Cinque Terre Photo Tour Details
• May 6 – 11, 2019 (5 nights)
• Group size: min 5, max 8
• Cost: $2,895, one room per participant
• Tour starts and ends in Pisa
If you are looking for one of the best destinations in the world for taking a photo tour and creating your own stunning masterpieces, join our popular Cinque Terre Photo Tour!
Join us for an intimate Cinque Terre Photo Tour to the five car-free picturesque Italian fishing villages of the Cinque Terre, perched against steep cliffs and surrounded by terraced vineyards.
Part of the charm of the Cinque Terre region at the Ligurian coast of Italy is its timeless nature. Little has changed in its outward appearance over the past centuries. All 5 villages are car-free and are connected by walking trails, trains and boats.
The Cinque Terre Photo Tour is offered as a stand-alone or pre-Tuscany tour extension.
Join us for a wonderful photography travel tour to one of the most photogenic regions of Italy on our Cinque Terre Photo Tour.
- We will spend 4 days and 5 nights on this photography travel tour, exploring fascinating villages and landscapes via foot, boat and train.
- We have chosen Monterosso, the largest of the five villages, as our home base for this photography travel tour. Monterosso offers larger hotels, the best selection of restaurants and the most convenient access to the other villages.
- We’ll stay at a wonderful hotel with an exquisite breakfast buffet (and Marco, who makes the best cappuccino and the best drinks — “Spritz” anyone?).
- We will focus our photographic excursions on the five villages (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore) but also take a fun boat ride to nearby charming Portovenere and visit elegant and historic Portofino by train.
- In addition to great photography opportunities on this Cinque Terre Photo Tour we will have time for photo sharing and critiques. We will also be lecturing on photographic topics including:
- Digital Workflow
- Panoramic Photography
- Depth of Field calculation
- Focal Blending
- Blue Hour Photography
- Filters, Neutral Density and Neutral Density Grads
- Photoshop & Lightroom Tips and Tricks
- Nik software
May 5, 2019
Plan on spending this evening in Pisa or nearby, for instance in Lucca. This will allow you to get some rest before the Cinque Terre Photo Tour begins. It will also ensure that you arrive on time for the following day’s departure. If you are flying from the USA you may have to depart for Italy on May 5th.
Our Cinque Terre Photo Tour group meets at the Pisa Centrale Train Station at 11 am for the 1.25-hour journey to Monterosso. We will check into our hotel and then head out for a tasty group lunch. After lunch we will have a welcome meeting at the hotel. Jim will also give a short talk on “Correct Exposure” and “Blue Hour Photography” in preparation for the evening photo session. We will then have free time to relax or explore the old town before we meet at 7 pm for a sunset and blue hour photo session.
At 10 am, after breakfast, Jim and Magrit will lead the group through the streets and back alleys of Monterosso, pointing out their favorite scenes and allowing you to find some of your own. The old town center of Monterosso is car-free and is therefor ideal for wandering and photographing. Some of the scenes we will make a mental note of and return at a later time when the light is just right.
Next we’ll catch the train to Corniglia. We will explore this delightful village with our cameras after enjoying some of the local Ligurian cuisine for lunch.
We’ll then take a 10-minute train ride to Manarola. We’ll have ample time to explore this colorful village before an early dinner. After dinner we’ll get ready for a sunset and blue hour session. The scene of Manorola clinging to the rocks with the sea churning below is, in our humble opinion, one of the most photogenic in the world. We will have to quickly pack up after the end of blue hour to catch the 9:32 pm train back to Monterosso.
Today we’ll leave the Cinque Terre villages and travel to the northwest to the romantic and colorful seaport of Portofino. We will travel first by train and then by taxi. Portofino is an over-the-top photogenic location. It used to be an elegant travel destination for Europe’s nobility and even today you’ll see elegant colorful buildings, expensive yachts and high-end shops lining the intimate harbor. From the harbor, we’ll take a 20-minute walk uphill to get a stellar view from the castle above. We’ll have a delightful Ligurian lunch at one of the many restaurants in the harbor and plenty of time to roam the back alleys for additional photo ops.
Okay you early birds, we meet in the hotel lobby at 4:20 am (ouch!) in order catch the 4:55 am train to Vernazza. Late risers have another option of catching the 7:11 am train to meet the group in Vernazza’s town square. In Vernazza we will climb above the village for about 20 minutes to an awesome vantage point to photograph the morning blue hour and then the sunrise over the village. We then meander back into the Vernazza town square. As it’ll be still quite early, we will have the town mostly to ourselves to explore during the lovely early morning light.
