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  Workshop Fee:

ACT NOW: save $200
when you register
by March 18, 2016

Tuscany Only:
$3595 Early Registration
by March 18, 2016
$3795 Registration after Mar. 18, 2016

add the trip to the Cinque Terre:
+ $1295 Early Registration
by March 18, 2016
+ $1495 Registration after Mar. 18, 2016



Mary Louise Ravese, Workshop Leader
Bella Vista Photography
(+1)(571) 594-2390 (East Coast, Virginia)


Saturday May 14 - Sunday May 22, 2016

Cinque Terre:
Sunday May 22 - Wed. May 25, 2016


Tuscany covers a large area. We will photograph in Florence, the village of San Gimignano, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Chianti wine district and the Val d'Orcia area, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the region of Tuscany, Italy (Toscana in Italian).

The itinerary of the workshop is designed to give participants ample time to concentrate on their photography at our stops and receive feedback on their work over the course of the trip. As part of our 3 nights in Florence, the itinerary includes a "open schedule" day to explore the city of Florence on your own -- to take in the museums, shops, or whatever your heart desires. Participants will return home with rewarding images and memories to last a lifetime.


Getting There

The workshop starts on a weekday to enable cheaper airfares.

The nearest international airport is Florence Peretola Airport (FLR). From the U.S. you can get a connecting flight to this airport. Typically from the US you would fly on May 13, arriving May 14.  Your return flight can be booked for May 22nd if you are doing just the Tuscany portion of the trip or May 25th if you are adding the optional Cinque Terre extension.  Depending on your flight arrangements you may arrive back in the US the same day, or you will have an overnight stay in a connecting European city and arrive back in the US the next day. Please do not book your non-refundable airfare until notified by workshop leader that workshop minimum numbers have been met. We will try to consolidate airport arrival and departure times to minimize wait times in Florence airport.

If you plan to arrive or depart from some place other than Florence Peretola Airport or at times outside of the designated group transportation window, you may need to arrange your own transportation to/from our lodging at your own cost. 



Lodging accomodations are included in the workshop fee. 

May 14 - 15 we will be staying at a 3-star hotel near the village of San Gimignano. The hotel rooms feature a queen size bed, terrace and on-suite bathroom.  Continental Breakfast is included and Internet WiFi is available.

May 16 - 18 we will be staying at a 3-star Agriturismo (farm house/villa Bed & Breakfast) near the village of Pienza. The property consists of multiple apartments, some with multiple bedrooms & bathrooms. Bedrooms feature king size beds and each bedroom typically has their own bathroom. A limited number of one bedroom apartments are available for those who wish more privacy and choose the room upgrade option.

The villa apartments have shared kitchen/kitchenette facilities and a living room / lounge area.  Internet WiFi is available on the property, although access via each bedroom is not guaranteed.

May 19 - 21 we will be staying at a 3-star hotel in the historic center of Florence (Firenze in Italian) within easy walking distance of historic landmarks such as the Ponte Vecchio, Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio and Uffizi Gallery.

For those taking the Cinque Terre Extension:

May 22 - 24 we will be staying at a highly recommended B&B in Levanto, a quieter town that is an easy 15 minute train ride from the Cinque Terre village of Monterosso al Mare.

Comments from Previous Workshop Participants

“I would recommend Mary Louise’s class to anyone who wants to expand their horizons in photography from the realistic to the abstract and artistic” - Chip F.

“Love, love, love, her.  Really amazing ability to teach! Mary Louise’s passion comes through and is understandable.  Her ability to translate skill, passion and knowledge – phenomenal!” – Marji G.

"Well organized trip with varied and unique photo opportunities I wouldn't have easily found on my own"

"Mary Louise impressed me with giving everyone equal training time. She displayed great patience and was attentive to our shooting needs."

“Mary Louise is great - she obviously understands photography and all of the equipment so thoroughly that she can explain technical details to novices” – Jan W. 


