DAY 2 | (October 19, 2020 / May 2, 2021)

Our group meets at the Pisa Centrale Train Station at 11 am. We then make our way via train to our home base of Monterosso al Mare, roughly a 70-minute journey. Click here for a fun virtual stroll through the old part of town.

A small lane in the old town of Monterosso

The same lane 20 years later

After settling into our hotel we will have lunch, followed by an orientation back at the hotel. We will then have time to explore the old town of Monterosso with our cameras and get to know the lay of the land. There are so many fun details we can find in the meandering lanes of this colorful village. It’ll keep us entertained for hours.

We will have an early dinner around 7:00 pm and then head out to photograph the Blue Hour along the seashore near the train station. For a simple recipe on how to shoot the Blue Hour, click here. »

If you watch the video above with the stroll through Monterosso, you’ll come across a large rock in the ocean right in front of the old town beach at the 1:30 mark. Not very interesting or photo-worthy in daylight, right? But see how the Blue Hour, artificial light illuminating the rock and a long exposure transform it into a stunning image.


Today, let’s talk about the wines of the Cinque Terre since the terraced vineyards are such a prominent feature of this region’s landscape. Even the Romans already cultivated grapes here.

Cinque Terre is mostly a white wine region and produces dry wines with straw yellow color and a delicate aroma. 

The exception is the expensive Sciachetrà which is made with dried grapes. It is a gold-colored sweet wine, almost like a liqueur and similar to Vin Santo. Sciachetrà is a dessert wine that goes well with sweets and cheeses.


Almost 30 years ago (gulp!), Jim and I photographed in the Cinque Terre and treated ourselves to a glass or 2 of the sweet Sciachetrà. Since it’s made from dried grapes, you can imagine that a bottle of this golden elixir is pretty costly but we bought one anyway to bring home to Jim’s family in Washington so that we could announce and toast our engagement with this rare treat. We filled the glasses, made our happy announcement, took a sip, and watched all faces around the table go sour (as had the Sciachetrà). Now, we recommend a toast with spoiled Sciachetrà to everybody who wants to ensure a long-lasting lovely friendship and happy marriage. :-)

Stay tuned for a visit to colorful Portovenere and elegant Portofino, a new recipe and a taste of Ligurian folk music — all coming your way as we keep traveling and photographing tomorrow.

Architectural detail in Monterosso al Mare

A small shrine in Monterosso

Buon viaggio — ci vediamo domani!