Photo by: Ron Rosenstock
Location: Tuscany Italy
PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

Italy: Florence, Tuscan Hill Towns, and Venice

2020 Rates Listed

• Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, with its rich tapestry of history depicted in its architecture, sculptures, and paintings
• A stay in the Tuscan countryside, with its grapevines and cypress trees
• Tuscany’s medieval towns and villages: Monteriggioni, San Gimignano, Volpaia, Radda in Chianti, and others, equally well-preserved
• Departure limited to 12 participants to optimize your photographic experience
• Optional extension to the Canals of Venice

Region

Europe

Destination

Italy

Dates

September 24-Oct 4 2021

Duration

10 days

Available Post-Trip Extension

Venice Extension

$3995

per person, double occupancy*

*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 8 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $300 if  5-7 participants. 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 (subject to availability), or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, there is a single room surcharge of $695.

Tour Overview

The Strabo Photo Tour Collection is proud to announce a special tour to Italy, led by accomplished photographer Ron Rosenstock. Ron will take you to his favorite locations in Florence, the hill towns of Tuscany, and the canals of Venice. We always welcome tour companions who are not photographers. The trip’s leisurely pace will provide ample opportunity to wander through medieval hill towns, and feast on the renowned regional foods and wines.

This departure is limited to a maximum of...

The Strabo Photo Tour Collection is proud to announce a special tour to Italy, led by accomplished photographer Ron Rosenstock. Ron will take you to his favorite locations in Florence, the hill towns of Tuscany, and the canals of Venice. We always welcome tour companions who are not photographers. The trip’s leisurely pace will provide ample opportunity to wander through medieval hill towns, and feast on the renowned regional foods and wines.

This departure is limited to a maximum of twelve participants. It is intended for people of all levels of interest and accomplishment in film, or digital photography. While the emphasis will be on photography, this is also a cultural journey, which we believe will enhance your ability to capture the essence of Tuscany in your images. Your photography expert and leader, Ron Rosenstock, has been leading photo tours to Tuscany and Venice since 1985. Along with the local guides, Ron will take you to photo locations you could not access on your own, including monasteries, churches, and vineyards. In Florence, there will be quiet, pre-dawn photo walks led by Ron. He will take you to premier photographic locations to capture the Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi Corridor, and the Duomo. If you are participating in the Venice Extension, early morning shoots will take you along the Grand Canal where Ron has found the location from which Claude Monet painted his impressions of the Santa Maria della Salute Church. While we have specific itineraries, we have the flexibility to take advantage of photographic opportunities we find along the way.

Tuscany has perhaps produced more accomplishments in art and science than any other place in history. It is the birthplace of the Etruscan civilization, the Italian language, and the age that shaped modern history, the Renaissance. Imagine a small region that can claim Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo, Dante, and Botticelli as its native sons! The first part of our trip will center on Florence, the capital of Tuscany, the city where the Renaissance began. It is a living museum of art and culture. We will explore its streets, piazzas, and great works of art and architecture in the company of excellent guides.

A short drive from Florence transports us into the beautiful Tuscan countryside. We will stay in Chianti, among the best-preserved landscapes in Italy, some virtually unchanged since artists depicted them five hundred years ago. The region has large areas of woodlands, interspersed with vineyards and dotted with medieval towns high on hills and ridges. The quality of light here has inspired generations of artists. Our journey will explore this glorious land in depth. Everywhere there is something of compelling beauty, curiosity, and interest — brilliant architecture, classic Tuscan landscapes, the daily life of the people themselves, providing continuity between past and present.

The accommodations that have been chosen combine simple elegance with excellent location. In Florence, you will stay at a small, family-run hotel in an ideal location. Centrally located in a quiet neighborhood, yet just a fifteen-minute walk from the major sites of the Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo. In the Tuscan countryside, you will stay at the Villa Rosa di Boscorotondo, a meticulously restored country villa. It provides an absolutely perfect location for country walks and day trips to Tuscan hill towns and villages. You will have a light breakfast before departing for the day and return to a traditional Tuscan meal in the evening.

Photo Leader

Ron Rosenstock

It is tough to pick just one highlight of the tour. Each segment of the trip was fantastic.
Florence – early morning photography, walking tours of the city, and the excellent food
Tuscany – amazing landscapes, towns and wine tasting
Venice – it exceeded everything I had heard

Ron is a 10 plus!!! Your local guide and hotels all 10’s. Loved the trip and now have some great photo memories to view and share with family. We are thinking about Scotland for next year.

