autumn in tuscany & venice tour

Early November is the peak of the autumn season in Tuscany: grapes are in their full foliage colors as well as all the other trees – and fog in the mornings are becoming more common.

In Venice, while you might not see much foliage around, the crowds are finally leaving and you’ll be able to enjoy the true soul of the floating city.

Join us for an unforgettable experience through the rolling hills of Val d’Orcia and quiet canals of Venice!

3rd-10th November 2024

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7 nights/8 days

3rd-10th NOVEMBER 2024

ALL INCLUSIVE FORMULA

FROM €5990,00 P.P.

EASY WALKING INVOLVED

5 PERSONS MAX.

all skill levels

OVERVIEW

As photographers – we tend to visit most places in autumn due to the foliage conditions: we are naturally attracted by the beauty of the fall colors.

Things in Tuscany are slightly different though: even if the foliage is obviously one of the reasons you should visit here in autumn, it’s not by far the only one. Weather conditions are probably the most interesting year-round and the chances of getting low fog in the valley (which is arguably the picture that every photographer dreams to get when visiting Tuscany) are also higher than at any other time of the year: these two factors are crucial when it comes to photography, and that’s why the autumn season is one of the times we recommend the most to visit Tuscany!

On the other side, in our second destination of this workshop we won’t get to see a lot of foliage: the reason why November is a fantastic time of the year to visit Venice is mostly because of the fewer crowds mixed with a higher chance of dramatic weather conditions, specially when it comes to low fog in the canals.

I think you got the point: this time of the year is great for shooting these locations, and that’s exactly why we decided to create this particular workshop: to help you capture the best of both!

workshop itinerary

A small disclaimer before you start diving into the day-by-day itinerary: what you will read here is a “standardized” version of it. In other words a simplified, very rigid schedule created to give you a rough idea of what our days together will look like and a “taste” of some of the locations we will shoot. If you’d like to get more infos about the locations – you can also visit our Tuscany Location Guide, that should give you an even clearer idea of the places!

Truth is that we never run two identical workshops – due to the weather, due to the light, due to the length of the days at any given time of the year and a bazillion other variables that come into play when dealing with outdoor photography.

Take this general itinerary for what it is – and by any means don’t think that we’ll stick to it at all times!

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL
Pick-up: 10/10:30AM

Time to start our workshop together! On our first day, we will pick you up at the Florence (or Pisa) airport around mid-morning, so that we can start our drive to Pienza (our final destination, 1h45m drive from Florence) straight away.

Lunch: 12:30PM

As soon as we arrive in the beautiful Val d’Orcia, we’ll immerse ourselves into the rolling hills and we will have a lovely lunch in the countryside to set the right mood! You will have a first taste of Tuscany’s delicious cuisine.

Hotel Check-in & Afternoon Break: approx. 2:30/4:30PM

After our tasty lunch together, we’ll drive back to Pienza – the place where we’ll be staying for the whole workshop – to check in into your hotel and take a breath before hitting the road again.

Sunset Session: 5/8PM (depending on sunset time)

Our first official photography session together! Since it’s our first, we’ll have a longer session so that your workshop leader can assess your skills and give you the necessary notions to capture the golden light in the best possible way given the weather conditions of that day. The location we will probably visit is called “The Cipressi of San Quirico d’Orcia”, a classic of the area that we like to call “The Photographer’s Playground” because of the endless perspectives you can get there! See a few examples in the pictures below.

Dinner: 8:30PM

It’s been a long day: finally we will have the chance to sit down and have a warm meal with some fine wine to end it in the best way!

DAY 2 - BELVEDERE, MONTEPULCIANO & BACCOLENO
Sunrise Session: 5:30/8AM (depending on sunrise time)

An early wake up call waits for us: we will go out when the twilight glow is just starting to appear, so that by the blue hour we will already be set up and ready to shoot! During our first sunrise session we’ll visit the iconic “Podere Belvedere”, one of the places that better represents the landscape of Tuscany: a country house, endless rolling hills and cypress trees all over the scene.

