You'd think that going to Italy so often could get boring. Wait a minute, who am I kidding here?! Italy just never seems to get boring, no matter how often we go. We just returned from leading our Secret Italy Photography workshop and we've been doing this program for over 10 years now. We really are on to something good ;-) Each time we go, we visit a new and unique region with beautiful vistas, amazing people, stellar wine, delicious food, and photo opportunities galore. It just never gets old.
This year we toured the Piemonte region, which is northern Italy, near the Swiss & French Alps. It is famous for the Barolo and Barbaresco wines (and some other white sparkly wines which aren't really my thing) that call the region home. Alba is also famous for their white truffles, which sell for exorbitant amounts in the local festival we attended (and all over the world). Needless to say, delicious food and bold wines filled our days and nights.
Photographically it was a candy store – as it is in all of the regions of Italy we've visited over the years. It's so interesting to see the change in culture, climate, architecture, and history from region to region. As a photographer, I notice that each year I visit Italy I find myself "seeing" a little different. The first year I was consumed with the grand vistas and postcard landscapes. The following year I looked deeper in to details and textures, and each following year my focus changed a bit. This year I seemed to be drawn to street scenes and "hip shots" that captured the moods and characters. It's a little different for each photographer on the trip, depending on their personal history, expectations, and amount of wine they've consumed.
Our Italian guides, and close friends, Max Brunelli and Cristiana Chiacchierini always put together a fantastic itinerary and seem to know exactly what we want to see and experience. They are amazing at what they do!
One of the inevitable and often unexpected gifts from our workshops is the relationships that are formed, or nurtured. Best friends are made and old friends are brought closer. Having time to relax, play, work, and engage in a common passion together tends to open doors and pull people close. You don't always expect this from a photo workshop, but it happens on every trip we do. I can't imagine how much I'd miss if I did this tour alone, sans friends and like minded enthusiasts. What a joy it is to share the experience with those you care about!
The image below is a fun cinemagraph from our stroll through the streets after dinner one evening. There are gems around every corner, and in every bus seat.
Click to play some authentic music and imagine yourself there!
The gallery below contains some of my favorite images. You can click on the larger images to view them even larger on my SmugMug gallery page. I welcome your thoughts and comments!