The complete program with all the details will be sent after booking.
Val d’Orcia and surroundings ( Monticchiello – Bagno Vignoni – San Quirico – Pienza – Countryside). LANDSCAPE – VILLAGESCAPE
Montalcino area, Siena and Crete Senesi. LANDSCAPE – CITYSCAPE – TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY
Florence. TRAVEL AND STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
Chianti and Monteriggioni. LANDSCAPE – VILLAGESCAPE
Upon request the duration can be extended, ever during the tour/workshop, if possible.
- Panicale – Trasimeno lake – Cortona – Montepulciano. LANDSCAPE – VILLAGESCAPE – TRAVEL AND STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
- Radicofani – Sorano – Pitigliano – Bagni San Filippo. LANDSCAPE – VILLAGESCAPE – TRAVEL AND STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
- The best places visited shooting with a different weather and light contition.
For photographers interested in shooting only at sunrise and sunset, we will focus mainly on the Val D’orcia and Crete Senesi.
TRADITIONAL EVENTS / FESTIVALS:
Siena Palio Horse Race (Siena)
Giostra del Saracino (Arezzo)
Medieval Festival Serremaggio (Serre Di Rapolano)
Bravio delle Botti (Montepulciano)
ALL THE PLACES WE’LL SHOOT ARE SHOWN IN THE GALLERY.
FOLLOWING SOME CURIOSITIES ABOUT THE SPOTS OF THE
VAL D’ORCIA (Orcia valley)
Val d’Orcia is the first rural area inserted onto the UNESCO World Heritage List. A magnificent natural scenery that has become the iconic image of Tuscany. With its distinctive beauty, the curvy hills have colors that change according to the season. They are covered in the dense vegetation of vineyards, olive groves, cypresses, beech and chestnut trees. Alternate with Medieval habitations, rural villas and castles. An image that exemplifies the beauty of well-managed Renaissance agricultural landscapes. It fuses art, landscape and ecosystem and is the expression of a series of marvelous natural characteristics. Additionally, these splendid localities were celebrated by the painters of the Sienese School, which flourished between the 13th and 15th Centuries. Orcia valley is also one of the most photographed and filmed areas. Famous movies such as The Gladiator, The English Patient, Romeo and Juliet were made here.
There is also the enogastronomic production. Such includes the cacio pecorino of Pienza, the honey from Val d’Orcia, extra-virgin olive oil from Castiglione d’Orcia. The salames of Cinta Senese, as well as mushrooms and truffles. Everything accompanied by the most famous wine in the world – Brunello di Montalcino. Tuscany photography tour/workshop.
The lovely Banfi castle is seat of one of the biggest producers of Brunello di Montalcino wine, the most honored in international competitions and present in more than 50 countries worldwide.
We’ll taste delicious local wine.
TOWN OF PIENZA
Pienza is located in the heart of Val d’Orcia, from which the views are the dream of every photographer. This charming village is widely known as the “ideal city of the Renaissance”, the creation of the great humanist Enea Silvio Piccolomini who later became Pope Pius II.
The historic center of Pienza has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site.
Pecorino cheese and wine tasting. Tuscany photography tour/workshop.
MONTALCINO VILLAGE AND WINEYARDS
Montalcino was made famous by Brunello, one of the world’s best red wines. But it is also a magnificent city of art which, from its hill, dominates the 3000 hectares of vineyards (1500 for Brunello) that have given it fame and wealth.
Straddled between the basins of the Ombrone and the Orcia, the centre is overlooked by the Fortress built in 1361 to consolidate the fact that Montalcino had become a possession of Siena.
We’ll visit wineries and cellars.
CITY OF SIENA – THE GOTHIC DREAM
Siena is the loveliest and photogenic medieval city of Italy. It is a masterpiece of dedication and inventiveness in which the buildings were designed to be adapted to the entire design of the urban structure. Also to form a unity with the surrounding landscape.
There are important monuments and places in Siena. The twelfth century cathedral (Duomo), Mangia Tower (Torre del Mangia), the Baptistery and the Campanile. In addition the Town Hall and the famous main square (Piazza del Campo). here, each year takes place the popular horse race better known as the Palio di Siena.
The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site in 1995. Here we’ll shot a city portrait and the Palio on July 2 and August 16.
