guesthouses, and apartments.
Please note that if you select Single Occupancy, this may include your own bedroom within a multi-room apartment or Guesthouse (shared bathroom/kitchenette).
Solo Participants wanting Double Occupancy
Solo participants are welcome to select the Double Occupancy rate at the time of booking. If Viking International Phototours is unable to pair you with a roommate of the same gender from the workshop group, we will notify you ahead of the workshop and request you to pay the supplementary cost for a Single Occupancy room.
Single Room Availability
On some photography workshops, Single Occupancy rooms may be limited. If this is the case, single rooms will be assigned on a first-booked, first-served basis. If you booked a photography workshop at the Single Occupancy rate and we are unable to provide you with a single room, we will notify you ahead of the workshop, place you into a Double Occupancy room paired with a workshop participant of the same gender, and refund you the difference.
Our workshop's itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of our Photo Guides depending on factors including but not limited to weather, road conditions, transportation delays, and other factors beyond our control. We will check the weather forecasts and road conditions and plan our day to optimize shooting conditions.
We cannot guarantee that we will be able to visit all the locations on the itinerary.
There are drone-friendly places, so if you own a drone, you are welcome to bring it along to the workshop.
Please note that you are solely responsible for your equipment, and are expected to adhere to all rules and regulations as specified by Italian drone laws.
Viking International Phototours and our Photo Guides will not be liable for any injury or damage caused to equipment, environment, or people caused by you operating your drone during our workshop.
We cannot delay or change a workshop in the event of travel disruptions that cause a participant to arrive late.
If this happens, participants are responsible for arranging their own transport to catch up with the group - which can be a very costly expense. In addition, no refunds will be made for any time missed on a workshop due to the late arrival by the participant.
For this reason, we highly recommend you arrive the day before your workshop is scheduled to start at the latest.
At the very least, you will be more refreshed and relaxed for the start of your adventure.
If you are interested in this workshop but would prefer a private experience or to attend with your own group of people, we can arrange that for you – contact us to discuss.
This workshop is provided through Iceland Photo Tours.
For booking terms and conditions, cancellation, and refund policies relating to this workshop please refer to their website at www.iceland-photo-tours.com.
If you have any questions about this workshop, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.