Wake up to the world-famous landscapes of Tuscany. Leave the crowds behind and savor the quiet villages and local specialties and wines. For 20 years Drake has crafted truly authentic experiences in Tuscany for photographers and their partners.
Meet us in Siena, staying two nights in Italy’s loveliest medieval city, then spend 4 nights at our hilltop farmhouse resort in private luxurious 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.
Join us fo an early morning shoot in famous Piazza del Campo and explore a quiet “sestieri” or two of Siena as the town wakes up.
A special private visis to the Museo di Bicherne is followed by free time in town and a Brunello wine tasting in an Etruscan tomb you won’t believe.
Day 3 | San Galgano & Crete Sienese
We head for the hills of Tuscany. The roofless abbey of San Galgano in the fields makes a great lunch stop.
Check in at our own hilltop village resort for 4 nights.
Landscapes of the Crete Sienese…sheep on the hills and cypress-lined roads.
Dinner by our chef at the farm.
Day 4 | Pienza & Ghost-town day
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).
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
Tenth century Sant’ Antimo Abbey rests among vineyards and poppy fields.
Montalcino, home of Brunello wines. Special landscape stops in the Val d’Orcia.
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.
Market day 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, founder of Italy Workshops, will lead this workshop sharing insights, friends and wonderful locations he has collected over 40 years visiting and living in Tuscany.
Drake has hosted hundreds of photographers here since 1999 from beginners to professional. He loves to help guests see beyond “post card” Tuscany and exercise their own individual style as they scour the hills and villages for nuanced compositions and suggestive light. His friendly casual style is the reason most workshop members are alumni.
Our Local Host
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.
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 8-14, 2022
Tuscany | May 7-13, 2023
Arrive: May 8 – Siena, Italy*
Depart: May 14 – Siena, Italy
Tour Group Size: 8-14 guests
$4150 / Participant (double occupancy)
$450 / Single supplement for private 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/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
- Reservation fees are fully refundable for 10 days after your booking.
- After ten days, reservation fees are non-refundable but may be applied to a future workshop event.
- Cancellations less than 120 days prior to workshop incur a cancellation fee of 25% of the total workshop cost.
- Cancellations less than 60 days prior to workshop incur a cancellation fee of 50% of the total workshop cost.
- Cancellations less than 30 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 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