The Crete Senesi represent one of the most interesting and characteristic landscape of Tuscany, the area is formed by a charming hilly landscape made up of reliefs eroded over the centuries by meteor phenomena, bare of vegetation, white of colour, that sometimes seem to form a lunar landscape where the sun really shines, the wind blows unhindered, the light is blinding, and sight can range mercilessly everywhere, chasing distant horizons, wonderful lines.
The Crete Senesi is everything that we associate with Tuscany: gently rolling hills, lonely mansions, cypresses and pine trees planted along the streets and around the farms to protect against the wind.
We’ll get lost in the desert of Tuscany. Tuscany photography tour/workshop.
A day dedicated to wine, vineyards, amazing landscapes and Castles.
In Chianti is produced the most famous Italian red wine that takes its name from the place in which it arises. Chianti region is also a great model of the Tuscan landscape, green hills and valleys made famous by painters of the Renaissance. It is also the old lonely residences: villas, palaces and castles. Wine tasting in the castle. Tuscany photography tour/workshop.
BORGO OF MONTERIGGIONI
Monteriggioni stands on top of a low hill whose slopes are dotted with olive trees and wineyards. The castle was founded in the second decade of the 13th century by the Republic of Siena. Its main aim was to create a defensive outpost against its rival, Florence. Monteriggioni still today retains many of its original 13th century architectural features; indeed, it is unique among Tuscany’s medieval borghi.
We will get an aperitif on the main square. Tuscany photography tour/workshop.
TOWN OF PITIGLIANO
Pitigliano, a town of surreal charm, carved out of the area’s characteristic volcanic tufo. It is also known as the ‘small Jerusalem’. It seems to have been taken out of a fairytale. It appears to have grown from the stone of this wildly beautiful promontory, bounded by green valleys crossed by the Lente and Meleta rivers. The high walls of volcanic tufa, carved out by a thousand caverns thus heightening the picturesque feel of this medieval town. The houses, constructed on a tuffaceous drum, repeat the vertical lines of the cliffs, making the enclosing walls almost superfluous. The illustrious past becomes present while walking the old streets, admiring the ancient houses and visiting the famous Jewish ghetto. The large Jewish community, dating back from the 15th century, has prompted the name “Little Jerusalem” for this splendid village.
VILLAGE OF SORANO
A place suspended in time, where the Etruscans build a majestic necropolis. Sorano and the surrounding towns are filled with examples of their Etruscan origin, which dates back to the period of this civilization’s greatest splendor. Sorano was built on a high rock and this extremely picturesque position captivates all who visit it. With the passage of time, it has come to resemble a natural cliff, only slightly refined by the Renaissance architecture. The girding wall served to make it one of the safest outposts in the County. There are also tombs excavated in the rock walls, enveloped and protected by thick vegetation, which increases their fascination and mystery. The most famous is the Siren’s Tomb.
We’ll enjoy the lunch in Sorano.
BAGNI SAN FILIPPO
Bagni San Filippo, in the area of Monte Amiata we’ll photograph a beautiful forest waterfall with hot springs situated at the foot of this suggestive mountain. The most remarkable sight in this area are the enormous lime crusts which have formed on the White Moat where you can swim under the waterfall or bathe in one of the two natural pools, one hot and one cold. This is still the most photogenic part of the Amiata area and it brings to mind the mythic lime deposits of Pamukkale in Turkey or the Mammoth Hot Springs of Yellowstone, USA, though in more modest dimensions. Tuscany photography tour/workshop.
TOWN OF MONTEPULCIANO
Montepulciano is a medieval town of rare beauty located on a hill 605 meters high in the province of Siena. Founded at the beginning of the eighth century as a castle, Montepulciano became rich in the Middle Ages. The city is full of elegant Renaissance palaces, ancient churches, charming squares and hidden corners. Boasts vast panoramas all over the wonderful Val d’Orcia and Val di Chiana valleys that surround it.
Piazza Grande is the heart of Montepulciano and the setting for its main events, including the barrel-racing Bravio delle Botti. The contest held in August every year and much more. A walk through Montepulciano is the best way to view the town and its beautiful landmarks. As well as enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside covered by vineyards producing the famous Nobile!
Here we’ll enjoy taking pictures in a famous wine cellar, at sunset and twilight. Tuscany photography tour/workshop.
And night. In August we’ll photograph the Bravio delle Botti.
FORTRESS OF RADICOFANI
Situated at the top of a rock basalt of 896 meters, the fortress of Radicofani sits dominantly overlooking the town below and the Val d’Orcia. The archaeological site has been renovated since the 80s of the last century. Currently the castle offers visitors an interesting exploration that also includes the restored tunnels, previously not accessable, and a refreshment bar with excellent local food.
