Puglia & Matera

Magical Hill Towns and Seascapes on the Heel of the Boot

Puglia & Matera

Magical Hill Towns & Seascapes on the Heel of the Boot



Puglia and Matera Photo Tour

Puglia & Matera Photo Tour

7 days, 6 Nights      6-12 Guests     From $4350       March 20-26, 2023

ROME EXTENSION March 26-30 / 4 nights / max 6 guests



Call it a “graduate course in Italy”.   Our tour of Puglia is for adventurers looking for something different and exciting.  Located on the heel of the boot along the Adriatic Sea, the Puglia region remains largely undiscovered and holds a rawness and authentic experience for photographers.

Partners are welcome!  The warm climate, the delicious foods and fascinating history of this region make it a rich experience whether you’re photographing or not.

We will experience the unique Trulli houses in and around Alberobello. We’ll photograph seascapes and towns that cling to the outcrops on the Adriatic Sea. The pre-historic town of Matera with its cave dwellings will be our home for 2 nights and we will venture into a true Italian ghost town.


This tour requires good fitness, as we’ll walk 2-3 miles per day in and around the towns we visit.


Whether you’re new to photography or you’re a seasoned pro, this tour is designed to give you the instruction needed and to rock your portfolio.  iPhon-ographers are welcome!

Puglia Italy Photo Tour Itinerary Map

Tour Itinerary

Puglia Offida women Drake Busath

Day 1 | Bari-Monopoli

Fly into Bari  airport (BRI) and train right from the airport to the coastal town of Monopoli. (Or, arrive a day early if possible and enjoy historic Bari) Check in to our quaint hotel in Monopoli and meet up for an orientation, some street photography and a welcome dinner.

Puglia Day 2 in Alberobello Italy Photo-Workshop

Day 2 | Ostuni / Alberobello

Called the “White City”, Ostuni sits perched on a hilltop, laced with narrow streets and whitewashed buildings.

Photograph the famous Trulli houses in Alberobello.

Check in at our beautiful Masseria resort among the olive orchards (4 nights).

Puglia Day 3 in Pugliano a Mare Italy Photo-Workshop

Day 3 | Locorotondo / Polignano a Mare

Locorotondo is a maze of charming streets circling to the top of the hill (the name means round place). It’s very much like the hill towns in Tuscany except the people and food are uniquely Pugliese.

Polignano a Mare is perched over the sea on a giant rock outcrop. We’ll eat lunch in a grotto looking at the Adriatic Sea and then get our feet wet in this part of the Mediterranean.

Puglia Day 5 in Alberobello Italy Photo Workshop

Day 4 | Alberobello

Street shooting and architectural themes among the unique cone shaped Trulli houses.

People watching in Alberobello.

Rest and relax and enjoy the cafe lifestyle today.

Puglia Day 6 in Matera Italy Photo Workshop

Days 6-7 | Matera

Stay in a 4 star hotel in the heart of Matera, a UNESCO world heritage site, where people have lived in caves continuously for over 9,000 years. Matera and its people make for fascinating photography.

Puglia Day 7 in Craco Italy Photo Workshop

Day 6 | Matera & Craco

We day-trip to the hilltop ghost town of Craco and then a free evening back in Matera.

Puglia Day 8 Italy Photo Workshop

Day 8 | Workshop wrap-up and farewells

PM Depart for Bari airport.


Rome Piazza Navona_Drake BusathRome, a Backstage Tour

4 nights / March 26-30

See Rome with Gabriele Angelini, pro photographer and passionate historian.  Avoiding the crowds you’ll get to the best views at the right times of day.

You’ll also experience true Roman Osteria dining at some off the beaten path restaurants  the locals love, with 3 meals included.

Our group will stay 4 nights in the historic center walking distance to all the sights with free time each day to wander on your own.

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

On-screen reviews of participant images serve to inspire the group and give us a demonstrateLightroom editing techniques.  Most guests remark that review /critique is the most valuable learning experience.  We normally devote an hour each day to classroom discussion, as our facilities and location allows. In the field, we begin each day with a themed discussion and then allow the rest of the day for individual shooting.  Our discussions center around finding more interesting compositions, perspectives and more dynamic light.  

One on One Workshop Training

Drake Busath

Workshop Leader

Drake Busath is the originator of Italy Workshops. Having lived here, he speaks Italian and has guided hundreds of photographers of every skill level to favorite regions all over Italy.

Drake will share what he’s learned over 35 years photographing Italy and encourage you to identify and develop your own personal style while traveling. More about Drake


Our Local Tour 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

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.

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

Puglia Photo Tour Reviews

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“We thought we’s seen all of Italy, then Drake took us to Puglia! Some of our all-time favorite experiences happened on this trip.” Read More

– Stu & Lori Wheelwright | Puglia Tour

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“Puglia was a perfect for those of us looking for something off the beaten path. It’s hard to imagine that people don’t know about this area… What an adventure! “ Read More

-Liz Busath | Puglia Tour

Puglia Photo Tour Dates

Puglia & Matera | March 20-26, 2023

Meet: Bari, Italy
Depart: Bari, Italy
Tour Group Size: 6-12 People

$4350 / Participant (double occupancy)
$450 / Single supplement (private room)

Rome Extension

4 nights / March 26-30
$1550 / Participant (double occupancy)
$350 / Single supplement (private room)
Train with the group Bari-Rome on March 26
Depart from Rome the morning of March 30



Daily excursions and all ground-transportation starting in Lecce and  ending in Bari.


4 nights accommodations in historic Trulls houses in Alberobello, Italy.

2 nights in luxury 4-star hotel in Matera, Italy.

1 night in the historic center of Lecce.

If you wish to share a room, we’ll do our best to find you a roommate.  Register Early, rooms are assigned by registration date.

Suites and balcony rooms may be available at extra cost, upon request.


All breakfasts, 2 dinners, 2 lunches.


Workshop tuition, including instruction in the field throughout the week and on-screen review where allowed by time and hotel space.


Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Trip insurance (recommended)

*Also not included are crowds of tourists, slow moving tour guides and lectures on the history of plague 🙂


$100 off per person having attended a previous Italy Workshops event 6 days or longer.

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 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.