Breakfast & Morning Break: 8/10:30AM

By the time we’ll be back at the hotel, I’m sure that you will be very much looking forward to having a nice breakfast and a bit of a break to gain some energies back.

Visit and Lunch to Montepulciano: 10:30AM/2:30PM

Time to hit the road again and visit a different town out of all the marvelous ones in the area: today we’ll visit Montepulciano, famous for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (noble wine of Montepulciano) and obviously we won’t miss having a delicious meal in a winery!

Afternoon Break/Editing: 2:30/5:30PM

Depending on how tired we are, we might either take another break or do some post-production on the shots taken in the past couple sessions. Or maybe a mix of both!

Sunset Session: 5:30/8PM (depending on sunset time)

Another day, another sunset: at this “round” we will visit the infamous Podere Baccoleno, another popular house lost in the countryside a bit north from Pienza. This is actually one of the very few locations that it’s not in the Val d’Orcia but in a different area called Crete Senesi. That winding road is definitely an unmissable view of Tuscany!

Dinner: 8:30PM

Another long day has passed, nothing better than sitting down and having a delicious meal in the fabulous small city centre of Pienza to wrap things up.

DAY 3 - COVILI, MONTALCINO & GLADIATOR HOUSE
Sunrise Session: 5:30/8AM (depending on sunrise time)

Another day, another early wake up call! During our second sunrise session we’ll visit Poggio Covili, a lovely house on top of a hill with its characteristic straight cypress trees road: getting the low fog here with just the house peaking out is every photographer’s dream when visiting Tuscany.

Breakfast & Morning Break: 8/10:30AM

By the time we’ll be back at the hotel, I’m sure that you will be very much looking forward to having a nice breakfast and a bit of a break to gain some energies back.

Visit and Lunch to Montalcino: 10:30AM/2:30PM

Time to hit the road again and visit a different town out of all the marvelous ones in the area: today we’ll visit Montalcino, famous (yep, again) for the Brunello di Montalcino, another type of wine that they produce nearby.

Afternoon Break/Editing: 2:30/5:30PM

Depending on how tired we are, we might either take another break or do some post-production on the shots taken in the past couple sessions. Or maybe a mix of both!

Sunset Session: 5:30/8PM (depending on sunset time)

On our third sunset together, we’ll visit Leo’s favorite location of the entire valley: the so-called “Gladiator House”, due to the fact that the originally shot a scene of “The Gladiator” movie of Ridley Scott there.

Dinner: 8:30PM

Another long day has passed, nothing better than sitting down and having a delicious meal in the fabulous small city centre of Pienza to wrap things up.

DAY 4 - VITALETA, SAN GIMIGNANO & I CIPRESSINI
Sunrise Session: 5:30/8AM (depending on sunrise time)

On our third sunrise we will cover one of the most unique spots of the area: the incredibly photogenic Chapel of Vitaleta – a small church built on top of a hill in the countryside.

Breakfast & Morning Break: 8/10:30AM

By the time we’ll be back at the hotel, I’m sure that you will be very much looking forward to having a nice breakfast and a bit of a break to gain some energies back.

Visit and Lunch in San Gimignano: 10:00AM/3:00PM

A longer drive awaits for us today: we’ll pay a visit to San Gimignano, 1h20m away from Pienza. One of the most incredible Tuscany towns from an architecture perspective, with its tall towers seen from miles away. Definitely a place worth the longer ride: they also have one of the best gelato in the world – in case you are an ice cream lover!

Afternoon Break/Editing: 3:00/5:30PM

Depending on how tired we are, we might either take another break or do some post-production on the shots taken in the past couple sessions. Or maybe a mix of both!

Sunset Session: 5:30/8PM (depending on sunset time)

Tonight we’ll capture another pretty country house called “I Cipressini”, just a minute drive out from Pienza. Another classic view of the area!

Dinner: 8:30PM

Another long day has passed, nothing better than sitting down and having a delicious meal in the fabulous small city centre of Pienza to wrap things up.