Trasimeno Lake is situated on the border between Umbria and Tuscany. It lies at the foot of the charming and historic town of Cortona.
Around the lake there are: riding schools, hiking paths and trails for hiking.
You can also find there historic mills operating until today which squeeze olive oil (that is possible to buy on the spot). Fishing tourist is also quite popular around the lake.
The lake is a great subject to photograph or to rest.
We’ll enjoy the lunch here.
CORTONA – THE PEARL OF TUSCANY
Cortona is situated on a hill where you can enjoy a unique and amazing view of the Val di Chiana and Trasimeno lake. One moment you may find yourself walking down a winding narrow path with flowered terraces and full clotheslines on either side, filled with the scent of herbs and regional dishes, and then your world opens up and you can see for miles in every direction. colours that paint the landscape of an infinite imagination. Cortona is perhaps the most magical and real town, it maintains his medieval allure, his etruscan heritage and his tuscan charm.
EVENTS / FESTIVALS
SIENA PALIO HORSE RACE
“Piazza del Campo” is still used today for the well Known Palio horse race. It is one of the most famous popular Italian manifestations. It takes place every year on July 2 and August 16.
The Palio is a historical secular tradition strictly connected with the origin of the Contradas of Siena. The Contradas are spectacular agonistic institutions each having their own government, oratory, coat of arms, appellations. Sometimes titles of nobility, emblems and colours, official representatives, festivities, patron Saints, with protectors. Delimited territories and population which consist of all those people who were born or live within the topographic limits of the district.
The historical parade is a lively display of rich medieval costumes. It date back to the time period from 1430 to 1480; their colours are as bright as one may fancy.
The spirit of Siena is in the very colours of her “Contrade” and in all the manifestations connected with each of them. First of all, the benediction of the horses and jockeys, each in the church of their own “Contrada”. It is this spirit that animates the whole manifestation and contributes such enthusiasm and pathos to the scene. This traditional popular manifestation lasts four days (from June 29 to July 2 and from August 13 to 16) and finishes in the streets of the victorious “Contrada”. The people celebrate the happy event in a most joyous way. Winner pays all. Visitors often go roaming through the winding streets of the ancient town sympathizing with the “Contrada” in which they are living.
GIOSTRA DEL SARACINO (Arezzo)
During the Giostra del Saracino the whole city turns up in medieval costume to recreate the atmosphere of medieval Arezzo. The quarters of the city compete against each other in a joust to win the Golden Lance. Today, there are 8 knights for the 4 districts of the city. Porta del Foro, San Andrea, Porta Santo Spirito and Porta Crucifera. Each knight gallops on horseback with a wooden lance and aims at the Buratto and its shield. The knight has two runs along the lizza (jousting track) that runs obliquely in Piazza Grande. It is won by the district whose knights obtained the most points. Points are obtained by hitting the target on the shield.
The Joust of the Saracen or Giostra del Saracino is a beautiful medieval festival that animates Arezzo. Every year with colors, sounds and flavors from the Middle Ages. Head to Arezzo and go back in time!
MEDIEVAL FESTIVAL SERREMAGGIO (Serre di Rapolano)
In May there is a traditional medieval spring festival Serremaggio. The name of the festival, Feast of Ciambragina, tells the tale a spouse of a wealthy Sienese merchant in the 14th century who lived in Serre. During the festival, you can assist a medieval atmosphere everywhere in the village. You taste medieval style food and sweets (and modern pizza too!), buy some handicraft products and watch performances of a different kind. The people of the village dress up in medieval costumes and parade through the streets. They represent the inhabitants of the village of the past times and groups of dancers show ancient dances. You can find musicians and jesters around the village to entertain the visitors.
BRAVIO DELLE BOTTI (Montepulciano)
Every year, in an atmosphere full of charm and magic, in Montepulciano an arduous uphill race takes place: a race of barrels called Bravìo. Il Bravìo delle Botti is the challenge between eight districts: Cagnano, Collazzi, Le Coste, Gracciano, Poggiolo, San Donato, Talosa and Voltaia. They spread all along the historical city centre. The districts fight over a painted cloth by rolling barrels about 80 kg each along an uphill path of over a kilometer long. The barrels are pushed by two athletic “pushers”, while the route of the race unfolds the picturesque streets of the historical city centre. Until the arrival, located on the cathedral square in Piazza Grande.