A quick espresso before catching the 8:30 am train back to Monterosso for breakfast and time for either a nap, free time or a one-on-one session with Jim.
1 pm lunch in Monterosso.
At 2:30 pm Jim will give a lecture on “Depth of Field, Hyperfocal and Where to Focus.” He will also talk about a technique called “Focus Blending.” We will have some time for post processing and processing lessons.
At 5:30 pm we’ll catch a train for the journey back to Vernazza for another stellar photo location. We have three different setups for blue hour shooting in Vernazza and hopefully the conditions and weather will be good so that we can capture all three during the tour.
Dinner, sunset and blue hour shooting in this lovely seaside village.
At 10 pm we’ll catch the train back to Monterosso.
Weather permitting, we will catch the morning boat to Portovenere, which is unofficially the “6th” village of the Cinque Terre. Arriving in Portovenere by sea is quite dramatic and breathtaking. As the boat rounds the point to the entrance of the harbor, you are presented with the hauntingly impressive byzantine Church of St. Peter, looming high above the sea, and above it the ruins of a medieval fort. Magnificent! In the small harbor below, Portovenere’s slender tall houses are painted in the typical pastel colors of the Ligurian Coast. Wandering the pedestrian-only lanes we’ll find wonderfully ornate house facades, windows and doors. We will spend most of the day and afternoon in Portovenere including lunch in a traditional trattoria featuring delicious Ligurian cuisine.
Late in the afternoon we will catch the boat for Riomaggiore. We will have plenty of time to roam and photograph, have an early dinner and then be in position for photographing the village with the sun setting over the Ligurian Sea. Train back to our hotel in Monterosso.
After breakfast the Cinque Terre Photo Tour group heads back to the Pisa via train. 8:30 am departure from the hotel for the 9:05 am train to Pisa.
Dates: May 6 to May 11, 2019 (5 nights)
Cost: $2,895 | Each participant has a private room.
A 5% discount will apply to those continuing on to Tuscany with us. The 5% also applies to the Tuscany tour.
A $500 deposit will secure your spot. Click here to make your deposit »
What is included on the Cinque Terre Photo Tour?
- 5 nights lodging
- All breakfasts
- All train and boat fees
- Round trip train between Pisa and Cinque Terre
- All entrance fees and tolls
- Jim’s & Magrit’s expertise in guiding and photographic instruction
Level of physical difficulty: 3.5 out of 5
Involves walking up and down steep hills, uneven steps, rocks and gravel. Some of the paths and trails are primitive and very uneven. Participants must be able to walk up and down hills while photographing. Some of the vantage points involve 10-15 minutes of uphill walking with camera gear and tripod. Bring a collapsible hiking pole if your footing and balance are unsure.
For Terms & Conditions and insurance recommendations, please click here »
A perfect extension to the Cinque Terre Tour is our photo tour in the heart of Tuscany.
Take 5% off of the total costs of any tours when you sign up for 2 or more.
May 11 to 18 | 2019 (7 nights)
If you are you looking for one of the best destinations in the world to take a photo tour, it doesn’t get any more photogenic than this.
Personal Items and Weather Conditions/Cinque Terre Photo Tour
Temperature range for this time of year: 52 to 66º F
Average monthly rainfall for this time of year: 3.5 ”
Try to pack light. If possible, one piece of luggage plus a camera bag. Most airlines are now charging for more than one piece of checked baggage.
Two pairs of shoes: One sturdy pair for in the field that you can get wet and muddy. One pair for evenings.
Light weight rain jacket and rain pants. You don’t have to go all out here, but if we have some wet weather and it is not raining too hard we can still go out and get some good photos. * I really suggest a rain jacket if nothing else. We have worn cut open Hefty bags as skirts and they work great when we did not have rain pants. The rain gear will keep you dry when walking in tall, wet grass. Montbell makes an excellent parka and pants that are extremely lightweight.
Small umbrella for rain and shade. I use an umbrella often to block the sun from hitting the front element of my lens. Black is best.
Sweater or light jacket for possible chill on early morning shoots. A light layer underneath a rain jacket can be surprisingly warm.
Hat for sun and rain protection.
For equipment recommendations, please click here »