DAY 5 - VAL D'ORCIA, TRANSFER TO VENICE & RIVA DEGLI SCHIAVONI
Sunrise Session: 5:30/8AM (depending on sunrise time)

As we already mentioned when describing the previous day’s sunrise, we will visit some other less known locations far from the main ones (well, not really that far!): in case the weather has been bad in the previous days or you didn’t get the shots you wanted in a specific location, we might stop there again too!

Breakfast & Morning Break: 8/9:30AM

By the time we’ll be back at the hotel, I’m sure that you will be very much looking forward to having a nice breakfast and a bit of a break to gain some energies back.

Transfer to Venice: 9:30AM/2:00PM

After four incredible days immersed in the rolling hills of Tuscany, it’s time to meet the second destination of this trip – Venice!

It will roughly take us 4 hours to reach Venice by car, then one last 30 min ferry ride to reach the San Marco area where we have our hotel.

Afternoon Break/Editing: 2:00/3:30PM

After reaching Venice we will take a bit of time to settle into the hotel and unpack again – getting ready for the first sunset session in the floating city!

Sunset Session: 5:30/8PM (depending on sunset time)

On our first sunset in Venice – we will shoot one of the most iconic locations of the entire city, the Riva degli Schiavoni! Situated right next to St. Mark Square, I’m sure you’ve all seen images with the famous gondolas in the foreground and the little church in the background (the San Giorgio Church): that’s what we are going to play with at sunset! We will get the chance to go through some techniques such as long exposures, the use of filters and bracketing.

Dinner: 8:30PM

First dinner in Venice! You will see a dramatic change not only in landscapes but in the menus too – with less cheeses and cold cuts and more seafood around!

DAY 6 - ACCADEMIA BRIDGE, BURANO & RIALTO BRIDGE
Sunrise Session: 5:00/8AM (depending on sunrise time)

Before the first lights appear in the sky – we’ll already be out headed to our sunrise location: the Accademia bridge, another impressive view of the Venice’ Gran Canal.

Breakfast & Morning Break: 8/9:00AM

By the time we’ll be back at the hotel, I’m sure that you will be very much looking forward to having a nice breakfast and a bit of a break to gain some energies back.

Visit and Lunch in Burano: 9:00AM/2:30PM

It won’t be long before we meet again: the reason why we take a shorter break compared to many other our workshops is because we want to beat everyone else and reach the small island of Burano before them: the place tends to be quite calm and empty till late morning generally, then the crowds start to flock in. The ferry will take around 45 minutes to reach Burano from Venice, so arriving there around 10 will give us some time to shot in peace.

Afternoon Break: 2:30/5:30PM

Since we haven’t really got any rest till very early this morning – we will use these couple hours to gain some energies back while preparing for the sunset session.

Sunset Session: 5:30/8PM (depending on sunset time)

Time to head out again – this time to the incredible Rialto Bridge, which we are going to shoot from a bunch of different angles! Your instructor then, depending on how’s the light and the crowds, will decide where to spend the “real” golden hour.

Dinner: 8:30/9PM

After twilight is gone, we will walk to the restaurant and finally get a well deserved dinner before heading to bed!

DAY 7 - THEATRE LA FENICE, SCALA DEL BOVOLO & ST. MARK'S TOWER
Sunrise Session: 5:00/8AM (depending on sunrise time)

Another sunrise in the city: on this morning we will visit a handful of less known locations such as small bridges, canals and maybe end up shooting the classic St. Mark Square too!

Breakfast & Morning Break: 8/10:00AM

By the time we’ll be back at the hotel, I’m sure that you will be very much looking forward to having a nice breakfast and a bit of a break to gain some energies back.

Visit to several attractions in the city: 10:00AM/2:30PM

If we dedicated the previous day to the discovery of the small island of Burano, today will be all about the magic of Venice: we will roam in the city streets, shooting all sorts of different attractions that we scouted and personally found throughout years of experience. We’ll get lunch somewhere along the way!