— T Hopewell

What was the highlight of your trip: Being able to compare pictures with Ron and seeing first hand how he creates his images. Ron and local guide were a 10 our to 10, as well as all the accommodations. We had a wonderful time; each location was unique and special. Ron and Sabina had a way to get us to interesting locations at the right times. The grape harvest on the vineyard behind the villa is something that you can’t plan for. The water taxi through the canals of Venice was inspiring.

My hope was to come away with 5-6 HERO images, this was more than exceeded. I am down to 20 excellent pictures!!!

— Jim Hopewell

Pardon the belated thank you; Maria and I wanted to thank you for the wonderful time we had in Florence and Tuscany. It was great meeting and getting to know you and you were terrific hosts. The photographic locations and instruction you brought were terrific. I thought we had just the right amount of photography and then taking time out to enjoy the wonderful cuisine of the area. Photography and food are two of our favorite things! I have been editing many of he images and am really happy with what I got. There will be lots of great memories from this trip. We hope to join you on another trip real soon; we are starting to make out next year’s vacation schedule.

— E & M Pronske

Joyce and I both felt that it was a trip-of-a-lifetime. The group was small enough so that we became friendly with everyone, and it was not too unwieldy in getting around. The places we stayed were as nice as you could ever hope for. The photographs that we were able to take make me look as though I am a pro. The quaint little villages that we visited in Tuscany have left a lasting impression on us, and the special vineyards and little churches just made the whole trip so special. The places we ate, and the food, both were first-rate. The extra effort that you made was greatly appreciated.

— L. Dobens

Ron is excellent. I’ve been with him 3 times before and he is just outstanding. He has always been good about answering any questions participants may have. I think Laura was an excellent asset to this tour. Her knowledge of the art and history of Venice is quite impressive. It was well worth it!!!

— T. Babich

Just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful Italy trip. You did a great job of showing us all the beautiful areas that we would not have seen on our own. I keep trying to decide what of the three places (Florence, Tuscany, or Venice)I enjoyed the most but can not decide. The early morning shots were the best thing too.

— C. Sackett

I really appreciated Ron’s knowledge of the area and his passion for photography. It is great to have a leder who understands the importance of lighting and who is willng to get up early to capture the early morning lighting. Without Ron’s guidance there were many great shots that i would not have captured. Thanks for a great trip Ron, and I hope to meet up with you again in the future.

— P. Rice

What is a trip to Italy like with Ron? Lets see… Unbelievable food and fabulous accommodations…. Golden sunsets in rolling hills covered with ancient vineyards and olive trees… Wonderful and unusual people who make every experience special… Visits to special places I’d never find on my own… The time to explore tiny little towns with my camera… and the camaraderie of a group of people who are just as excited as I to be there and explore. And then there’s Ron, who’s list of friends all over the world are delighted to see us and extend their hospitality like we were family. Ron, who makes sure everyone is getting what they want from their trip while he enjoys each journey as if it were his own first moment of discovery. I can’t wait to return.

— M Russo

Tour Itinerary

September 24: Home

Depart on your overnight flight to Florence. (Meals on plane)

September 25: Arrival in Florence

You can arrive at any time today at Florence Airport (FLR), take a taxi to the hotel. There will be an introductory meeting at 6PM in the hotel lobby, followed by a welcome dinner. Overnight Florence (D)

September 26-28: The Magic of Florence

The next three days will be spent exploring Florence. After breakfast each day the local guide will outline the daily activities. Prior to breakfast, Ron will plan sunrise walks on a couple days for those who want to walk through the deserted streets to photograph the city before it awakens.

 

Being in the heart of Florence, our hotel affords us a perfect location so that daily excursions can be done easily on foot. The famous Ponte Vecchio, the most popular and oldest bridge that spans the Arno River is about a fifteen minute walk. Just beyond the bridge are the massive Pitti Palace, originally built in the fifteenth century, and the Boboli Gardens. If you are looking for a good view, take a brisk walk up the hill, or take a taxi to the terrace coffee shop or the ramparts of Forte Belvedere, located just behind the gardens. You are certain to photograph one of Ron’s favorites at sunrise, Florence’s Duomo.

Florence’s town square, the Piazza della Signoria, has been the heart of political life since the fourteenth century. The Piazza also is home to the Palazzo Vecchio(Old Palace), built in the thirteenth century, and the Uffizi Gallery.

We will also visit local markets, artisan shops, and spend time photographing sunsets or the streetlights lining the bridges across the Arno. Your last day in Florence you can choose to do additional photography with your photographic leader or perhaps wander on your own, visiting one of the city’s numerous museums, cathedrals, or attractions. Each day you will have lunch at one of the many restaurants, trattorias, or bars. In the evening, you can go to a restaurant with the group, or go out on your own. (Breakfast daily)

Please note: The art of enjoying an Italian meal can take time, if you prefer to grab a light bite and meet with the group later, feel free to request time and place from Ron and/or your local guide.

