Portofino Coast & Cinque Terre

Photography Workshop with Drake Busath

Portofino Coast and Cinque Terre

Portofino Coast & Cinque Terre Photo Workshop

7 days, 6 Nights      6-14 Guests     From $3450       May 7-12, 2020


Our Italian Riviera photo workshop is set in the photo-rich Portofino Coast and Cinque Terre. If you love the sea, this treasured stretch of the Ligurian coastline is a perfect fit.

Photographers go crazy over the brightly painted villages clinging to the rugged shoreline.

Foodies love Liguria for its pesto, focaccia, seafood, and crisp white wines.

Our retreat-headquarters will be a seaside 4-star hotel away from the crowds in the hidden gem of Camogli.

Pre-Tour: Fly into Genova, Italy, or arrive by train (Milan, 3 hours; Florence 3.5 hours; Rome, 5 hours). We suggest you stay a night at Hotel Bristol Palace and visit the port city of Genova, the home town of Christopher Columbus.

Tour Itinerary

Portofino Cinque Terre Italy Photo Tour Day 1

Day 1 | Genova / Camogli

11:00 a.m., meet up at the Hotel Bristol Palace, downtown Genova, and we’ll
shuttle you to Camogli, our little slice of heaven by the sea for 7 days.

Alternately, you can meet us in Camogli. The train station in Camogli is just a block or two from our hotel, an easy 5-minute walk.

Portofino Cinque Terre Italy Photo Tour Day 2

Day 2 | San Fruttuoso / Portofino

After a morning workshop, we’ll head south by boat along the coast, stopping at the ancient monastery of San Fruttuoso, reachable only by boat. The stone buildings in this secreted cove have transformed from monastery to a pirate’s den to a humble fisherman’s home before becoming the residence of the Princess of Doria, and now a place to enjoy the beach and a great lunch.

Continue to Portofino, perhaps the world’s most perfect little harbor, where the rich and famous make frequent appearances, including, yes… us! The back streets are lush with color for “street still life” images and the overlook of the harbor is a classic vista worth hiking to.

Portofino Cinque Terre Italy Photo Tour Day 3

Day 3 | Cinque Terre

We’ll rise early and catch a train to the colorful towns of the Cinque Terre. These charming fishing villages provide endless photography opportunities with the famous views of the cliff-clinging villages, the boat harbors, the crashing waves, and the colorful people.

Today we’ll visit three of the five towns along the coastline, taking an easy optional hike.

Portofino Cinque Terre Italy Photo Tour Day 4

Day 4 | Camogli / Free time

Camogli’s harbor is an easy stroll from our hotel and provides the opportunity to work with slow exposure, movement and other in-camera abstraction methods we will discuss.

Its cathedral rises from the sea, begging to be photographed from along the shores.

Portofino Cinque Terre Italy Photo Tour Day 5

Day 5 | Cinque Terre from above

Dig deeper today into the Cinque Terre, with visits to Corniglia, perched high on the cliffs, and then even higher into the vineyards in the sky overlooking all the “five lands”.

Our hosts will allow us to sample their wines, access their hillside vineyards to photograph and then provide a delicious dinner of local specialties.

Portofino Cinque Terre Italy Photo Tour Day 6

Day 6 | Camogli / San Rocco

After breakfast we’ll again review images on-screen and present new techniques. As is tradition, our final full day is left somewhat open to the whims of the group.

Among our options is the tiny village of San Rocco on the mountaintop, an easy downhill hike to Punta Chiappa, or a short hop on the train to seaside Sestri Levante.

Some may choose to just relax and enjoy our wonderful hotel with its private beach.

Portofino Cinque Terre Italy Photo Tour Day 7

Day 7 | Workshop & Farewell

After a farewell breakfast and a brief wrap-up, we’ll say goodbye at the train station in Camogli, where we can help you get tickets north to Genova, Milan or Venice. Or head south to Pisa, Florence or Rome.