Afternoon Break/Editing: 2:30/5:30PM

Depending on our energy levels, we will decide whether to work on some images we took on the previous days or get some rest before the sunset session.

Sunset Session: 5:30/8PM (depending on sunset time)

Our last sunset will be special: we will visit the St. Mark Tower and shot sunset from the top! The tower offers a 360° perspective all over the city, and seeing Venice from above is quite a unique experience – one epic way to wrap up our sunset sessions!

Dinner: 8:30/9PM

After twilight is gone, we will walk to the restaurant and finally get a well deserved dinner before heading to bed!

DAY 7 - DEPARTURE
Sunrise Session: 5:30/8AM (depending on sunrise time)

We are mentioning one last sunrise in the itinerary, even in our very last day: since you’ll probably have to pack things up and get ready for your trip back home, you are 100% free to decide whether you’d like to go for it or maybe just sleep in and get ready a bit later. Our recommendation is to see how the weather looks like, depending also on what conditions we got the previous day and then decide.

Breakfast & Check-out: 8:00/9:30AM

Time to pack everything up, get some “juice” for the trip back home and start our journey (yes, everything in Venice is a “journey”) back towards the airport (or the train station)!

Drop-off: 10:00AM/10:30PM

After one last ferry ride and some walking, it’s unfortunately time to say goodbye: your instructor will help you take the luggages into the building and wish you a safe flight back home!

You have two different ways to secure your spot on any available workshop date:

– Scroll down, find the “book now” button, fill in your details and follow the process to the check-out. You will be able to leave a refundable deposit (500€ x person most of the times) via credit/debit card, bank transfer or even Paypal.

– Scroll down to the very end of the page to find the contact form or visit the “Contact Us” page to, well.. Contact us! We will be more than happy to help you with any request you have and set up the ideal workshop you have in your mind – and ultimately give you all the details to complete the deposit and secure your spot on the tour.

In either case, we only ask for a 500€ deposit to confirm your spot – we will then reach out around 2 months before your workshop starts with a link to complete the remaining part of the payment. If you booked last minute and need to pay the entire quote right away – we will be in touch as soon as we receive your reservation with the aforementioned link!

All our quotes are always based on a double room occupancy: that means that if you are traveling here by yourself, we will automatically add the so-called “single supplement” to your price.

Why? So that you to get your own room for yourself without having to share it with anyone else. The single supplement is something we add at cost price (if not less), and as annoying as it might be, that’s something that unfortunately we can’t avoid.

That’s also how we manage to guarantee every workshop departure, even if you are the only participant for that date.

Of course you can opt for the single supplement even if you are traveling with friends and you like to have your own personal space.

– Digital Camera (preferably a DSLR or mirrorless camera, APS-C, micro 4/3 and FF will be more than fine);
– An ultrawide lens (e.g. Nikon 14-24mm, Canon 16-35mm, Tamron 15-30mm, Tokina 16-28mm etc); we recommend a lens with a wide maximum aperture (like f/2.8) in case we might do some night photography.

– A standard zoom lens (e.g. Nikon/Canon/Sigma 24-70mm or 24-105mm);

– A telephoto zoom lens (e.g. various Nikon/Canon/Tamron/Sigma 70-200mm);

– A super telephoto zoom lens (e.g. Sigma/Tamron 150-600mm); this lens is not necessary but we recommend it anyway since it allows to capture the far away details of the landscapes;

– A sturdy tripod that permits to do some long exposure photos, specially at twilight;

– A set of ND filters; these are the only filters we feel to recommend, since they become useful when you need to stretch the exposure time a little bit during some difficult light conditions;

– A camera remote to avoid blurry shots.

A few weeks before your departure, we will contact you suggesting the best clothes to bring with you based on the weather forecasts and the current temperatures, so that you will be perfectly equipped by the time of your arrival!

WHAT IS INCLUDED?

