Best of Northern Italy Photo Tour May 20-June 3, 2024
Per person double occupancy
International Airfare INCLUDED
Tour Guest Limit
10 Guest Maximum
90 Days before departure
This price is inclusive of Round Trip economy airfare from USA gateway city. See below for more details.
Tour Pricing Info
The Best of Northern Italy photo tour with Italian acclaimed guest pro photographer Ugo Cei combines the top iconic locations of Venice, Florence, The Cinque Terre, Milan, The Dolomites, and Lake Como while introducing you to several hidden gems of each area and more. The time we'll spend in each location will you leave you desiring to come back often and explore more.
About the Tour
M&M Pro Photographer
Guest Pro Photographer
International RT economy airfare
All airport transfers
Italy Rail Pass
All other ground transportation
All meals mentioned in itinerary
Tips to drivers
Meals outside of the itinerary
Passport and visa fees & applications
Additional drinks and other personal expenses (alcoholic drinks, laundry, phone calls etc.)
Here are links to hotels we've confirmed for this trip:
Alpe di Siusi area: TBD
May 20, 2024 | Fly from USA to Milan
This day will be spent on the plane traveling to Italy.
May 21 | Arrival in Milan
After checking in at our hotel in the center of Milan, we will have some time to explore some of the city’s most interesting monuments and districts, like Duomo, La Scala theater, Castello Sforzesco, Brera, Navigli, Porta Nuova. (D)
Dish of the day: Risotto milanese con ossobuco.
Wine of the day: Pinot Nero Oltrepo Pavese
May 22 | Bergamo and Franciacorta
In the morning, we take a local train to the city of Bergamo. Perched upon a hill and surrounded by walls, Bergamo is one of Italy’s most stunning medieval cities.
From Bergamo, a private van will take us to the heart of the Franciacorta region. Franciacorta is where Italy’s most prestigious sparkling white wines are produced. We will of course do a winery tour there and taste some of the best Franciacorta “spumante”.
In the afternoon, we will return to Milan to visit more of the city. (B, L, D)
Dish of the day: Casoncelli alla bergamasca
Wine of the day: Franciacorta Brut
May 23 | Turin
In the morning, we take a high-speed train that, in about one hour, will take us to Turin. What was once the first capital of Italy, later became a major industrial hub, thanks to the FIAT factory, and is now a relaxed and elegant city.
Highlights of the visit will include the Royal Palace, the cathedral, the verdant Parco del Valentino, along the river Po, and the Automobile Museum.
Weather permitting, we’ll walk up a hill to photograph a great view of the city, with the sun setting behind the Alps that surround it.
We will return to Milan at night. (B, L, D)
Dish of the day: Ravioli del plin
Wine of the day: Barolo delle Langhe
May 24 | Lake Como
In the morning, we take a local train to the city of Como, on the shores of the eponymous lake. From there, we take a boat that will take us to some beautiful towns along the shore, like Lenno, with its beautiful Villa del Balbianello (a FAI Heritage site), Bellagio, and Varenna.
In the evening, we return to Milan by train from Varenna. (B, L, D)
Dish of the day: Pizzoccheri
Wine of the day: Sforzato della Valtellina
May 25 | Verona
After spending some more time in Milan, in the afternoon we take a train to Verona, which will be our base for the next three nights. We will spend the rest of the day visiting the city of Romeo and Juliet and its many Roman and medieval monuments, including the famous Arena.
At sunset, we will enjoy a view of the city from a hill across the Adige River. (B, L, D)
Dish of the day: Lesso e pearà
Wine of the day: Amarone della Valpolicella
May 26 | Vicenza and Padua
In the morning, we do a quick train transfer to the city of Vicenza, which has many interesting monuments to visit, starting with the Basilica Palladiana, designed by the famous architect Andrea Palladio, and the Teatro Olimpico.
From Vicenza, another short train ride takes us to Padua, a major religious center in the Middle Ages that boasts monuments like the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua, the Palazzo della Ragione, and the Cappella degli Scrovegni, with its frescoes painted by Giotto.
We will return to Verona in the evening. (B, L, D)
Dish of the day: Baccalà alla vicentina
Wine of the day: Colli Euganei Rosso
May 27 | Lake Garda
The day will be dedicated to exploring the Lake Garda area. Garda is the largest Italian lake, with a coastline dotted by spectacular towns. It is also blessed with mild climate the whole year round.
We will start our exploration from Desenzano, which we will reach with a short train ride from Verona. From there, we will be touching locations like Sirmione, an ancient Roman city that was once the home of Latin poet Catullus, and Gardone, where another Italian poet and writer, Gabriele D’Annunzio, built his mansion.
In the evening, we will return to Verona. (B, L, D)
Dish of the day: Risotto con la tinca.
Wine of the day: Bardolino
May 28 - May 30 | Cortina d’Ampezzo
Right after breakfast, we board our private van for the drive to Cortina d’Ampezzo (about 3 hours).
After lunch and check-in at the hotel, the afternoon will be occupied with a tour of Lakes Misurina and Antorno and an excursion to the Tre Cime. The latter requires a 1-hour hike that is along an easy unpaved road for the first part but climbs sensibly near the end. Doable for people who have no problems walking, but keep in mind we're at altitude (about 2,400m or app. 8,000 feet) so air is thinner and those who have breathing issues might find it difficult.
The following day we'll visit locations such as Cinque Torri, Passo Falzarego, Lake Limides, Colle Santa Lucia, Passo Giau. We may do a sunset shoot at Passo Giau, which will require walking up a small, but steep grassy hill (10-15 minutes). Short walks on easy terrain might be required at some locations.
