September 2021 and May 2022
Experience our exclusive Tuscany Photo Tour and workshop providing professional instruction and private photo sessions over the 6 day / 5 night program. We offer our 24 years of knowledge of Italy and the region to capture the key photo opportunities granted by this colorful and picturesque landscape.
Prices and Program Dates
2021: September 19 - 24
€ 3,495 Double Rm Sharing / € 3,995 Double Rm for Single Use
2022: May 22 - 27
€ 3,495 Double Rm Sharing / € 3,995 Double Rm for Single Use
* Prices are per person.
We provide the itinerary as a guideline for the photo opportunities we would like for you to experience in our Tuscany Photo Tour. Naturally the primary objective will be to photograph the many iconic landmarks that you may be familiar with; this is of course supplemented with the more traditional, historical and architectural aspects of the local cities and villages, including Siena. Every attempt will be made to follow the schedule and the activities as described, but the sequence and or the content of the schedule itself may change due to the weather, lighting requirements, etc.
Please note that the for the most part you will be covering altering levels of terrain and each member should be prepared for walking not always on the beaten path during the sessions. If you have any physical or other health concerns, we suggest that you speak to your doctor and for him/her to access you ability to partake in the itinerary. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate requests for wheel-chairs or individuals that require special assistance.
Below we have the activities relating to the events over the dates for the Tuscany Photo Tour. Additional days can be added before or after these dates.
Day 1: Arrival / Session I – Orientation
Meet your driver at Florence Airport * (FLR) and transfer to Pienza for hotel check in. Mid afternoon at our hotel your initial meet and greet and to review the program, also discussing photographic technique useful for landscape and evening shooting. Balance of the afternoon at your leisure, then a typical Italian custom, the early evening aperitif, followed by a “Welcome Dinner”. (D)
* Arrival and Departure Transfers can also be arranged from / to Rome Airport (FCO) and other cities in Italy (additional cost may be required).
Day 2: Session II – Val d’Orcia / Session III – Bagno Vignoni
The day starts early, before the sunrise. The morning session takes several iconic locations including, Podere Belvedere, Vitaleta Chapel, the winding road of Cypress and scenes featured in several movies. Then we return to the villa for breakfast and after our initial photo processing / analysis class. Lunch (at the hotel or in town), then the afternoon session begins at the Roman village of Bagno Vignoni, before heading back to Pienza for our sunset shooting session. Afterwards, take some time to freshin up and prepare for a group dinner in one of the town’s most favored restaurants. (B/L/D)
Day 3: Session IV / V – San Biagio e Montepulciano
We venture for an early visit to Montepulciano, the hilltop town, well known for its wine production, but before actual arrival, our first photo op, the church of San Biagio and its mystical solitude. Once in town, we will visit one of the local winery and their underground cantina. Lunch at local restaurant before returning to Pienza, where later we use the western view of the city for landscape sunsets. Dinner in the hotel and balance of the evening at your leisure. (B/L/D)
Day 4: Morning Class / Session VI – Siena
No early photo session, so take your time for breakfast because after we have another analysis class on the previous days, together with instruction on the approach for the remaining sessions. After the class we to make our way to Siena, through the countryside known as the “Crete Senesi” offering panoramic views and select photo ops. Upon arrival to this medieval jewel, hotel check in, time for a light lunch, then a short city tour featuring a few of the many architechual and historic landmarks in the city and to prepare for the cross over session, beginning with a sunset shoot and then night time. Various vantage points will be used to capture the historical city. Afterwards on to one of our favorite restaurants for group dinner.(B/L/D)
Day 5: Session VII / VIII – Chianti e San Gimignano
Once again we venture out before sunrise into the Chianti countryside, to explore the small villages and beautiful vineyard filled landscapes. After the morning session move on to combined winery and production farm to enjoy a full lunch and the local wines. Afterward we move on the location for our last sunset session, San Gimignano, the “city of towers”. A sign of wealth and power, the city retains many of the original medieval tower structures giving way to great countryside views. After this full day, a final group dinner to finish your experience in Tuscany! (B/L/D)
Day 6: Wrap Up / Departure
On our final morning we get together after breakfast for our last group discussion, review the past days of photo shooting and trade contact information before a bid farewell. Certainly we can suggest how you may wish to extend your stay in the region or venture to other locations in Italy. (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Tuscany Photo Tour
- Select Accommodation for 5 nights
- Professional Instructor + Tour Leader
- 7 Photo Sessions + 2 Analytical Class Sessions
- Small Group Size – Limited to 6 persons
- Meals: Daily breakfast + lunch + dinner
- Transportation as needed for daily sessions
- On-Site Support
Tour Does Not Include:
Meals not specifically mentioned
Gratuities and extras of any personal nature
City Taxes (Euro 1,00 to 2,50 per person, per night; payable directly to the hotel)
Our hotels are selected for your comforts, but as well for their locations to allow ease of access to key shoot locations visited during the program. You will enjoy a buffet breakfast and the convenience of free Wi-Fi internet services.