  • accommodations (3*/4* or better) (double occupancy)
  • three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Car transports
  • Public transports (ferries in venice)
  • Ferry to Burano & murano
  • ATTRACTIONS TICKETS (MONUMENTS, TOWERS, ETC)
  • gas, tolls, road taxes, etc
  • pick up at florence airport, drop off at venice airport
  • editing sessions
  • assistance and guidance by a professional local photographer 24/7

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?

  • AIRFARE TO/FROM ITALY
  • SINGLE SUPPLEMENT (550€)
  • VISA (IF NECESSARY)
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE
  • EVERYTHING IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE "WHAT'S INCLUDED" LIST

CHECK OUR OTHER UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

customers reviews

what people say

Ken Haber
Ken Haber
2023-10-27
Leo is an outstanding photo tour guide. He took our group to locations in the Dolomites that would have been impossible for us to find on our own, and made sure that we photographed these sites at perfect light, and from the best vantage points available. It's very clear that he spend a lot of time pre-scouting and assembling the best locations. He arranged all of our hotels and meals, which were absolutely first class. Leo is not only a top notch tour guide, but he's also very knowledgeable about all photo systems and editing programs. Traveling with him was an absolute pleasure, and I highly recommend his services. I plan to go on more of his photo excursions in the future.
John Brandenburg
John Brandenburg
2023-10-26
Leo was a fantastic host and tour guide for our Dolomites photo tour! He knew not only where to go but also when best to be there, and varied locations and timing based on the weather. He arranged excellent accomodations and restaurants, and handled driving with aplomb. He was able to provide technical support for a variety of cameras, as well as on composition, exposure and Lightroom. I can't recommend him highly enough, and look forward to his next trip, hopefully to Iceland!
Julie Mitchell
Julie Mitchell
2023-10-17
Leo is a wonderful photo guide and instructor. His local knowledge is extensive and provides excellent opportunities for both classic and unexpected images of the Tuscan landscape. He is patient and good-humoured. I learned a great deal from his tuition and was delighted with great images that were often taken in less than optimal conditions. Our editing session was so helpful in this respect. Leo is 100% focused on the experience of his guests and that extends not just to the photographic elements but to accommodation, food and visits to towns when the light isn’t at its best for photography. Leo is flexible and very responsive to his guests’ needs and works very hard to ensure that your Tuscan experience is a memorable and premium one. He is well known in the area and clearly liked and respected so guests benefit from the welcome he receives.
Bernard Ang
Bernard Ang
2023-10-13
Leonardo is simply the best! Not only in improving my composition and shooting techniques, but in between shoots in continually teaching me the finer points of photo editing and processing. Leo is a highly motivated person, is ultra made hardworking and is fully hands-on, which is possible due to the small size of the groups he keeps. He knows the Dolomites area like the back of his hands and it would have been impossible for me to do this on my own. I highly recommend Leo and all members of my group swore we would return with Leo on another workshop before long! Bernard
Rand Kaplan
Rand Kaplan
2023-09-19
Leo is very knowledgeable, capable, and smart. He is an excellent photographer and teacher. He is good company as well. Leo is an excellent driver and he never took one wrong turn in a week.
Arun R
Arun R
2023-08-02
Leo was an excellent guide. I don’t say that lightly as not all photography experts are great guides with good interpersonal skills, but he definitely meets both requirements. Coming from such a long way away, it was important I found a guide who was prepared to take me to more adventurous and remote locations in the Dolomites rather than just doing the typical shots everyone does, and once Leo understood what I was after, he carefully planned an itinerary to suit. His expertise ensured that we were always on the right location at the right time. I think he would be one of the best photography guides running tours in the Dolomites. Being a fairly independently minded photographer he was able to read this correctly and didn’t try to over coach me but offered helpful advice when it was sought. Leading up to the trip. I asked many questions and he was patient and help for each and every time and went above and beyond to organise an outstanding experience for me. I don’t regret going with him at all and hope we can travel together again as we had a lot of laughs along the way. Thanks mate! It was a pleasure. Thank you for some life long memories.
Sam Dobrow
Sam Dobrow
2023-07-17
