Tuscany Photography Tour

Tuscany Photography Tour
Tuscany Photography Tour
Tuscany Photography Tour
Tuscany Photography Tour
Tuscany Photography Tour
Tuscany Photography Tour
Tuscany Photography Tour
5.0
Based on 5 traveller reviews

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.

 

Highlights of this Tour:

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


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: May. - Dec.
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Activities: Sight Seeing, Photo Tours, Photo Workshop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 18 years.
  • Languages: English
Pickup information:
  • Departure time : 09:00.

Rome
Included:
  • All transfers

  • Accommodation and all meals

  • Instruction and master classes by two professional guides

  • Visas (if applicable)

  • Airfares

  • Beverages


What to bring:
  • DSLR camera with tripod and remote shutter release

  • A wide angle lens. For example, Nikkor 14-24 or Canon 17-40. Best lens for use in wide-angle scenes or architecture photography

  • A middle-zoom lens such as a 24-70 mm

  • A telephoto zoom lens, such as a 70-200 mm. One of the most important lenses in Tuscany. Be sure to have additional tripod mount to this lens.

  • Waterproof and windproof jacket (consider the average temperature +5 – +10 C at nights and +10 – +20 C during the daytime)

  • Waterproof pants

  • Warm jacket and thermal pants

  • Casual clothes for dinners and lunches



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival


Tuscany Photography Tour


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


Tuscany Photography Tour


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


Tuscany Photography Tour


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


Tuscany Photography Tour


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.) (D)


Day 5 - Val D'Orcia, Montalchino


Tuscany Photography Tour


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. (B/L/D)


Day 6 - Sorano, Pitigliano


Tuscany Photography Tour


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. (B/D)


Day 7 - Departure


Tuscany Photography Tour


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.


Dates & Guides

04-10 May 2020 – Guided by Albert Dros & Bruno Pisani (6 spots left)
10-16 May 2020 – Guided by Daniel Kordan & Iurie Belegurschi (Sold Out)


Cancellation and Refund Policy

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 60 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $300 fee.
45 days or more: 75% refund
30 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 30 days: no refund

Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made. Refunds will be initiated within 72 hours of the time that the request is approved.


Disclaimer

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.


Photo Guides

Bruno Pisani

Born in 1997, Bruno Pisani is a Landscape Photographer and Timelapse Videomaker based in the North East of Italy.  He started taking pictures in the mountains since he was a child, and started developing a personal vision that became...

Albert Dros

Albert is a Dutch photographer with an extreme passion for landscape photography. He aims to capture places and certain moments in the best way possible by using his own vision and unique style. His style consists of strong vibrant,...

Iurie Belegurschi

Iurie Belegurschi is an award-winning fine art nature and landscape photographer, as well as the founder of Iceland Photo Tours. Born in Moldova, Iurie developed an interest in photography from an early age after his uncle converted the...

Daniel Kordan

Daniel was born in the Moscow area, Russia. After graduating from art school he studied at Moscow’s institute of Physics and Technology, which pointed him toward a career as an optics physicist. During his studies he developed expertise...


Firsthand reviews

Average5.05 reviews
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I had the pleasure of going to Cinque Terre and Tuscany with Iceland Photo Tours in November. I have done many photo trips over the past 10 years and rate this one at or near the top. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable and went out of their way to share tips and ideas on how to improve my skills. I will definitely use Iceland Photo Tours again and highly recommend them for all photographers no matter what skill level they are at. Thank you.
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I just returned from a week in Tuscany with Iceland Photo Tours. The season was fall when the grass was green, the vineyards a rusty gold, and the mist in plenty supply. Our guide ’s in depth knowledge of the area and the best photographic locations allowed us to venture out to some magical hilltop landscapes to photograph the villas and cypress trees peaking out of the morning mist. The trekking up and down through the fields always made it a wonderful adventure, even if the weather, the sunrise and the sunset were uncooperative. Many afternoons were spent at another well researched location to experience and photograph the beautiful scenery with sunset light. We had time to photograph some of the villages either from a vantage point above the town or photographing the streets within the villages. Our guides planned all the days, but left room for options depending on the weather or serendipity. They each shared their photographic expertise with the participants both in the field and in a few workflow workshops during the day. We stayed in the Villa Gaia where we had the pleasure of feasting on some local, fresh and beautifully prepared food. All the logistics of the trip went smoothly. Thank you for providing all the opportunities to create some wonderful images.
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The Tuscany photo tour with Iceland Photo Tours was superb in every way. Villa Gaia provided a perfect home base from which to be perfectly positioned for iconic sunrise and sunset photos, and the day tours of the Etruscan villages were amazing. We were able to avoid the tourist traffic and be in perfect position for some of the best landscape photography of my life. Beyond setting us up the for the most glorious Tuscany landscapes, both the guides are master photography post-processors and the daytime classes in Lightroom and Photoshop added numerous techniques to my post processing knowledge and skill set. These guides are artists. They are accomplished in their own right at such a young age it is difficult to comprehend. On top of that all of the logistics were well organized and every day went without a hitch. Finally the meals at Villa Gaia were like eating in a different 5 star Parisian restaurant every day. Not exaggerating chef and Villa Director Yuri put on a masterful dining experience every night and without any exaggeration this was the best week of dining I have ever in my life experienced.
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Very happy to have joined another wonderful photo workshop led by Iceland Photo Tours. Apart from good food and wine, I loved the scenery of Tuscany. It’s so tranquil, unique and beautiful. I have also learnt a lot about composition and digital processing techniques for landscape photography from this workshop. I enjoyed the whole trip very much and thank our guides did a brilliant job.
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I had the pleasure of joining Iceland Photo Tours in Tuscany for a workshop in November. This was not my first time being guided by either of them and the experience was everything I had come to expect and more. Simply put, the workshop was meticulously planned and expertly executed. The accommodations at Villa Gaia provided the rustic feel of Tuscany complete with the modern conveniences necessary for a comfortable stay. Each meal prepared by the resident chef was an absolute delight offering a broad sampling of the flavors Tuscany has to offer. Perhaps most importantly, though, was the ease with which we were able to shoot. Our guides demonstrated expert knowledge of the area allowing them to adapt quickly to put us in the best locations to shoot based on weather and lighting conditions. They were able to provide advance knowledge of each location enabling us to prepare to shoot before the light came up or the mist had cleared. Transportation was easy, meeting times and locations were clear and there was ample room provided to stow and access our gear. They even made special transportation arrangements for me when my inbound flight was cancelled. All of this combined to allow each of us to relax, enjoy ourselves and focus on what was most important: to be in the right places at the right times to capture amazing images.
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