A440 in Tuscany *** Boutique hotel in the heart of the region, offering an ideal location on the edge of historic Pienza. Superior rooms are provided for single use or sharing. upgrades are subject to availability.
Palazzo Ravizza *** Historical palazzo, inside Siena’s medieval walls. Rooms in the package are Standard Double w/ garden view for single use or sharing; upgrades are subject to availability.
Photo Equipment and Personal Gear
Required Camera Equipment
• DSLR or mirrorless camera
• Storage cards for 32 GB – 64 GB
• A zoom lens covering at least the 28/120 mm range
• User’s manual for camera(s) you decide to have on hand
Recommended additional/optional items
• Wide angle to normal zoom lens. Ideally one 16/35 mm and a 28/70 mm
• Long tele zoom lens – 70/200mm is enough, 300mm is recommended
• Extra Camera batteries
• Photography backpacks to facilitate transfers from a shooting location to another
• Polarizer filter
• Graduated ND filters, at least a 2 and a 3 stops
• ND filters for long exposures, ideally one 10 stops and one 6 stop
• Remote (or cable) switch
• Laptop with Photoshop CS3 or newer and Lightroom 3.x or newer
Fall (or Spring) days and evenings in Tuscany can be cool, winds may occasionally be strong. So a set of warmer clothing is recommended, including but not limited to:
• Comfortable waterproof walking shoes (boots)
• Wind/rain proof jacket
• Sweaters and pullovers
• Head covering
Terms & Conditions
Definitions: PALIOTOURS.COM is a registered domain name. It is used in the context of the World Wide Web and other marketing portals to promote and solicit travel services. The name is part of Atlantic Ventures USA, Inc., (“the Company”), a registered travel company and provider of travel related services.
General Conditions: Confirmation and payment of any reservation constitutes acceptance of the financial agreements between the Company and the Customer and the provisions of this agreement are in effect. The Company is acting as a tour operator responsible for arranging reservations for the services as outlined in the website paliotours.com. All suppliers providing transportation, guided tours, and lodging for the Company are not associated with, nor are they employees of the Company. The Company assumes no responsibility or liability for any claims, damages, expenses or other financial loss, whether to person or property, arising from, but not limited to, injury, accident, death, delay, alteration or inconvenience, by whatever cause, including airline scheduling, default, strike, terrorism, war, hostility, civil disturbance, quarantine, pandemic or resulting directly or indirectly from any other acts of nature. Under no circumstances is the Company to be construed as a Common Carrier under contract for safe carriage of the passenger or his/her baggage and personal belongings.
Prices: Tour prices are quoted per person, ‘land only’. Rooms are double for single use or can be shared (two persons). Non-photo activity participants are allowed to share the hotel accommodations. Due to space limits within the transportation vehicles, the non-participants are not permitted to join any working sessions. Airfare is not included. Prices are guaranteed once final payment is made.
