Ah, two of my favorite places on Earth! Venice, the most romantic and remarkable city on Earth, and Cinque Terre, a captivating slice of the Italian Riviera with an irresistible draw to photographers.
I’ve had a fascination with Venice since childhood. The more I learn about and photograph the city, the more fascinating it becomes. Good photographs of Venice are not in short supply. In Venice, finding a good photo subject is a matter of opening your eyes. Of course, we will visit all the renowned hotspots, but I designed this tour to be different. I want to introduce you to new sights, imaginative ideas, and unique vantage points and to help you create distinctive images.
The five villages of Cinque Terre—Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore—offer incredible photo opportunities. Charming seems woefully inadequate to describe them. No public cars are allowed in the five villages, adding immeasurably to the appeal. Access between the villages is by train, ferry, or hiking trail. I’ve traveled a fair amount, including the Italian regions of Venice, Rome, Tuscany, Florence, and Lake Como, but no place I’ve visited on Earth has captivated me quite like Cinque Terre. (Okay, Venice is up there. I mean, what can you say about a town with streets made of water?)
What could possibly make this photo tour better? How about we spend part of it under moonlight? That’s right, we’ll be in Cinque Terre during the full moon!
Traveling to Italy and between cities once you get there can be intimidating and confusing. You won’t have to worry about that. Once you arrive in Venice and until you depart Cinque Terre, we’ll handle everything. All you need to do is soak up the culture and make beautiful photographs. We’ll also help you with travel arrangements getting to Venice and returning home from Cinque Terre. (Unless you are spending extra time in Italy, the best option for the return is to take the train to Milan and fly back home from there.)
Photograph the classic scenic and cultural locations in Venice
Explore Venice’s hidden alleyways, dead-end streets, isolated canals, and areas with no tourists
Experience and photograph Venice at night, when the streets are empty and lights reflect on the cobblestones
Participate in the search for the best gelato in Venice
Photographing sunrise/sunset at various locations in the Cinque Terre villages
Special emphasis on photographing in the “blue hour,” when the Cinque Terre villages really come alive in photographs.
Photographing the Cinque Terre villages under the full moon
Experience the Italian rail system on the train trip from Venice to Cinque Terre
Participate in a scientific survey to determine if the gelato in Cinque Terre is as good, or better, than in Venice
Guiding and hands-on instruction
10 nights lodging (double occupancy) beginning April 28
All boat transportation in Venice and Cinque Terre during the photo tour
All admissions to museums, churches, campaniles, and other sights visited with the group
Train transportation between Venice and Cinque Terre and while in Cinque Terre
Passes for the hiking trails in Cinque Terre
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
Boat, bus, or train transport from the Venice airport to the city (we will help make arrangements for you)
Train transport from Cinque Terre to departing city or other location (we will help make arrangements for you)
Items of a personal nature
I rarely establish a precise itinerary ahead of time for photo tours because I want to choose locations and subjects based on the weather and other conditions. I’ll determine our strategy as we go along, making sure to photograph in the best light and weather. Special emphasis will be given to photographing in the twilight period of dusk and dawn, as well as night photography.
Here is a general outline:
The photo tour officially begins in Venice during late afternoon, April 29. (We are including lodging for the night of the 28th because flight schedules from the U.S. dictate that most people will need to arrive the day before the tour starts.) After orientation, we will have dinner together as a group and then photograph in the twilight period into the night. The next day will be the first of four full days in Venice. In addition to the main city of Venice, we will spend plenty of time on the island of Burano, possibly taking the early boat and getting there for sunrise. One of the four days will be a free day, during which participants can do whatever they like on their own, or they can get together with other participants.
On Wednesday, May 4, we will travel as a group on the train from Venice to Cinque Terre. The next day will be the first of three full days in Cinque Terre. We will visit the five villages at all times of the day and night. You will have some free time to explore on your own or do whatever you like.
The photo tour officially ends on Sunday morning, May 8 after our sunrise shoot. On this day, you will depart Cinque Terre on a train for your chosen destination. We will help make the train reservations for you.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS & PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS
Venice and Cinque Terre are made for walkers. No cars are allowed in Venice and very few are allowed in Cinque Terre. Venice is relatively small and totally flat, but you will get a workout. There are lots of steps to climb to get over the canals and everything is paved in stone. If you are not used to being on your feet all day, Venice can wear you out. The villages of Cinque Terre are very small, but nearly every step you make will be either up or down. We will not hike any of the most difficult trails between the villages, but we will be walking short distances on some of them.
That said, this photo tour is NOT designed to be like military boot camp. We will try to make our outings as easy as possible and we will pace ourselves throughout. However, you should make an honest assessment of your physical abilities. While most anyone could easily handle one day on this photo tour, you will be going strong for eight straight days (minus the free time).
The good news is that it won’t be too hot during this photo tour. Also, if you become too tired to continue, it will be a relatively short walk, boat trip, or train trip back to the hotel. Everyone has the option to skip any of the group outings.
LODGING & TRANSPORTATION
Ten nights lodging is included beginning April 28. This is for double occupancy. Single occupancy is extra. If you arrive early or stay late, you will need to pay for those nights. We will be happy to make those arrangements for you at our host hotels. Note that the photo tour doesn’t begin officially until the afternoon of the 29th. We are including lodging beginning the 28th because flight schedules from the U.S. dictate that most people will need to arrive the day before the tour starts.
Airfare and transport into Venice is not included. You will fly into the Venice airport (VCE). Flights departing from the U.S. generally leave the mainland in the evening and arrive in Venice the following day. Your registration material will include detailed info about how to get from the airport into the city.
Train transport from Cinque Terre to your destination is not included. If you are not staying over in Italy after the photo tour, you will probably want to take the train to Milan and fly back from there. You will probably need to spend the night in Milan and fly out the next morning. Train and lodging after the photo tour ends is not included, but we will be happy to help you make arrangements.
REGISTRATION & PAYMENT INFO
A nonrefundable deposit of $500 is required to secure your space. The balance is due 120 days from the start of the photo tour, including any extra room nights or single-occupancy charges. You can pay the deposit and balance using our online registration system. You can register online by clicking the “Register Now” buttons on this page. If you prefer to pay by personal check, please contact me. Payment plans are available.
The $500 deposit is nonrefundable unless we cancel the trip. If you cancel up to 90 days prior to the event, we will refund all money paid, less the $500 deposit. Cancellations made between 90 days and 30 days prior to the event will be refunded 50%. No refunds will be given for cancellations made within 30 days of the event. However, if we can fill your space, we will provide a full refund, minus the $500 deposit, regardless of when you cancel. In the unlikely event we have to cancel the photo tour for any reason, we will refund 100% of all money paid.
Please note that we cannot change this policy for anyone or for any reason. We strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance as soon as you register. Insurance will cover you in the event you must cancel the trip or you are unable to attend because of travel complications.