Sicily Italy Photo Tour

Tour Intro

Two photo instructors Tom & Cree Bol

Together you will explore Sicily's rich history, beauty, arts and culture. You will photograph and walk among some of the best-preserved Greek ruins in the world; Roman mosaics, baroque palaces, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites are steps away from our private transport. Hear the ancient myths on the sites where they happened, explore hilltop villages, enjoy Sicilian cuisine, and last but not least taste the Sicilian wine.

We walk in the footsteps of monsters and heroes, from Cyclops, Odysseus, Aeneas, Sappho, Empedocles, Theocritus, and Archimedes, to Bellini, Garibaldi, and WWII allied armies, Mafia dons, Giovanni Falcone, and Inspector Montalbano. As the greatest scholars and travelers have known, Sicily is the key to understanding Italy and our Greco-Roman Heritage: “Italy without Sicily leaves no image in the soul: here is the key to everything.” Goethe, in Palermo, April 13, 1787.

The Strabo Photo Tour Collection is proud to announce a special tour to Sicily. The trip consists of the historic city center of Palermo and the seaside villages of Catellammare and Scopello. The ancient Greek Ruins of Agrigento and Segesta, Marsala, the saltpans of Saline, and the old quarter of Trapani are waiting for us. Lastly move on to the South East corner of Sicily with the ancient city center of Siracusa, Ortigia, the honey-gold baroque UNESCO world heritage site of Noto and charming hill town of Ragusa. Extend your stay with photo leaders to the Northern coastal town of Cefalu, photographing the famous Mt. Etna along the way.

We always welcome significant others and friends who are not photographers to share this rewarding experience overflowing with history, beauty, fun, and a chance to savor the flavors of this amazing region.  Non-photo companions are certain to have an equally wonderful time and are welcome as an integral part of the workshop.

There are interesting aspects of Sicilian life waiting to be explored in every location. The trip’s leisurely pace will provide ample opportunity to wander through medieval hill towns, and feast on the renowned regional foods and wines. Tom & Cree enjoy the structure of a well-organized workshop but with the freedom to stop along the way for any interesting photographic opportunity.  We will also need to remain flexible for changes in the weather. The accommodations that have been chosen for us combine simple elegance with excellent locations near your photographic opportunities.

Tour Highlights

  • Limited to 12 participants to optimize your photographic experience
  • Explore and photograph on foot in the historic city center of Palermo, with its rich tapestry of history depicted in its architecture and sculptures.
  • The ancient Greek Ruins of Agrigento and Segesta.
  • Marsala and the saltpans of Saline.
  • Off the beaten path hill towns of the honey-gold baroque UNESCO world heritage site of Noto and charming hill town of Ragusa.
  • Photograph in Ortigia the finest least spoiled old town of Siracusa, with its resonances of light, stone, and sea.
  • Extend your stay and photograph the iconic Mt. Etna and the Northern coastal town of Cefalu, with the majestic Rocca as a backdrop.

Tour Itinerary

October 23: Home
Fish Market

Photo By: Fred Kurtz

Photo Location: Sicily

Depart home today on your overnight flight to Palermo, Sicily, likely connecting in Rome. (meals on plane)

Please note If you are NOT doing the extension your airline schedule will be multi-city, flying in to Palermo (PMO), and home from Catania (CTA). If you ARE doing the extension your airline schedule will be round trip Palermo.

October 24-26: Palermo
Palermo Church

Photo By: Fred Kurtz

Photo Location: Sicily

Arrive by early afternoon today and be transferred to your hotel. The city center of Palermo is approximately an hour away from the airport. Enjoy an afternoon walking tour of the incredible sites of old Palermo, including matchless gems like the Palatine Chapel and La Martorana. Photograph as you make your way to a lovely restaurant for your welcome dinner, followed by a photography session from a hotel terrace.

