Lake Como | Italy’s Romantic Lakes
7 days, 6 Nights 10-12 Guests From $3850 Sept 30-Oct 6, 2021 / Sept 29-Oct 5, 2022
Experience romantic Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, and Lake Orta, where artists and royalty have vacationed for inspiration since medieval times. This workshop is a favorite of our regular workshop attendees. Spilling from the Italian Alps, these freshwater lakes are dotted with quaint villages that blend Italian and Swiss history. As a photographer, there’s no richer place to make images.
We’ll begin with 3 luscious nights on famous Lake Como, exploring and photographing its small villages and spectacular villas. Our next 4 days are spent in one of Italy’s best-kept secrets, the village of Orta San Giulio on picture-perfect Lago d’Orta.
Pre-Workshop: We recommend you spend one night on your own in the city of Como, less than an hour from Milan Malpensa airport. Contact us for hotel recommendations in Como.
Enjoy this small city at the southern tip of Lake Como, with its spectacular open market. Take a funicular ride up the mountain for an overview of the lake.
Day 1 | Como
12:00 noon, meet in the elegant town of Como.
Travel by ferry up the lake to our hotel in the quiet village of Lenno.
Check in, stroll the waterfront.
Welcome dinner together.
Day 2 | Varenna
Workshop in Lenno (2 hours).
Ferry to Como’s most photogenic village, Varenna.
Lunch and free time to explore Varenna.
Meet to shoot the evening light together on the waterfront.
Dinner on your own.
Day 3 | Bellagio
Villa Balbianello (Casino Royale filming location).
Workshop review and critique at our hotel.
Cross the lake to visit the village of Bellagio in the afternoon.
Field lessons and free time to fulfill assignments.
Free evening in Bellagio.
Day 4 | Orta San Giulio
Early-light group shoot (optional).
Transfer by ferry and private coach with lunch along the way.
Arrive Orta San Giulio.
Check in at our charming hotel in the heart of Orta; a one-time residence of royalty, Orta is called Little Venice because of its serene piazza on the water (no cars allowed).
Waterfront shoot on the piazza in Orta.
Free time and dinner on your own.
Day 5 | Lake Orta
Workshop: Image review and lessons (2 hours).
Tour Lake Orta by private boat, stopping along the way to photograph villas and the towns from the water.
Visit the peaceful convent island of San Giulio.
Optional hike up the hill to the Franciscan chapels and dramatic lake and mountain views.
Dinner on your own at one of Orta’s quaint restaurants.
Day 6 | Lake Orta
Early-light group shoot and field lesson.
Image review and critique at our hotel.
This last day is left open to the whims of the group and its leaders; depending on the weather and everyone’s interest, an excursion can be organized, however, most often our groups vote for another day in paradise on Lake Orta.
Group dinner in Orta.
Day 7 | Wrap-up
Workshop wrap-up and slideshow.
Check out, transfer by private coach to Milan.
Drop-off at Milano Malpensa airport.
Optional drop-off at Garibaldi Train Station in Milan.
After 21 years of photography workshops in Italy, our curriculum has been tweaked and pruned to offer the essential tools you need to succeed. Classroom and field discussions are carefully planned with printed materials to help you remember what you learned. In the field we will work side by side with you as you accomplish great images, and help you to master the techniques we’ve demonstrated in the classroom.
This is more than a run-and-gun photo tour, it’s a careful learning experience and a vacation that promises to improve your life.
Classroom time (one-hour sessions) is devoted to reviewing your daily images on-screen and offering helpful suggestions. In the field, our discussions center around better composition and finding great light. And of course, answering your technical questions and helping you master your own equipment.
Drake Busath will be photographing alongside you all week and offering insights he’s gained over 40 years traveling and living in Italy. He’ll help you to accomplish your goals, whether that means building your professional portfolio or simply learning how to master your camera. Drake has hosted hundreds of photographers in Italy since 1999 and is known for his easy-going, friendly style.
Producer | Guide
Mauro Riva is a professional guide in Italy, native of the Dolomite mountains, north of Venice. He has designed this tour of Lake Como and surrounds especially for us and he will travel with us, sharing his favorite spots.
As a photographer himself, Mauro knows our need and how to get us to the right places in the best possible light.
This can’t be over-stated… an experienced tour manager like Mauro allows the instructors to focus on our guests instead of chasing down travel logistics put out fires. This is your guarantee of a safe and smooth week of learning.
A trip manager accompanies each group with 8 guests or more. This person anticipates all our travel needs as a group (i.e., restaurant reservations, ferry tickets, gelato, snacks for your room, etc.).
An experienced trip manager allows the instructor to instruct full-time instead of chasing down logistics. This is your guarantee of a safe and smooth week of learning.
Special Guest Instructor
We make it a point to invite friends with special talents as guests on the workshops, so you never know who you’ll be rubbing shoulders with.
World-class photographers who have joined us include landscape specialist and gallery owner Randy Collier, portraitists Michael Taylor and Tim Walden, editing software guru Kevin Kubota, landscape and wildlife expert Dennis Hammon, editorial photographer Jeff Allred, nightscape specialist Royce Bair, Italian pro Luigi Barbano and writer Dr. Ray Ownbey.
