Explore Italy (21 – 30 April 2023)
Be part of Italy through its culture, traditions, food, wine, people and backroads.
Discover the secrets of Italian life and people of the small towns and enough of a glimpse of the cities. Enjoy wine tastings in different regions, visit museums and travel down old roads rich in history inland and along the coast. Have dinner with locals – all while exploring Italy and improving your photography skills.
SOLO TRAVELLERS ARE WELCOME: We have managed to keep the Solo Rate at just 10%
This tour is an authentic treat. You will experience the essence Italy with a local tour guide that thephotowalkers.com have established a wonderful relationship with. This tour is TRUE ITALY – at its best. REAL ITALY – not the typical tourists tour.
Enjoy the itinerary below and Come Join Us!
WE EXPLORE: Lucca, The Italian Riviera in Le Cinque Terre Area, Bologna, & Florence .
Dates: 21 – 30 April 2023 (see below for add-ons)
- This tour has reached its minimum number and is going ahead.
- The closing date of the tour is 10 March 2023.
Who are our Guides?
Leanne Dryburgh of thephotowalkers.com travelled to an International Travel Expo in London in 2015 where she met Stefano and together they compiled what they believe is the Ultimate Italian Tour.
Why? Because this is an authentic, local ‘back road’ tour that will leave you knowing you have been a part of REAL Italy.
Says Stefano…“Those who want to learn about Italian territory, those who want to be fascinated by beautiful monuments and want to get in touch with the daily life and traditions of real Italian towns. Our regions are in the heart of this beautiful country, and in each of them they offer you a unique atmosphere – outside the traditional schemes of the most famous Italian destinations. With a territory that stretches from the sea to the mountains with its art, history, culture, food, wine and people…”
Leanne Dryburgh and Peter Hassall have been working professional photographers for over 25 years and together they have been taking passionate travellers and aspiring photographers around the world for back road experiences since 2012. Even if you are not a keen photographer – our tour will take you to the most incredible locations – we strive the find the best. We appreciate how hard it can be to travel on your own and we have many solo travellers joining us.
Who is the tour aimed at?
- Foodies: People who are interested in Italian food and wine. We visit the best wine farms, markets, local restaurants and enjoy a cooking class.
- Lovers of Culture and History: On this tour you will understand and experience many of the ‘un-sung heroes’ of Italy.
- *Photographers: All skill levels. Anyone requiring some guidance on how to take better photos while travelling!
- Solo Travellers and travel partners/friends.
- Anyone looking for a fun and inspiring adventure.
PLEASE NOTE: L’Italia è Bellissima! (Italy is very beautiful!)
*At every stop you will feel compelled to photograph Italy so you can take the memories home. Leanne and Peter are there to help you take the best photos that you can with whatever camera you have, ranging from a cell phone right through to a Pro Camera. They are fluent in the mechanics in all makes of cameras and phones and has many years experience as a professional photographers.
This is an optional service and she will help you at any level that you would like.
Itinerary and Travel Details:
21st of April: (Day of arrival): Our team will collect you from Florence Airport or the Florence Train Station. Please arrive by 10h00 the latest.
Transfer to your accommodation, check in and a casual lunch while exploring the Piazza della Signoria in the Historic Centre of Florence and the Ponte Vecchio. Welcome dinner in the locals favorite Italian Restaurant – the hidden gem that the tourists don’t know about.
22nd of April: Breakfast and early departure to the Tuscan Hills for a wine tasting. This is followed by the greatest feast that you will experience on one of the oldest wine farms in Tuscany. Here you will enjoy a guided tour of the farm and cellars and when the ‘Italians Mama’s ring the bell’ – you head to their dining room where there are wine tastings paired with food produced on their farm. This is a slow afternoon of laughter and cheer. The feast takes about 5- hours and it’s followed by a sleepy bus trip to your hotel in Lucca. Check in. Night on own.
23rd of April: Breakfast followed by a guided tour through Lucca and a day of exploring, photographing, shopping – this day is a Kaleiodscope of culture, history, beauty and passion.
24th of April: An early morning photowalk / walk followed by a cooking class given by an Italian Mama. We will enjoy the food for lunch with a wine tasting. This will spread late into the afternoon.