Reservations and Payments: For any Group Tour reservation (i.e. Photo Tour), the initial 40% deposit is due from the confirmation of its availability or on receipt of invoice (Deposit Reservations). Payment of any remaining balance due, unless otherwise stated, must be paid no later than 60 days prior to designated Starting or Travel Date. For Deposit Reservations, the Balance Payment will automatically be charged to the credit card provided, unless the reservation is otherwise cancelled or notice is given to use an alternate form of payment. For Group Tours no changes are allowed less than 60 days prior to departure. Before final payment, prices are subject to changes in currency exchange rates and prices can be adjusted if necessary before any final payment. Changes to the original reservation or Cancellations will result in a $100 Change Fee per reservation. Payments can be made by credit card or by Euro bank transfer.
Credit Card payments are processed in USD currency and processed using a financial exchange rate based on the market exchange rates at the time of the payment(s). American Express, VISA, MasterCard and DiscoverCard are accepted for reservation payments.
Waiting List: If a Group Tour is fully booked at the time you submit a Reservation Request, you will be offered a ‘Waiting List Option’. If you chose this option, it will require a deposit. Upon any cancellation you will be automatically added to the primary tour group or confirmation of your special package. If you cancel while on the waiting list, or we reach the 60-day final payment period before you can be confirmed, then your deposit will be returned in full, net of any credit card services charges.
Refunds and Cancellations: The Company reserves the right to cancel any Group Tour at any time if sufficient reservations are not received or for other unforeseen reasons that impair the success or enjoyment of the tour, event, activity, or use of rental property, as the case may be. In these cases all deposits and or payments will be returned in full.
For any reason IF YOU DECIDE TO CANCEL A RESERVATION, YOU MUST NOTIFY THE COMPANY IN WRITING OF YOUR INTENT TO CANCEL.
Deposits and payments will follow the refund schedule below.
After the 30 day initial reservation period, but
Prior to 90 days before Start Date: Refund, less 25% of total cost;
Prior to 60 days before Start Date: Refund, less 50% of total cost;
59 days or less before Start Date: No refunds.
No refunds are made for unused portions of any reservation, including but not limited to missed meals, missed guided tours, tickets or pre-paid items, or non-use of hotel room or property rental. In certain cases, a voucher can be issued for the cost value of the reservation, to be used within the following calendar year.
COVID Travel Restrictions: Effective 60 days prior to the tour Start Date, if you are unable to travel due to COVID restrictions placed on your country of departure or if restrictions exist in Italy for specific incoming visitors from certain countries, then your reservation (and any payments) will be transferred to the following year. If you are not able to attend the following year’s dates, then we can either resell the package in order to provide for a refund (net of any transaction costs so incurred, including but not limited to credit card service charges, reservation transfer fees and or commissions). We can also offer to transfer your reservation to other travel programs that we offer. Inside of 30 days, there are no refunds, nor will reservations be transferred if you are not able to travel due to testing positive for COVID and or are prohibited from traveling or boarding an airplane.
Hotels: Room charges, unless you are otherwise informed, will be incurred by the Company and then passed on as invoiced to your credit card either prior to or on your arrival. Any hotel room cancellation and subsequent refund is subject the refund schedule provided herein. This schedule may override any that exists or that is generally provided by the hotel. Hotel room VAT taxes are included in the prices we provide to you (unless stated otherwise). City Taxes (a/k/a “visitors’ taxes”), now required in most major Italian cities, are separate and paid by you directly to the hotel. Details of these taxes will be included in your reservation confirmation invoice.
Hotels & Meals: Group Tours – Hotels are selected based on quality and our own personal experience. Our minimum requires that the hotel has been listed for 3 stars as rated by the Italian Government. Air conditioning is standard for all rooms and they are equipped with shower, telephone, and TV and in most cases a mini bar. Breakfast will be served each day, the content variable based on each hotel. Customer is responsible for expenses associated with personal items incurred while staying at the hotel (i.e. mini-bar items, telephone calls). Other than breakfast, additional meals will be provided as noted on each itinerary by “group lunch” or “group dinner”. The combination of dinners and lunches may depend on your tour itinerary and group size.
