Intimate Tuscany Photo Workshop & Village Tour
7 days, 6 Nights 6-14 Guests From $3450 See Tour Dates
Wake to the world-famous landscapes of Tuscany. Leave the crowds behind and savor the quiet villages and local specialties and wines. Over 18 years Drake has crafted a truly authentic experience in Tuscany for photographers and their partners… part vacation, and part intense image-making.
Meet us in Siena, staying a night in Italy’s loveliest medieval city, then spend 5 nights at our hilltop farmhouse resort in private apartments. Travel by minivan through the landscapes of Val d’Orcia and Crete Sienese, with free time in Tuscany’s hill towns and the best little villages you’ve never heard of.
We recommend arriving in Florence or Rome. Either city is about 2 hours from Siena by train. If you’re nervous about traveling alone in Italy, we will arrange for an airport pickup. We will suggest photogenic places to visit and some good hotels for your stay.
Day 1 | Tour of Siena
Meet us in Siena. Our hotel in the historic center enjoys a perfect overlook of the city.
Introductions over the first of many Tuscan meals with a view, then immerse yourself in this ancient city.
Visit Siena’s cathedral and Piazza del Campo, home of the world-famous Palio bareback races.
End the day photographing a panoramic view of the city, complete with wine and cheese.
Day 2 | Pieve a Salti / San Galgano
Photograph and explore two quiet “sestieri” of Siena as the town wakes up.
Visit San Galgano Abbey, a picturesque roofless monastery in the fields.
Settle in at Fattoria Pieve a Salti, our farmhouse headquarters for 18 years
Enjoy our first rolling Tuscan hills sunset and a dinner prepared by our chef at the farm.
Day 3 | Pienza & Val d’Orcia
Sunrise on the Tuscany hills (optional… sleep in if you want).
Workshop, on-screen review and instruction (1-2 hours).
Landscapes of the Crete Sienese…sheep on the hills and cypress-lined roads.
Visit Pienza, a 15th century Renaissance town with charming narrow streets and vistas from the edge of town.
Spend the evening in the ridiculously photogenic Val d’Orcia area.
Enjoy a tailgate picnic (wines, cheeses, breads and other Tuscan treats).
Day 4 | Fattoria Pieve a Salti
Optional sunrise photoshoot near the farm.
Free morning to work on images and take advantage of amenities at the farm. Take a guided horse ride, get a massage, go into town to shop, borrow a mountain bike, or relax by the pool.
Evening visit to photograph in Drake’s favorite Tuscany village (it’s a secret) where we dine ‘al fresco’ on a private patio.
Hilltop landscape shooting into the blue hour.
Day 5 | Monticchiello & Val d’Orcia
Workshop / review participants images from the previous day and discuss new techniques.
Village visits including pristine Monticchiello, and more famous landscapes of the Val d’Orcia. Your portfolio will explode this day!
Dinner options include the renowned Osteria La Porta.
Day 6 | Montalcino & Sant’Antimo
Visit the 10th century Sant’ Antimo Abbey that rests alone among vineyards and poppy fields.
Hilltown visit to Montalcino, home of famous Brunello wines. Photograph the colors and social life of the weekly market.
Dinner with our friends at their private castle near Buonconvento, a true taste of authentic Tuscany food and hospitality.
Day 7 | Buonconvento & Siena
Workshop wrap-up and final slideshow; checkout.
Lunch in un-trampled Buonconvento.
Arrive at the Siena train station (3:00 p.m.).
After the workshop, we can help you arrange travel to Rome, Florence or Venice.
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.
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, the originator of Italy Workshops, has 30 years experience living and traveling in Italy. Drake speaks Italian and has guided hundreds of photographers of every skill level to favorite regions all over Italy.
He will share what he’s learned over 35 years photographing Italy and encourage you to identify and develop your own personal style while in Italy. More about Drake
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.
Tuscany Photo Workshop Reviews
Tuscany Photo Workshop Dates
Tuscany | May 6-12, 2018
Arrive: May 6th – Siena, Italy*
Depart: May 12th – Siena, Italy
Tour Group Size: 6-14 People
Price Sold Out
$2950 / Shared Room
Tuscany | Apr. 23-29, 2019
Arrive: April 23rd – Siena, Italy*
Depart: April 29th – Siena, Italy
Tour Group Size: 8-14 People
$3050 / Shared Room
* These trip starts and ends in Siena, Italy. You can arrive in any major Italian city, but Florence or Rome is recommended. By train, Siena is 2 hours from Florence, 3 hours from Rome, 5 hours from Milan or Venice.
Ground travel by minivan from Siena , returning to Siena.
6 nights accommodations.
First night or two in the historic center of Siena, with the best view of the city right off your balcony.
The remainder of nights in private apartments at Fattoria Pieve a Salti, a working 15th century farmhouse complex, fully remodeled with new A/C, TV, amenities including indoor and outdoor pools, spa, restaurant.
- Luxurious breakfast each day at the farm
- Dinner or lunch each day as we travel.
- Wine tasting at famous Tuscan cantinas
Workshop tuition, including on-screen reviews of your daily work (voluntary) and one-on-one photographic instruction in the field throughout the week.
- Trip insurance (recommended)
Also not included are crowds, slow moving tour guides and lectures on the history of plague 🙂
- 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.
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.
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.
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 renumeration.
Reserve Your Italy 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