 

September 29-Oct 3: The Tuscan Countryside

The next five evenings will be spent at a Villa located in the heart of Chianti. The contrast between the city and the Tuscan countryside is striking. Today, more than sixty percent of Chianti remains forested, as there are strict limits on how much land can be cultivated.

The village of San Leolino has a beautiful little church that has a commanding view of the town of Panzano and surrounding countryside. The hamlet of Monterenaldi is nearby on a quiet country road that winds through vineyards and farms. Day trips allow us to visit a number of Tuscany’s most picturesque towns, such as Radda in Chianti, Volpaia, Montefioralle, Greve in Chianti, Castellina, Monteriggioni, one of the most perfectly preserved fortified villages in all of Italy.

San Gimignano is one of the most picturesque of the Italian hill towns, known as the “city of the beautiful towers”. Fourteen of the seventy original towers remain, giving the town a striking appearance. Near Pienza, we may visit the Monastery of Sant’ Antimo, a splendid Romanesque abbey and church built around the year 1100, set in quiet, unspoiled surroundings. Overnights Tuscany (Breakfasts and dinners daily, one lunch is included at a local vineyard)

October 4: Florence - Home - Or on to Venice

After breakfast you will depart for Florence. Those on the extension will continue on to Venice via vehicle or train with Ron. If you are not a part of the extension you can be taken to the Florence airport. Please verify with Strabo Tours for approximate flight times, estimated at 1PM or after. (Breakfast)

Post-Trip Extension

Extension Name

Venice Extension

Price

$2195*

Dates

October 4-8, 2021

Duration

4 days

* Based upon minimum of 4 participants. Single room surcharge is $575.


Venice, the legendary city of art and the capital of the Veneto region, is built on an archipelago of more than 100 small islands separated by a dense network of 177 canals and joined by 400 small bridges. Water is everywhere, shaping the life of the city, and reflecting its compelling beauty. Venice is a wonderful city to explore on foot.

 

October 4: Florence to Venice

Arrive this afternoon in Venice where you will be transferred to the hotel for check in. After getting settled, meet Ron (time to be announced) in the hotel lobby for an introductory walk around the hotel and the San Marco Square. You will photograph the Ducal Palace, one of the city’s most significant monuments along with the Piazza San Marco, Basilica and its towering Campanile or bell tower. The Piazza is flanked by arcades of shops and open-air cafés and was built in 1340 to be the home of the Duke – the head of the Venetian State. Nearby, the famous Bridge of Sighs arches over a narrow canal. (Breakfast, Dinner)

October 5-7: Venice

Given appropriate weather conditions, Ron will plan sunrise photo shoots along the Grand Canal and in other scenic locations, then enjoy breakfast back at the hotel. Ron will let you know what time to meet in the lobby for your next photography walk and session. He will get you acquainted with some of the less frequented, yet equally fascinating areas of the city. You will surely enjoy this off-the-beaten path walk, through narrow alleyways and across bridges to discover the beauty and structure of Venice. Cross the Grand Canal to reach the Rialto, once the commercial heart of the city. You will walk through a maze of alleyways that once defined the “red-light” district to reach the Church of San Polo.

One day you will explore several islands in the lagoon with your photo leader. The boat ride to Burano gives a unique vantage point from which you can enjoy the beauty of Venice’s lagoon. What makes it especially picturesque are the tiny houses washed in bright colors, resembling something from the pages of a storybook. You will find Torcello Island to be quite the opposite; it is practically deserted with a population of only sixty people. Those interested in glassware may stop at the island of Murano, famous for its unique and colorful selections.

Across the waters of the lagoon to the domes and bell tower of San Giorgio Maggiore, a Benedictine Monastery that has been in operation since the tenth century. It will offer great views from which to photograph the busy waterfront.

If time permits, Ron may organize a group outing to San Michele, the island cemetery of Venice. Studded with dark cypresses and enclosed within high terracotta walls, the island is worth a visit. The cemetery itself rambles over most of the island; with its carved tombstone and chapels it has a curious fascination. (Breakfast each day)

You can enjoy time at leisure, going for a gondola ride, shopping, or visit the museums. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection features twentieth century works, displayed in her lavish apartments. Ron invites you to join him at one of his favorite restaurants for your last dinner in Venice. Venice is full of magical places to explore with your camera. The evenings offer wonderful sunsets over the Santa Maria della Salute Church, lights reflecting in the canals, and buildings lit by the glow of lanterns. (Breakfast each day, Farewell Dinner)

October 8:

Ron will direct you on departing the hotel via water taxi to the airport in time for your flight home. (Breakfast)