Itinerary: Group Tours – The Company reserves the right to alter the itinerary or substitute hotel accommodations or transportation services as it may become necessary to provide for a tour that meets with our requirements.
Group Tour Members: The Photo Tour requires each participant to provide their cooperation to unexpected situations that may occur during the tour. While Venice is essentially flat, there are bridges and each member should be prepared for lots of walking during the workshop sessions, as well to be mentally alert during such group activities. If you have any physical or other health concerns, we suggest that you speak to your doctor and for him/her to access you ability to partake in the itinerary. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate requests for wheel-chairs or individuals that require special assistance. The Company reserves the right to decline to accept any person as a member of a tour, or require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time should such person becomes a risk to the health or safety of himself or other tour members.
Passports & Visas: All customers must posses a valid passport and/or any visas or special travel documents that can be used a proof of citizenship. The Company accepts no liability for clients improperly documented. For holders of U.S. passport: the passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your planned date of departure. ie. if you leave the U.S. on August 10 of the current year then the expiration date would need to be February 10 (or after) in the following year.
Travel Insurance Protection: To cover costs associated with your reservation, the Company encourages you to consider purchasing a travel insurance policy. Suggestions and options can be reviewed in the link found at the footer of this webpage (“INSURANCE”).
General Conditions & Disclaimers: Confirmation and payment of any reservation constitutes acceptance of the financial agreements between the Company and the Customer and the provisions of this agreement are in effect. The Company is acting as a tour operator responsible for arranging reservations for the services as outlined in the website paliotours.com. All suppliers providing transportation, guided tours, and lodging for the Company are not associated with, nor are they employees of the Company. The Company assumes no responsibility or liability for any claims, damages, expenses or other financial loss, whether to person or property, arising from, but not limited to, injury, accident, death, delay, alteration or inconvenience, by whatever cause, including airline scheduling, default, strike, terrorism, war, hostility, civil disturbance, quarantine, pandemic or resulting directly or indirectly from any other acts of nature. Under no circumstances is the Company to be construed as a Common Carrier under contract for safe carriage of the passenger or his/her baggage and personal belongings.
Atlantic Ventures USA, Inc. (the Company) is registered as a Seller of Travel in the states of Florida, Registration No. ST-33263 and California Registration No.2087502-50, doing business as Palio Tours (paliotours.com). The Company is not liable in respect to personal injury, loss or damage of personal property or loss of life, while engaged in the tours or other services provided herein. The Company is not responsible for third party cancellations for any reason due to unforeseen circumstances and or those beyond its control.
It is recommended that clients arrange travel insurances for medical, personal, property, or cancellation.
Photo Credits: Andrea Bonfanti
It is with pleasure that we can offer your instructor for Tuscany Photo Tour, Andrea Bonfanti. A native Florentine, Andrea has been a passionate photographer since the late ’80’s. His photographs are, above all, testimony to the great love he nurtures for his own city and the beautiful region of Tuscany.
His professional activity alternates between shoots aimed at tourism and travel magazines and other more personal photographic research. At all times, his photography is rarely entrusted to chance. More often it’s the result of specific personalized projects, editing his texts and the graphic part too, alongside the images of course. In this perspective, from 1999 to the present, he has published seven photographic books as sole author, some of which you can see here. His images have been published in the most important Italian travel magazines: “Meridiani”, “Meridiani Montagne”, “Bell’ Italia” and “Qui Touring”.
Andrea maintains his own photograph studio in the amazing Sienese countryside, so to easily dedicated time for landscape photography in the Chianti region, as well the Crete Senesi and Val d’Orcia; areas that to be covered in this program.
More Tour Options
In addition to the Photo Tour Tuscany program, we also offer a Tuscany Food & Wine tour, as well our Venice Carnival Photo Tour. These options are featured below.