My wife and I just returned from a two week private tour to the Alps (France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria) with Leo. My wife and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary on this trip. This was the second tour we booked with Leo. The first trip was a three week tour with another couple where we covered Italy (Dolomites, Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, and Capri). In summary, the experience couldn't have been better. Leo handles everything from the time we land in our destination city to the airport departures. Now for some details... Logistics: Leo chose the lodging based on our specifications of 3-4 star hotels or best available. All the selections were great, and several exceeded our expectations. The vehicles we traveled in were comfortable and appropriately sized for our group. Leo handles the porterage of your bags and will even assist in carrying some camera gear (tripod) on the hikes. Upon our request, Leo balanced the photo activity with leisure activities so the girls (wives) could do some sightseeing and shopping. Photography: Leo has a great eye for composition and offers great suggestions on how to improve your composition with small adjustments to maximize leading lines and subject isolation. Leo recommends appropriate lens selection before leaving the vehicle so you dont have to lug your entire kit with you (unless you want to). He researches the timing and location of the sunrise/sunset to get you in the best places to capture the light. [I tried to post photos but for some insane reason Google kept rejecting them. Their loss, and yours too.] Be prepared for early morning start and late night returns; especially if it's summer. Also, realize Leo is a young guy and physically fit. My wife and I are 65 and not as fit as Leo. When Leo says it's an easy five minute walk on flat trails, you might want to multiply by 2x if you're a senior citizen and 3x if you're at high altitude. But, don't worry, Leo won't leave you behind and might even carry your camera gear if you're having difficulty. Personality: Leo is friendly, customer experience focused, and honest. You will enjoy Leo, not only as a photographer and tour guide but also as a friend. Meals: Leo was born and raised in Tuscany. He knows the best of Tuscan food and will see to you enjoying it also... three times a day. If you prefer some diversity in cuisine, give him a heads up before you travel so he can research some appropriate restaurants in the area. It may not be his first place to eat, but he will make sure you find the eats you like. We introduced him to Indian and Thai cuisine on our Alpine trip. He says he won't be craving it in the future, but I think he will be looking for Tandoori chicken and garlic naan. ... and for the not so good... If too many people read this review and book him solid, he might not be available for my next trip.
David Havlik
David Havlik
2023-05-30
Three of us spent a day with Leo who provided a crash course in Cinque Terre photography. It was an interesting dichotomy of sorts being that the three of us has just completed a different week-long photography workshop covering other parts of Italy. Based on shared feedback among our small group, we feel the instruction we received from Leo over a single day was far superior to that we experienced over the previous week. Leo was very attentive to our needs and tailored his teaching to our level of photography expertise. He was very patient and did not mind repeating concepts to be sure we had a good understanding. He was determined to make sure we made the most of the time we had with him, but he in no way pushed us to the point of exhaustion. Two specific photography techniques I learned from Leo that day were bracketing and the use of filters. I highly recommend Tuscany Photography Tours to photographers of any skill level. You will learn something new from Leo!
Sue Barrell
Sue Barrell
2023-05-24
My husband and I cannot speak highly enough of the wonderful experience we had, both photographically and personally, with Leonardo in Venice on his Classic Venice Tour. His extensive familiarity with Venice meant that not only did he take us to parts of the city that we would never have discovered otherwise (and where few other tourists lurked), but we were there at the right the right times of day to capture the ambience and atmosphere of this amazing city. We also benefitted from his deep photographic knowledge and generous advice on technique - he taught us things about our own cameras that we didn't know! On top of this, he was a personable and entertaining host and guide, adding to our overall experience. Leonardo dedicated all his time with us to ensuring our images were the best we could capture on the day.
Samuel Kwok
Samuel Kwok
2023-05-07
I was so happy to be with Leo of Tuscany Photography in Tuscany. He led our group to visit all the beautiful places Shot in good timing and shared his professional experiences. Trust I will follow him in the next trip in Italy soon.
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