25th of April: Check out by 10h00 and transfer to the relaxed and very beautiful Riomaggiore, in Cinque Terre. An orientation walk and evening activity.
26th of April: Free Day: Spend the exploring or just relaxing. There is the famous hike in Cinque Terre behind the five small villages (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso) that you can hike. You can hike the entire route in about six hours, if you take short breaks. Or you can just hike to the next village for lunch and back home! For those who want, this evening we will be taking night time photos.
27th of April: Today is a full day of boat tours along the Cinque Terre coast and stopping at all the other four colourful villages to explore.
28th of April: Transfer to Bologna and check into accommodation and look out over ‘The Red Rooftops’. A guided tour with local tour guide Lino who will take you through the ancient side of this city known as the ‘Unsung hero of Italy.’
29th of April: An incredible food tour Bologna – visiting markets, restaurants and shops. Afternoon on own for finishing off and shopping. Bologna is the shopping hub of Italy and has shops from luxury designer boutiques all in one mall, to high-street shops and markets to pick up some foodie souvenirs. A fabulous farewell dinner.
30th of April: Breakfast, check out, transfer to Florence airport after check out. Please book your flights departing from 18h00 if you are flying back to South Africa. If you are flying across Europe or to the UK, you may book your flights from 11h00. (You can also look at departing directly from Bologna airport). If you are doing the add-on, you will be collected by a private transfer and taken to Ascoli Piceno where you will check in, have a short orientation walk and welcome aperitif at Caffè Meletti. Dinner on own on the Piazza
1st – 4th May : **Additional add-on to Ascoli Piceno.
This section of the tour is upmarket and exclusive, has private transport and beautiful, luxury 4 Star Bed & Breakfast with a spa in the establishment (we stayed there last year and it is magnificent.)
1st of May: Join a local wine farm for the ‘Workers Day’ celebration. This is an incredible event where the owners (4 generations of woman) host all of the workers. Its is not open to the public, only our tour, and is a fantastic experience of ‘Real Italy’. The owner will walk you through the farm after the celebration and show you how this farm works. its fascinating!
2nd of May: A morning of a personal guided tour of Ascoli showing you the arches, museums, history an architecture of this beautiful and ancient village. A mini cooking lesson with local products for lunch followed by an afternoon of Spa treatments (optional extra) and time on own.
3rd of May: An exciting day where a personal driver will pick up after breakfast and transfer to Offida and walking tour of the unique small village. You will then go and see Umbria. Evening and dinner on own back at Ascoli.
4th of May: : Slow morning and check out followed by a private transfer to Rome. If you are flying out – please book flights from mid-afternoon. If you would like to spend a couple of days in Rome we can help with accommodation, guided tours and transport.
Rates / includes / excludes
Should you be interested in this section before heading home, please tick the box on the booking form and we will send the finer details.
What does the tour cost?
Please use the Currency Convertor to find the price in your currency from USD.
Instead of heading home – why not go to Ascoli Piceno for four days? This is Stefano’s home town and a favourite stop of ours which we could not fit in this year’s itinerary. It’s ‘Italy’s hidden gem’ and the perfect place to unwind and be part of a real small Italian village. Let us know if you would like to receive a quote.
What is included?
- 4 Star Self catering accommodation. The reason we go with this option is because it’s so lovely to buy food at the markets/shops and eat outside in the beautiful courtyards – as opposed to eating in a small breakfast room of the hotels (if you prefer bed and breakfast accommodation please let us know).
- Airport transfers and all transport around the itinerary during the tour.
- All entrance fees, guides and photographers listed above.
- Italian cooking class in Lucca and food tour in Bologna.
- One wine farm tasting in Tuscany and one wine tasting in Lucca.
- Three dinners and two lunches.
- Full day boat trip experience in Cinque Terre.
- Photography guidance on all makes of cameras and cell phones by Leanne Dryburgh and Peter Hassall. This can be casual, serious or not at all. It’s up to you!
What is excluded?
- International flights and travel to and from Florence.
- City taxes.
- All meals and refreshments not included in itinerary above.
- Any items of a personal nature or additional activities.
- Emergency evacuation or transport out of the itinerary.
- Travel insurance (compulsory), equipment insurance and medical insurance.