Ask if there will be a special guest attending your workshop.
Italy Workshops offices are located in Salt Lake City, UT in the historic downtown mansion of Busath Studio & Gardens. Please feel free to stop in and visit.
We are open and reachable by phone Tues-Friday 10AM to 6PM MST. 801-364-6645
Sheryl Bird handles all registrations from her office in Boston, MA. Sheryl is reachable by email at email@example.com
Frequently Asked Questions
Any camera is acceptable, including smartphones. Automation for the beginner can make the trip fun and stress-free and, at times, increase creativity.
Participants who are very comfortable with their computer are encouraged to bring it along. Editing your images during the week can enhance your learning experience. We currently use Adobe Lightroom CC for our on-screen reviews sessions. You will learn new LR editing methods and workflow shortcuts during classroom reviews and critique. Even if you’ve used Lightroom, we highly recommend brushing up before the workshop by watching the free tutorials available on Adobe.com.
If you are not fluent downloading and managing digital images, you might consider leaving the computer behind and just focusing on camera work. You can still submit images daily for review, and perhaps find more time to learn about your camera and develop a discerning eye. (Not to mention sleep happily while others are editing into the night)
Observer Participants may be beginner photographers, attending all instruction and field trips, but not required to submit photos for critique. This is a fun way to learn without pressure. You’ll still photograph the same things and we’ll still want to review your work on the back of your camera and offer individual instruction in the field.
All Skill Levels Are Welcome
Beginner and Intermediate Photographers
We enjoy helping you master those buttons and menus on your camera! Short, daily field lessons will tackle one technique at time. Further individual attention in the field helps you lock in the concepts.
Any camera is welcome (yes, even smartphones!).
Non-photographer partners are welcome to sit in on all discussions and participate at their own level of interest. (Beginners often make some of the best images we see!)
As an advanced photographer you’ll be encouraged to:
- Build your portfolio, adding strong images every single day of the trip.
- Focus on style development, lighting and composition.
- Work in “concentrations” to produce a collection of work suitable for a gallery showing or book project.
You will return home with a body of work suitable for a gallery showing or book project that will express your personal style, as opposed to a random collection of travel photos.
Italy’s Romantic Lakes Photo Workshop Reviews
Italy’s Romantic Lakes Photo Workshop Dates
Romantic Lakes | Sept 30 – Oct 6, 2021
Meet: Como, Italy*
Depart: Milan, Italy
Tour Group Size: 6-12 People
$450 / Single supplement private room
Romantic Lakes | Sept 29-Oct 5, 2022
Meet: Como, Italy*
Depart: Milan, Italy
Tour Group Size: 6-12 People
$450 / Single supplement private room
* These trip starts in Como, Italy, and ends in Milan, Italy. You can arrive in any major Italian city, but Milan is recommended.
All ground and water travel is included.
Accommodations are included.
All breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 3 dinners.
Workshop tuition, including instruction in the field throughout the week and daily on-screen reviews.
- Trip insurance (recommended)
*Also not included are crowds of tourists, slow moving tour guides and lectures on the history of plague 🙂
- A reservation fee of $500/person will hold your spot
- The balance of payment is due 120 days prior to your workshop/tour
We use hotels rated 3 or 4 stars, always with private bath. Rooms are assigned in order of reservations received, so early signup is recommended. Ask about premium rooms if you would like to upgrade for an additional supplement charge.
Single Private Room Supplements
Fees are based on double occupancy. Single supplement may be added for participants who wish to have a private room to themselves. Supplements vary depending on the hotels used. If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room with another participant, please let us know and we’ll do our best to match you with a roommate.
Cancellation fee schedule
- There is no charge for cancellation within ten days of booking your workshop.
- After ten days, reservation fees are non-refundable but may be applied to a future workshop event.
- Cancellations less than 90 days prior to workshop incur a cancellation fee of 25% of the total workshop cost.
- Cancellations less than 45 days prior to workshop incur a cancellation fee of 50% of the total workshop cost.
- Cancellations less than 15 days prior to workshop incur a cancellation fee of 75% of the total workshop cost.
- No partial refunds will be given for unused portions of a workshop.
We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance to protect your investment. Travel Guard is a good place to start shopping for trip insurance. You can get a free quote online.
Italy Workshops reserves the right to cancel any trip for any reason whatsoever, including insufficient signup, logistical problems that may impede a workshop, hotel closures or acts of God.
Refund of all fees paid shall release Italy Workshops from any further liability. Italy Workshops is not responsible for any expenses incurred by workshop participants in preparing for a cancelled workshop. In the case of insufficient signup to make a workshop feasible, notice and refund will be sent 120 days prior to the workshop.
Italy Workshops reserves the right to photograph and film its trips in entirety. Participants should be aware that images of them may be used for promotional purposes or joint marketing efforts with third parties, without remuneration.
Reserve Your Workshop Experience Today
Group sizes are extremely limited. Please reserve early.
You can reserve your spot by filling out the form below,
or by calling us at 801-364-6645