The Workshop

Our curriculum has been tweaked and pruned over 18 years to offer you only the essential tools you need. We recognize that we only have a week with you… no time to impress you with our expertise or bore you with technical trivia.

Workshop Sessions

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 master your own equipment.

One on One Workshop Training

Randy Collier Italy Photo Workshops

Workshop Leader

Randy Collier, a long-time partner in Italy Workshops, has 40 years experience as a professional photographer.  He is co-owner of EarthLight Galleries in Park City, Utah where his travel images include Italian village street scenes and landscapes.

He will share what he’s learned over 12 years photographing Italy and encourage you to identify and develop your own personal style while in Italy. More about Randy


Trip Manager

Gabriele Angelini, professional photographer from the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, will produce and guide this special tour for us.  Having an Italian photographer with us makes all the difference!  Gabriele can schmooze  when we need it and introduce us to wonderful people and places Americans just can’t find on their own.  He also anticipates all our travel needs as a group (i.e., restaurant reservations, ferry tickets, gelato, snacks for your room, etc.).

An great 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

With larger groups 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.

Ask if there will be a special guest attending your workshop.

Office and Registration

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 info@italyworkshops.com

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Camera Should I Bring?

Any camera is acceptable, including smartphones. Automation for the beginner can make the trip fun and stress-free and, at times, increase creativity.

Should I Bring a Computer

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!)

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“I learned as much in a week with you two as I learned in two semesters of photography classes.” Read More

-Jeri Petersen | Tuscany

Advanced Photographers

As an advanced photographer you’ll be encouraged to:

  1. Build your portfolio, adding strong images every single day of the trip.
  2. Focus on style development, lighting and composition.
  3. 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.

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” I was delighted to end the week with not only hundreds of excellent images but nine new friends as well.” Read More

– Jim Pierotti CRA, 30 yr. pro photographer | Tuscany

Portofino Coast & Cinque Terre Photo Workshop Reviews

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“I have to say, I can’t stop thinking about Cinque Terre and how it was the best vacation I’ve ever had. The company, scenery, food and wine… And all the photos… These are truly remarkable tours.” Read More

– Lauren Altucher, NYC | Portofino Coast & Cinque Terre

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“If you love photography and love to travel, Italy Workshops will not disappoint. In addition to being incredible photographers, Drake and his team are just nice people and are extremely knowledgeable…” Read More

-Sheryl & Kyle McLain | Portofino Coast & Cinque Terre

Portofino Coast & Cinque Terre Photo Workshop Dates

Portofino/Cinque Terre | May 7-12, 2020

Arrive: May 7 – Genova, Italy*
Depart: May 12 – Camogli, Italy
Tour Group Size: 6-14 People


$3450 / Participant
$450 / Single Supplement

* These trip starts in Genova, Italy, and ends in Camogli, Italy. You can arrive in any major Italian city, but Genova is recommended. 



All boat, train and car transportation during the workshop beginning in Genova and ending in Camogli, Italy


Six nights accommodations, at 4-star Hotel Cenobio dei Dogi. Register Early, as rooms are assigned by registration date.

Room Upgrade (ask upon registration for availability of suites or balcony rooms)


Breakfast each day, two dinners and one group lunch.


Tuition is also included with daily instruction in the field and on-screen review and critique throughout the week.


Alumni Discount $100 off.

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Trip insurance (recommended)

Payment Schedule

  • A reservation fee of $500 will hold your spot
  • 50% of balance is due 120 days prior to your workshop
  • The balance of payment is due 60 days prior to your workshop


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, at some workshop locations for an additional supplement charge.

Single 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 highly recommend that all workshop participants purchase trip cancellation insurance independently.

Cancelled Workshops

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. (We have never yet had to cancel a workshop.)

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.

Photographic Release

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

Hold My Spot

How many people in your party?

An invoice will be sent to your email for $500/person reservation fee.