Back to All Events

Italy: Florence & the Hill Towns of Tuscany with an extension to Venice


This departure is limited to a maximum of twelve participants. It is intended for people of all levels of interest and accomplishment in film, or digital photography. While the emphasis will be on photography, this is also a cultural journey, which we believe will enhance your ability to capture the essence of Tuscany in your images. Your photography expert and leader, Ron Rosenstock, has been leading photo tours to Tuscany and Venice since 1985. Along with the local guides, Ron will take you to photo locations you could not access on your own, including monasteries, churches, and vineyards. In Florence, there will be quiet, pre-dawn photo walks led by Ron. He will take you to premier photographic locations to capture the Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi Corridor, and the Duomo. If you are participating in the Venice Extension, early morning shoots will take you along the Grand Canal where Ron has found the location from which Claude Monet painted his impressions of the Santa Maria della Salute Church. While we have specific itineraries, we have the flexibility to take advantage of photographic opportunities we find along the way.

Tuscany has perhaps produced more accomplishments in art and science than any other place in history. It is the birthplace of the Etruscan civilization, the Italian language, and the age that shaped modern history, the Renaissance. Imagine a small region that can claim Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo, Dante, and Botticelli as its native sons! The first part of our trip will center on Florence, the capital of Tuscany, the city where the Renaissance began. It is a living museum of art and culture. We will explore its streets, piazzas, and great works of art and architecture in the company of excellent guides.

A short drive from Florence transports us into the beautiful Tuscan countryside. We will stay in Chianti, among the best-preserved landscapes in Italy, some virtually unchanged since artists depicted them five hundred years ago. The region has large areas of woodlands, interspersed with vineyards and dotted with medieval towns high on hills and ridges. The quality of light here has inspired generations of artists. Our journey will explore this glorious land in depth. Everywhere there is something of compelling beauty, curiosity, and interest — brilliant architecture, classic Tuscan landscapes, the daily life of the people themselves, providing continuity between past and present.

We always welcome tour companions who are not photographers. There are interesting aspects of Italian life waiting to be explored in every location. In Florence, the countless museums, churches, markets, restaurants, and stores within walking distance of the hotel, make the city a desirable destination for any traveler. The quaint Tuscan villages offer wonderful landscapes, local markets, piazzas, and small shops to be enjoyed by all who might like to sketch, write, or simply appreciate the culture of Italy. The trip’s leisurely pace will provide ample opportunity to wander through medieval hill towns, and feast on the renowned regional foods and wines.

October 11-15: Venice Extension with Ron

Venice, legendary city of art and the capital of the Veneto region, is built on an archipelago of more than a 100 small islands separated by a dense network of 177 canals, and joined by 400 small bridges. Water is everywhere, shaping the life of the city, and reflecting its compelling beauty. The city is an exotic blend of Gothic, Byzantine and Renaissance styles, and appears today much as it did in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Venice is a wonderful city to explore on foot. As you wander the streets and alleys, you’ll see dark passageways that end in sunlit squares, palatial buildings lining the canals, ornate bridges spanning the waterways, and beautiful cathedrals in every quarter. You do not have to go far to see gondolas moored under tiny stone bridges, and laundry hung out house windows or across the alleys to dry.

Our tour will include a visit to the tiny island of Burano, scarcely more than a half-mile wide and a forty-minute boat ride across the lagoon. Burano is one of the most colorful and photogenic places anywhere

For itinerary, pricing & enrollment, click here.

Earlier Event: September 14
The Lofoten Islands of Norway
Later Event: November 5
Japan: Fall Colors of Kyoto and Beyond