• May 3 to 8, 2017 (5 nights)
• Oct 20 to 25, 2017 (5 nights)
• Group size: min 5, max 12
• Cost: $2,695, single supplement $495
• Tour starts and ends in Pisa
The five villages of the Cinque Terre in Italy cling to the rugged and steep hillsides of the Italian Riviera, offering wonderful opportunites for creating stunning photographs.
Join us for an intimate photography travel tour to the five car-free picturesque Italian fishing villages of the Cinque Terre, perched against steep cliffs and surrounded by vineyards.
Part of the charm of the Cinque Terre is it’s timeless nature. Little has changed in it’s outward appearance over the past centuries. Direct access by car is not possible. One must park above the villages and walk down. Paths, trains, and boats connect the five villages.
The Cinque Terre photo tour is offered as a stand-alone or pre-Tuscany tour extension. It is a perfect tour to include a non-photographer companion. The only extra cost is $500 plus travel expenses during the tour. (The single supplement fee applies to the participant). While you are out taking great photographs, they are also having a great time exploring the Cinque Terre and you meet up in the evenings to swap wonderful stories of the day’s events.
Join us for a wonderful photography travel tour to one of the most photogenic regions of Italy.
- 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 the largest of the five villages, Monterosso 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).
- We will focus upon the five villages (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore), as well as nearby Portovenere, accessible by boat and Portofino, by train. A walking trail known as the “Sentiero Azzuro” connects the five villages. Adventure seekers can hike on this high scenic path, have lunch in the next village, and then take the train or boat back.
- In addition to great photography opportunities on this photography travel tour to Cinque Terre we will have time for photo sharing and critiques. We will also be lecturing on photographic topics including:
- Digital Workflow
- HDR Photography
- Panoramic Photography
- Depth of Field calculation
- Focal Blending
- Blue Hour Photography
- Filters, Neutral Density and Neutral Density Grads
- Photoshop Tips and Tricks
- Nik software
This is a sample itinerary which is subject to change depending on weather and other circumstances beyond our control. Changes in the itinerary are always made to provide the best possible experience for our clients.
Plan on spending this evening in Pisa or nearby, such as Lucca. This will allow you to get some rest before the tour begins and to also insure 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 1st.
The 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 group lunch. After lunch we will have a welcome meeting at the hotel. Jim will 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, take a nap or explore the old town before we meet up at 7 pm for a sunset/blue hour photo session.
At 10 am, after breakfast, Jim & 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. Old town Monterosso is car-free so it is great for photography. Some of the scenes we will make a mental note of to return at a later time when the light is just right.
Back to the hotel for a brief lecture on “Panorama Photography” before catching the train to Corniglia. We will explore this delightful village with our cameras after enjoying some of the local Ligurian cuisine for lunch.
Next up, we make the 10 minute train ride to Manarola. We will have ample time to explore this village before an early dinner. After dinner we will make 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 (15 minutes).
Today we venture away from the Cinque Terre to the northwest to romantic and colorful seaport village of Portofino. We will travel first by train and then short bus. Portofino is an over-the-top photogenic location and we will get a stellar view from the castle above the harbor. This is reached via 20 minute walk. We will have a delightful Ligurian lunch here 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 the Vernazza town square, or not. In Vernazza we will climb above the village, about 20 minutes to an awesome vantage point to photograph the blue hour and then the sunrise over the village. We then meander back into the Vernazza town square, it is still quite early so we will have it 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 a nap/free-time/one on one 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 post processing lessons.
At 5:30 pm we catch train for the journey back to Vernazza, for yet again another stellar 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 amazing seaside village.
At 10 pm we catch to 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 to the harbor, you are presented with the impressive and haunting Church of St. Peter, looming above the sea. Above the church are the ruins of a fort. Magnificent! Portovenere’s slender and tall houses are painted in the typical pastel colors of the Ligurian Coast and wandering the pedestrian only lanes we find wonderful, ornate house facades and doors. We will spend most of the day and afternoon in Portovenere including lunch in a traditional trattoria featuring simple and 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 to photograph the village with the sun setting over the Ligurian Sea. Train back to our hotel in Monterosso.
After breakfast the 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 3 to May 8, 2017(5 nights)
Cost: $2,695 | single supplement $495
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?
- 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. 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.
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.
La Bella Toscana | Tuscany Photo Tour
May 8 to 15 | 2017 (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
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. I love the Osprey Ozone series of lightweight wheeled luggage. Magrit used the Ozone 28 for 2.5 months on the road and found it perfect. You will appreciate the lighter load when you have to haul your luggage up steep streets or stairs.
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. I have recently begun using a handsfree telescopic umbrella which I love. You can watch a video of my review at PhotographyTravelTours.
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 »