Enjoy an early morning photography walk with your photo leaders, followed by breakfast. Meet your local guide and continue with the sights and sounds of Palermo, capturing photo opportunities at the Capo or Vucciria Market, Piazza San Domenico, and Arab district of La Kalsa. If time permits we will also visit the Palermo Cathedral and the Cappella Palatina. Take a day trip by private coach to the beautiful coastal towns of Castellamare and Scopello in the Northwest corner of Sicily. Home to beautiful idyllic beaches, with one of the islands most perfect views. Overnight Palermo. Overnights Palermo (D; B; B)

October 27-28: Marsala
Trapani

Photo By: Fred Kurtz

Photo Location: Sicily

Depart Palermo after breakfast and photograph the incomparably beautiful temple at the Segesta archeological site. Continue on to the old quarter of Marsala for the next two evenings. There will be an early evening photography walk with your photo leaders.

You will have a day trip from Marsala with photography in Trapani and Erice. You will tour the ancient mountaintop town founded by Aphrodite and ruled by Hercules, where a cult of sex once flourished. Erice is a walled medieval town sitting 750 m above sea level. Photograph in the maze of streets and with good weather views of the coastline below. Late this afternoon reach the salt flats and romantic windmills of far western Sicily, taking in the story of the lagoon, the flamingos if migrating through, and the color & shadow of the salt flats in the setting sun. Overnight Marsala (B, D; B, L)

October 29: Agrigento
Temple of Concord, Agrigento

Photo By: Sicily

Enjoy your last morning photography session in Marsala. Return to the hotel for breakfast and then make your way to southern Sicily to the ruins of Agrigento. Check in to your hotel with views of the ancient that you will photograph late this afternoon, concentrating on Tempio di Hera and Tempio della Concordia. We will walk the row of temples that are similar to those in Greece.   Overnight Agrigento (B)

October 30-31: Ragusa Ibla-Noto
Ragusa

Photo Location: Sicily

Have a leisurely breakfast this morning and move on with your local guide to the charming hill town of Ragusa Ibla, one of the most picturesque towns of Sicily. Close by is Noto, a UNESCO world heritage site of honey-gold baroque. Drive out into the country for lunch at a dairy farm where Ornella and her farmer husband Salvo treat us to produce of the farm. Given time you will visit the charming town of Modica where chocolate is made in the traditional Aztec way brought to us by the Spaniards. You will overnight in overnight Ragusa Ibla (B, L; B, L)

November 1-2: Siracusa-Ortigia
Arethusa Spring, Siracusa

Photo Location: Sicily

There will be another photo shoot early this morning with Tom & Cree, returning to the hotel for breakfast. Continue your journey east and make your way towards Siracusa. There will be photo opportunities in the ancient city center of Siracusa, the ancient Greek superpower of Syracuse. Ortigia is the finest least spoiled old town, with its resonances of light, stone, and sea. Enjoy photographing the narrow lanes of this historical city.

The next day enjoy a leisurely breakfast, followed by another walking tour with your photo leaders and your cultural guide in this amazing city. Photograph amidst the Jewish quarter and Arethusa fountain. Overnight Siracusa (B, D; B, L)

November 3: Home or on to Mt. Etna

Photo By: Fred Kurtz

Photo Location: Sicily

Depart Siracusa this morning in time to reach the Catania Airport (CTA), where you will start your journey home (group transfer time to be announced).

Tour Extension

November 3-6: Mt. Etna and Cefalu Photo Extension
Cefalu
Photo By: Fred Kurtz
Photo Location: Sicily

Extension Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 9 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $200 if 4-8 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Extension Itinerary

November 3-4: Mt. Etna-Cefalu
Cefalu

Photo By: Fred Kurtz

Photo Location: Sicily

Those that are extending your stay with your photo leaders will drive north to Taormina to photograph Mt. Etna in all it’s glory and enjoy views of the volcano over lunch. Continue on to the very photogenic Cefalu coastal town. Cefalu is known for beautiful sunsets, beaches, the towering Norman Cathedral, and the rock formation or Rocca that forms a massive backdrop for the village. Enjoy another full day here photographing the historic old town, you will note influences from the Byzantine period, but also Arab, Spanish and finally Italian. Those that enjoy a good hike, there is a trail going up the Rocca for views of the city below. The Temple of Diana ruins are also on the Rocca. (B, L; B) Please note Those on extension will issue their tickets round trip Palermo (PMO).

