Portofino Coast & Cinque Terre

Portofino Coast and the Cinque Terre

Portofino Coast | Cinque Terre

7 Days / 6 Nights      6-12 Guests      $4150       October 2-8, 2022

Ask about our 4 day extension to Florence!

If you love the sea and charming seaside villages, this treasured stretch of the Ligurian coastline is a perfect fit for you. Foodies love the Liguria region  for its pesto, focaccia, seafood, and crisp white wines.

Photographers love the brightly painted villages that dot the shoreline of this “Italian Riviera”.  The Cinque Terre are the most famous, along with Portofino,  but as usual some of your most memorable finds will be in lesser known towns nearby.

Our retreat headquarters is a seaside 4-star hotel away from the crowds in the stunning fishing village of Camogli.

Pre-Tour: Fly into Genoa, Italy, or arrive by train (Milan, 3 hours; Florence 3.5 hours; Rome, 5 hours).  We suggest you arrive early and stay a night in Genoa to acclimate.  This port city is the home town of Christopher Columbus and rich with maritime history.  We suggest the Hotel Bristol Palace for your stay.

Tour Itinerary

Portofino Cinque Terre Italy Photo Tour Day 1

Day 1 | Genova / Camogli

11AM meet up at the Hotel Bristol Palace, downtown Genoa, 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 few blocks from our hotel, an easy walk, even with luggage.  

Workshop orientation and free time to explore the harbor town of Camogli

Meet before dinner for a blue-hour shoot on the beach. 


Portofino Cinque Terre Italy Photo Tour Day 2

Day 2 | San Fruttuoso / Portofino

Begin each day with the delicious breakfast at our hotel with a view you won’t believe.

Workshop and review favorite images on the big screen, the best way to learn!

Ferry down the Ligurian Coast, stopping to visit the ancient monastery of San Fruttuoso.

Continue on to Portofino, world famous harbor town, where the rich and famous make frequent appearances, including, yes… us. Practice your “street still-lives” in the lush colors of this town and take a short hike for a classic overlook. 


Portofino Cinque Terre Italy Photo Tour Day 3

Day 3 | Cinque Terre

Early risers can photograph the fishermen bringing in their catch in Camogli’s harbor.

After a relaxed free morning we’ll catch a train to the colorful towns of the Cinque Terre.

We’ll start in the southernmost town Riomaggiore and explore parts of the town tourists miss.  You’ll have free time to poke around the harbor and it’s fishing boats.

A short ferry ride lets us view the towns from the water before arriving to Manarola.

In the evening we’ll set up for a classic view of Manarola over the water.  You can even sit and enjoy a glass of wine with this view while you photograph.  Who says it has to be all work?

Breakfast / Lunch

Portofino Cinque Terre Italy Photo Tour Day 4

Day 4 | Camogli / Free time

After breakfast we buckle down for a deep workshop session in the morning. Review your favorite images and learn new editing methods to make your photographs sing.  

Enjoy a free afternoon on the boardwalk. Camogli’s harbor is a wonderful stroll from our hotel and provides a ton of opportunity to practice methods discussed in the workshop.

End the day together shooting “blue hour” views of the town reflected in its harbor.


Portofino Coast & Cinque Terre Photo Workshop

Portofino Coast & Cinque Terre Photo Workshop

Day 5 | Cinque Terre secrets

After a relaxed morning of eating and learning a few new editing tricks, we head out again and dig deeper today into the towns of the Cinque Terre.

On the agenda, Corniglia perched high for an overlook of  the “five lands”.  

Finish with a seafood dinner overlooking colorful Venazza and the sea, a view coveted by photographers all over the world. 

Breakfast / Lunch

Portofino Cinque Terre Italy Photo Tour Day 6

Day 6 | Camogli / San Rocco

As is tradition, this final full day is left somewhat open to the whims of the group.  Among our options are: San Rocco on the mountaintop, an easy downhill hike along the coastline, or a short hop to seaside Sestri Levante. Some may choose to just relax by the pool on on our private pebble beach.

Today instructors can offer you even more individual help as you prepare your images and practice your new found editing skills. 

All week you’ll eat amazingly, but our final dinner together is something special.

Breakfast / Dinner

Day 7 | Workshop & Farewell

After a farewell breakfast and a brief wrap-up in the workshop room, we get to see each guest’s favorite images from our time together.  There’s nothing more satisfying for the workshop leaders than witnessing your amazing results.

Reluctant goodbyes at our noon checkout in Camogli. We can help you arrange transportation back to Genova (OR) join us for a 3 night, 4 day extension to Florence, hosted by our own Gabriele Angelini.


photo: John Norvell

The Workshop

Through more than 20 years of photography workshops in Italy, we’ve learned a lot about helping our guests reach their potential.

Truthfully, we’ve learned just as much about what NOT to try and teach. For instance, much less “gear-head” trivia is discussed here than most photo workshops. You’ll also rarely be standing at famous places copying other photographers’ work.

Core principles of Italy Workshops are dramatic light, exciting composition and individual creativity. All are skills best learned seeing your own images on the big screen and getting thoughtful feedback. That’s why a little classroom time is important throughout the week.

Finding the right balance of personalized help in the field, free time to shoot alone, and classroom critique is our deepest desire on each trip.

Oh, and great eats.


Classroom Work – Not Just a Photo Tour

One thing that sets Italy Workshops apart from photo tours is seeing your own images reviewed on the big screen throughout the week. It’s invariably the most powerful learning experience to see your own work, along with other guests on screen, accompanied by thoughtful critique and editing as you watch.

Classroom time is limited to 1-2 hour sessions, usually after breakfast. Here we demonstrate specific editing tips that apply to your specific image, not just generic tips for “some other day”.

Watch your images come alive on the big screen and see what other guests photographed, and then you’ll go out each day excited to create.

In the field, we can help you individually with your camera techniques and solve the invariable technical hiccups as they come up.

Drake Busath Italy Workshops

One on One Workshop Training

Workshop Leader

Drake Busath founded Italy Workshops in 1999.  He has presented seminars and workshops in eight countries and most U.S. States.

His favorite place is Italy where he has lived or traveled for over 40 years.

An “adopted son” with no actual Italian blood,  Drake learned to speak the language and possesses a deep affection for Italy, its beauty, culture and lifestyle.

More about Drake…


Mauro Riva, Director of Operations Italy Workshops

Mauro Riva, Italy Workshops

Tour Producer / Guide

Mauro Riva is a professional guide in Italy, native of the Dolomite mountains, north of Venice.  He will travel with us all week, sharing his insights about the Liguria Region, its culture and of course its food.

As a photographer himself, Mauro understands your needs.  He’ll get you to the right places in the best possible light.

Mauro serves as Director of Operations for Italy Workshops.  Having him along allows our instructor to focus on instructing instead of chasing down travel logistics. This is your guarantee of a safe and smooth week of learning.

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 Coast/Cinque Terre | October 2-8, 2022

Arrive: Meet in Genova
Depart: Depart from Genova or Florence
Tour Group Size: 8-14 People


$4150 / Participant
$450 / Single Supplement
Ask about our 4-day extension to Florence, hosted by our own Gabriele Angelini.

* 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/person will hold your spot
  • The balance of payment is due 120 days prior to your workshop/tour

Hotel Rooms

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.

Travel Insurance

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.

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.

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.