DAY 4 (May 11 and Oct 23 | 2021)

Today, we’ll leave our hotel at 4 am and drive a short distance to stake out our preferred spots for photographing the famous Il Belvedere farmhouse.

When we arrive, it is pitch dark but we’ve scouted the place in daylight and know exactly where we want to set up our tripods after walking through knee-high grass wet with early morning dew. This is a popular spot. Once the sun rises, there may be over 50 photographers all over the olive grove,  capturing this lovely scene with their cameras.

We start out in complete darkness — focusing is a challenge until it gradually gets lighter

As the sun rises, Il Belvedere magically emerges

We always hope for mist and fog to enhance the magical quality of this scene

Can you imagine yourself in this beautiful peaceful spot with only the twitter of birds and the clicking of shutters?

A happy but tired group after the shoot is done looking forward to their first cappuccino

Here is Jim giving you an idea of the atmosphere of the place:


After a nice nap and lunch, we venture out again to photograph La cappella della Madonna di Vitaleta — another much-loved iconic image in the Val d’Orcia.

The sweet little chapel of Vitaleta close to Pienza at Blue Hour

And here are a couple of scenes we love to photograph on the way to Vitaleta:

The agriturismo I Cipressini just outside Pienza


Click here for a Tuscan Orange Olive Oil Cake recipe — absolutely simple and delicious.

Ciao Ciao — ci vediamo domani