November 5: Cefalu-Palermo Airport
Father & Son

Photo By: Fred Kurtz

Photo Location: Sicily

After another photo walk this morning return to the hotel for breakfast. Enjoy photography stops en-route to either Monreale for the Cathedral and Cloisters, or the less traveled Castlebuonno just south of Cefalu, set in ancient ash and chestnut forests. Continue on arriving at your hotel for the evening close to the airport. (B) Overnight PMO airport hotel.

November 6: Airport-Home
Boats

Photo By: Fred Kurtz

Photo Location: Sicily

The hotel can arrange taxi today, returning you to the airport in time for your flight out.

Photo Leader

Tom & Cree Bol
read more
Tom & Cree Bol

Tom and Cree have been guiding trips together for over 25 years, and both are passionate photographers. Their teaching philosophy is simple; ‘teach the student, not the subject.’ They love teaching and helping others develop their creativity and technical skills. Their trips often sell out well in advance.

Tom has been called one of America’s visionaries for his photography by National Geographic Adventure, and he is a frequent contributor to many photography magazines. He has taught hundreds of workshops over the past 25 years, and is a KelbyOne Instructor. Photo District News called him one of the best photography workshop teachers in America. You can watch his backstory here http://vimeo.com/120904640. His images have been published worldwide by hundreds of clients, and his assignment work ranges from editorial travel features to national tourism campaigns.

Cree taught high school photography for twelve years, and her students regularly won national awards for their work. She runs a portrait photography business, and is known for her evocative images and friendly nature. She loves to experiment in post processing, and is often sought out for help with Lightroom and Photoshop.  She is a veteran traveler and speaks 4 languages.

Photo Leader

Tom Bol
read more
Tom Bol

See how Tom Bol got his start at https://vimeo.com/120904640

The September 2011 Photo District News education issue, listed Tom as one of the best photo workshop instructors in the country!

Tom Bol is a freelance photographer specializing in adventure sports, nature, and travel photography. He has been photographing full time for twenty years, and teaching workshops for ten. Assignments have ranged from national ad campaigns for clothing companies to producing images for worldwide tourism clients. With a background in guiding adventure sports, Tom’s editorial assignments often result in interesting situations, including shooting from the bottom of a crevasse on Mt. McKinley, to running into a snow leopard at twenty thousand feet in the Himalayas.

Tom is a regular contributor to Digital Photo and Outdoor Photographer magazine, a contributing photographer at Canoe and Kayak magazine, and a regular speaker at tradeshows representing Nikon and Manfrotto. He was also on the list of National Geographic Adventure’s “50 of America’s Top Visionaries” for his photography.

Note from instructor:

I think workshops are a fantastic way to develop as a photographer, both technically and artistically, and have a lot of fun during the process. On these workshops I’m available at anytime to offer advice and critique of images. I will offer formal classes as well as field demonstrations on technique and creative choices in image making. For those that are interested, we will explore flash technique and light painting. I will also provide participants with “workshop notes”, excerpts from magazine articles I have written on a variety of topics.

I really enjoy working with participants one on one, being able to focus on specific areas with individual’s results in faster, more effective learning. What I enjoy most on workshops is seeing how participants can improve their skills in such a short time.

Having been to numerous workshops over the past 5 years, Tom has to be my favorite instructor. With Tom you are guaranteed 3 things - an in-depth knowledge of photography and lighting with an ability and desire to share this with participants, energy and lots of it, and FUN! Tom loves spending time with his students and getting to know each one, as to maximize the workshop for each person. A workshop with Tom is time well spent.