  Photographing the Best of Tuscany
with optional excursion to the Cinque Terre
 -- Photography Workshop --

May 14 - 22, 2016
or May 14 - 25, 2016 (with excursion)

  Come explore Italy's famous Tuscany region this spring with professional nature and travel photographer, Mary Louise Ravese.

Mary Louise is an experienced instructor who offer lots of practical tips and guidance in the field and classroom. Our low 6:1 student to instructor ratio is ideal for maximizing your learning experience.

This workshop location offers the quintessential Tuscan country experience. Unique shooting opportunities await you:

  • Classic views of Florence and San Gimignano at twilightLa porta verde
  • Hillside vineyard landscapes dotted with castles in the Chianti wine district
  • The rural countryside of the Val d'Orcia area of Tuscany (recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site) offers lush green rolling hillsides, frequently dotted with fields of red poppies at this time of year. Purple and white iris may also be in bloom at this time.
  • Picturesque winding country roads lined with cypress trees.
  • Vineyards and olive groves with views of medieval hilltop villages in the background.
  • Abbeys and monasteries offer unique architecture shooting options
  • Quaint street scenes and interesting architectural details abound in the historic towns of San Gimignano, Pienza, San Quirico d'Orcia, and surrounding villages
  • Expand your skills by learning how to create San Galgano Abbey by Mary Louise Ravesestriking painterly & realistic high dynamic range (HDR) images

In addition to our time in the field photographing, throughout the trip there will be informal lectures, discussions about equipment, technique and shooting strategy, as well as supportive image feedback sessions, so you can improve your picture-making along the way.

The trip includes:

  • daily photography sessionsSan Gimignano Square by Mary Louise Ravese
  • small group instruction (max of 6 students)
  • one-on-one guidance and tips as needed throughout the trip
  • group critiques and discussion
  • ground transportation for the group during the workshop
  • comfortable 3-star accommodations with each person getting their own bedroom if desired
  • daily continental breakfast
  • welcome dinner on arrival day
  • departing dinner on our last evening

The trip does not include:

  • airfare
  • airport transfers outside of designated times
  • lunch and dinner, with the exception of your welcome and departing dinners
  • alcoholic beverages
  • phone calls
  • souvenirs and other incidentals
  • gratuities, if applicable

Florence Skyline at Twilight

Sunset over the Arno Who Should Attend

All skill levels are welcome.  Participants must be familiar with basic camera operation, including the setting of aperture, shutter speed and ISO.* Whether you are a beginner or advanced photographer, the small group setting enables a tailored learning experience for all. Some experience with image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom or Photoshop Elements is advisable. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop running the latest version of their image editing software.

* If you are not familiar with basic camera operation, you may be able to arrange a 3 hour private lesson with Mary Louise to get you ready for the trip.

Optional Cinque Terre Excursion

Extend your stay with a 3-night trip to the Cinque Terre region of Italy. The  Cinque Terre which translates to "The Five Lands" comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and RiTwilight Jewels by Mary Louise Raveseomaggiore.

The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This region is about a 2 hour drive from Florence. The arrangement of houses built into the cliffside makes this Italian Riviera location like the "little sisters" of the better known Amalfi Coast town of Positano. In this optional extension we'll stay in a comfortable B&B just north of Monterosso al Mare and make daily visits to the picturesque Cinque Terre towns towns which are connected to each other by train and by ferry.

The extension trip includes small group instruction, lodging with breakfast, ground/train/ferry transportation during the workshop and airport transfers.


About the Instructor

Mary Louise Ravese specializes in fine art nature and travel photography from locations across the world. Her photographs are in private, university & corporate collections in over 40 states and are exhibited nationally.

Photo by Richard Fain

She has published images in calendars, magazines, books and websites. Mary Louise is a regular speaker and competition judge for photography clubs. She also enjoys teaching on a wide range of topics related to nature, travel and creative photography. Based in Virginia, Mary Louise leads classes and workshops at a variety of locations across the US and abroad. She has been to Tuscany on several occasions.