Arrival and departure details:
- 21 April (Day of arrival): Collection from Florence Airport or the Florence Train Station. Please arrive by 10h00 the latest. You can also meet at the Hotel in Florence.
- 30 April (Day of departure): Transfer to Florence Airport or the Florence Train Station. Please book your flights departing from 18h00 if you are flying back to South Africa. If you are flying across Europe or to the UK, you may book your flights from 11h00. (You can also look at departing directly from Bologna).
Do I need travel insurance?
Adequate travel insurance is compulsory for this tour.
- Make sure that you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers thephotowalkers.com cancellation policies (see below) and your international flight’s cancellation policies (ask your airline when booking).
- We recommend that you have your camera gear and laptop insured for damage and loss. thephotowalkers.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage under any circumstances.
How do I book?
Simply click on the ‘BOOKINGS & ENQUIRIES’ button towards the top of the page. There are drop-downs that prompt you to tell us which accommodation you require and if you would like to share transport . You will then receive an email with all of the relevant details.
What if I have a question?
- Call or WhatsApp Leanne on +27 83 293 7208.
- Email Leanne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I need Passports, Visas, Medical Aid, Cash and Vaccinations?
- All visitors must have a passport that is valid for at least six months.
- Please check if your country and require a Schengen Visa. The link for South Africans is:
- Please bring POUNDS, EUROS or US DOLLARS with you to use or change at travel desks. We have found that withdrawing cash in Italy and paying with a credit card can be troublesome – please let you bank know well in advance that you are travelling. You can also bring bring a travel wallet.
- Ensure your Medical Aid knows that you are travelling abroad.
- No vaccinations are required for Italy.
- Should you suffer from any chronic medical conditions, we recommend that you get a full medical clearance before committing to this tour.
What should I wear or bring?
- We are visiting Italy in spring! So warm during the day and cool in the evenings.
- Swimming costumes for Cinque Terre and clothing for the boats trips.
- Comfortable walking shoes are a must as well as a comfortable backpack.
- Your own basic medical aid kits and any medications that you require.
- Sensible hiking boots and socks if you plan to hike in Cinque Terre.
- A huge sense of adventure and the knowledge that you are going to eat, love, listen to, feel, drink, experience, cook, photograph and totally soak up ITALY!
How fit do I need to be?
You need to be able to walk short distances. If you would like to hike in Cinque Terre you will need to be hiking fit.
Duty Free Allowance:
- Alcoholic liquors or wines up to 1 litre per person can be purchased in Duty Free and brought into Italy.
- 200 Cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams tobacco can be brought in.
What if I need to cancel?
- Cancellations within 3 months of the tour: No refund will be issued.
- Cancellations more than 3 months before the tour: 50% refund will be issued on any monies paid to date – less any expenses incurred – including guides, admin, accommodation and transport.
- Once thephotowalkers.com has received a written cancellation – it may not be retracted under any circumstances what-so-ever.
What if thephotowalkers.com has to cancel?
In the event that thephotowalkers.com has to cancel the tour for any reason whatsoever, a full refund will be issued on all monies paid to date.
Although every possible care is taken to safeguard you and your property, no company involved in this tour accepts responsibility for any accident, injury, illness or death incurred during or arising from any tour, or loss or damage to clients property during a tour. We strongly advise you take out Good Travel Insurance for yourself and your property before the start of the tour.
No company involved will be held responsible for any expenses or loss of tour days resulting from changes in flight schedules, delays or loss of baggage by international air carriers or local air charter companies.
By booking this tour, you agree to be bound by thephotowalkers.com indemnity terms and conditions. thephotowalkers.com, it’s staff, employees, suppliers and partners will not be held responsible for loss, injury, death or damage including consequential loss of any nature whatsoever while on the tour, in the shared transport, in the accommodation or during an activity. By booking this tour you understand and accept this. thephotowalkers.com will do their best to avoid any circumstances that may lead to the above.
Intellectual Property and Confidentiality:
By booking this tour, you understand, accept and agree that any information given as well as any service providers, locations, workshops, partners, techniques or any part of the tour whatsoever is the Intellectual Property of The Photowalkers (t/a thephotowalkers.com)April:1