B. Peterson

Photo Leader

Cree Bol
read more
Cree Bol

Cree taught high school photography for twelve years, and her students regularly won national awards for their work. She runs a portrait photography business, and is known for her evocative images and friendly nature. She loves to experiment in post processing, and is often sought out for help with Lightroom and Photoshop.  She is a veteran traveler and speaks 4 languages. Tom and Cree have been guiding trips together for over 25 years, and both are passionate photographers. Their teaching philosophy is simple; ‘teach the student, not the subject.’ They love teaching and helping others develop their creativity and technical skills. Their trips often sell out well in advance.

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 9 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 6-8 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Testimonials

The trip was a 10 our of 10, as well as the photo instructor. Favorite part was I loved the food, especially the meal at the farm house in Ragusa and being part of the life of that family, if for just one day. These trips are about being immersed in the culture of the location. Meeting new  photographers who share their passion along the way is an added benefit.

S Doner

Tom is the Best!!! Can always ask a question and Tom would be there to answer, point out great shots etc.

C Schweitzer

Having been to numerous workshops over the past 5 years, Tom has to be my favorite instructor. With Tom you are guaranteed 3 things - an in-depth knowledge of photography and lighting with an ability and desire to share this with participants, energy and lots of it, and FUN! Tom loves spending time with his students and getting to know each one, as to maximize the workshop for each person. A workshop with Tom is time well spent.

B. Peterson

Tom Bol is really inspiring and has great positive energy. As a teacher, he really wants you to learn and succeed. I really appreciate his selfless desire to help you improve. His enthusiasm is contagious.

L. Barcheck

I've been on over 20 trips with Tom since 2007, his enthusiasm never waivers.  He and the trip were a 10 our of 10!!!

J Campbell

Additional Notes

Two Photo Instructors

Tom and Cree have been guiding trips together for over 25 years, and both are passionate photographers. Their teaching philosophy is simple; ‘teach the student, not the subject.’ They love teaching and helping others develop their creativity and technical skills. Their trips often sell out well in advance.

Cree taught high school photography for twelve years, and her students regularly won national awards for their work. She runs a portrait photography business, and is known for her evocative images and friendly nature. She loves to experiment in post processing, and is often sought out for help with Lightroom and Photoshop.  She is a veteran traveler and speaks 4 languages.Tom has been called one of America’s visionaries for his photography by National Geographic Adventure, and he is a frequent contributor to many photography magazines. He has taught hundreds of workshops over the past 25 years, and is a KelbyOne Instructor. Photo District News called him one of the best photography workshop teachers in America. You can watch his backstory here http://vimeo.com/120904640. His images have been published worldwide by hundreds of clients, and his assignment work ranges from editorial travel features to national tourism campaigns.

Focus and pace of the trip

Each of the areas we will visit has something unique to offer. We will have time to explore them with our cameras with out rushing. The trip is suitable for virtually every level of photographer with any special interest. Anyone who is reasonably fit and in good health should be able to participate easily. The majority of time will be spent walking in hill towns and amidst Greek & Roman ruins. As in all our tours we walk at a photographer’s pace. Some of the sites will be rocky, with uneven surfaces, or steps to reach a particular vantage point. Please call us at 607-756-8676 if you have any specific questions on fitness or health.

Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.

Airfare

Contact Strabo Tours if you would like rates on International Airfare. Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties. Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.

The land cost includes:
  • Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
  • Accommodations based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Services of driver, English speaking cultural guide (if applicable) and photographic leader, during the tour.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner).
  • Park entrance fees, day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary.
  • Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include:

Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, photographic equipment, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; fuel surcharges; exchange rate surcharges; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.

Fitness and Health

The majority of trips are not strenuous (see exceptions below for particular destinations) and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators or air conditioners.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.

Exceptions:

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

Deposits, Cancellations AND Refunds

A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.

If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:

  • 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
  • 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
  • 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.

Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.

Insurance

Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.

Subject to Change

Itineraries have been carefully constructed to assure participants the best each destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. The itineraries summarize typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Photo Release

Strabo International Tour Company, Inc. reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes. We also reserve the right to use clients photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, when submitted to Strabo International Tour Company, Inc.

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