The following morning, we will do a sunrise photo shoot at Lake Federa or some other location, depending on weather conditions. We will leave the program for the rest of the day open, in order to possibly visit locations that we skipped because of bad weather or lack of time.
On the last day, we will do another sunrise session in a location like Misurina, Passo Giau, Cinque Torri, or some other. After breakfast and checkout, we will transfer from Cortina to Val Gardena, visiting Lake Dobbiaco and Lake Braies along the way.
In the afternoon we will drive to Val di Funes and do a sunset shoot at Santa Maddalena, which involves an easy 15 minutes' walk along a road to reach a viewpoint.
We will stay in Ortisei or Santa Cristina. (B, L, D)
Dish of the day(s): Casunziei
Wine of the day(s): Croda Rossa
May 31 - Jun 1 | Val Gardena
In the early morning, we will drive to Alpe di Siusi, where we will photograph the sunrise. Visiting the Alpe will require some walking on roads or easy trails. We will have breakfast on the road and then drive to other locations, like Lake Carezza or Baita Segantini.
In the afternoon, we will use the cableway to reach the Seceda ridge, which affords amazing 360° views over the surrounding valleys and mountain groups.
Again, we will keep the program for the last day open, but it might include excursions to Passo Sella, Passo Gardena, Passo Pordoi and Val Badia. A good spot for sunset could be the church of St. Jakob in Ortisei,
This will also be a day to relax a bit more and review images taken during the previous day, in anticipation of the long transfer that awaits us tomorrow. (B, L, D)
Dish of the day(s): Canederli
Wine of the day(s): Traminer
June 2 | Return to Milan
On this day, we might consider another sunrise shoot in a nearby location, if we feel like it.
After breakfast and checkout, we drive back to Verona (2.5 hours) where we return our van and board a fast train back to Milan (1.5 hours) where we will spend our final night. (B, L, D)
Dish of the day: Cotoletta milanese
Wine of the day: Rosso San Colombano
June 3 | Flights back home
Please note that this is subject to change, depending on weather conditions. The weather in the mountains is always unpredictable, so we'll have to be flexible and ready to change our itinerary at the last minute.
What To Take (These are only suggestions, they are NOT required!)
Our list of Recommended Gear for your Photo Tour
· 2 camera bodies—the same manufacturer that will fit all your lenses
· Camera battery charger and cords
· Bring as much memory as possible
· Card Reader for file transfer
· External SSD drives for back up (we recommend a minimum of a 1TB)
· Black Rapid camera strap
· Extra batteries
· Lenses Medium telephoto, Fixed, Wide angle & Macro lens that give you a wide range
of length. 10mm to 400mm if possible
· 1.4x or 2x teleconverter for the telephoto—same brand as lens
· Tripod and head
· Flash—strobe with automatic TTL fill flash capabilities or Reflector
· Photo backpack
· Lens cloth and cleaning fluid
· Blower ball for dust
· Circular polarizing filter
· Grad ND filters
· Rain sleeve for camera and lens
· Cable or electronic shutter release
· Current version of Photoshop or Lightroom
· International power adapters
· Multiple plug international power strip & adaptor
· Sensor cleaning supplies
Make sure to pack a warm layer or two for our time in the Dolomites as temps can change quickly and mornings and evenings can be COLD. A rain jacket, warm (wool or wool blend) socks, gloves, a hat, and good hiking shoes are essential too.
GUESTS SHOULD PACK LIGHT. YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO CARRY, ROLL, SCHLEP, AND/OR OTHERWISE TRANSPORT YOUR OWN BAGS AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL PLACES ON THIS TRIP. PACKING LIGHT WILL MAKE YOUR TRIP MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE. LAUNDRY SERVICES ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE.
M&M RULE OF THUMB IS ONE BAG FOR CAMERA GEAR AND ONE 20-22"" ROLLER FOR YOUR CLOTHES AND TOILETRIES. INVEST IN A TRAVEL TRIPOD - BENRO HAS MANY OPTIONS.
MEDICAL DEVICES SUCH AS CPAP MACHINES ARE EXCLUDED FROM THIS RECOMMENDATION.
Tour Difficulty = Moderate+
Easy = less than 2 miles walking/day and little climbing; Moderate = up to 5 miles walking per day with some climbing; Strenuous = more than 5 miles/day of walking and several climbing/hills/rough terrain expected. You should know your health and ability to carry your gear in hot, cold, humid, and dry conditions and be able to walk 5 miles or more per day and make climbs in elevation of up to 1000 feet in gain and be OK climbing many steps or steep terrain.
Pursuant to Clause 2 under Enrollment: If you need to cancel within a stated refund period, M&M Photo Tours, Inc. may allow you to apply all monies paid to a future trip, within 12 months. We must receive written notification (E-mail is accepted) of your cancellation and your desire to apply the funds to a future trip.
We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance as this policy is strongly adhered to. The purchase of travel insurance covering baggage, accident/life and trip cancellation is highly recommended. M&M Photo Tours, Inc. reserves the right to cancel any trip/tour/group due to insufficient registration at any time. In the event of such cancellation, those with reservations shall be notified as soon as possible and a full refund of trip payment will be given. It is agreed by registering for any M&M Photo Tours, Inc. tour that M&M Photo Tours, Inc. assumes no responsibility for refund or additional expenses incurred in preparation for a trip.
Travel Insurance is suggested. We recommend www.insuremytrip.com
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