Our First Photo Tour to Italy: A Success!

By Allie Richards

I know it's been awhile since I last posted, which makes sense considering how busy it's been in the "off-season." It's fitting my last post was about Italy, since I just returned home from there again. I led a photo-tour to the big 3: Rome, Florence & Venice for just over a week in March. 

 Gondolas in Venice at blue hour before sunrise - it was snowing! © Paul Nguyen

Gondolas in Venice at blue hour before sunrise - it was snowing! © Paul Nguyen

 a panoramic shot during sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo © Paul Nguyen

a panoramic shot during sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo © Paul Nguyen

I was a bit nervous to have the responsibility to guide first-timers around these places with BlueHour. This tour was the first of its kind, since nearly every tour we do is almost solely focused around landscapes and landscape photography. Italy is very, very different, especially when it comes to tourism sites like Rome. We were able to fit in the very best these cities had to offer in a short amount of time. I was really happy with how it all came together! Though, with some changes, which we will be implementing in the future. 

I'm proud of the shots I managed to make on this trip! I was looking forward to visiting Burano most, since I had never been and it was a stop I missed on the first go-round to Venice. Even though it was raining on that day, the rainbow-painted houses are a sight to see!

 The Vatican Museum © Allie Richards

The Vatican Museum © Allie Richards

We also made a couple of timelapses this time of the Colosseum at night:

I think one of the best parts about Italy, and I don't think anyone would disagree, is the food. I was able to revisit some of my favorite restaurants again, with the addition of trying the famous Florentine Steak! We even did a wine-tasting outside of Siena, which are always so much fun. I learned something brand new over the course of that day - all about Balsamic Vinegar. I had no idea how "the real thing" tasted, and I didn't know I would like it. We got to sample 12-year and 20-year aged Balsamic, and I think it might have changed lives!! I'll never look at Balsamic the same way again, and no more cheap stuff for me! I made sure to take plenty of photos of our culinary experiences:

And, the blog wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention our stop at the Florentine leather school, where I bought myself a nice leather trench coat, and our tour-goers made some quality purchases as well. If you're going to buy leather goods anywhere, Florence is the place to do it.

After the conclusion of the tour, Paul and I stayed an extra couple of days to scout out new locations for a new Italy tour. Our next stop will be Southern Italy, where we'll take photographers to locations like Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast (it will be warmer there too!). It was a nice change of pace to visit the much quieter Amalfi & Positano, compared to the likes of Florence and Rome. 

 Positano, sunset © Allie Richards

Positano, sunset © Allie Richards

 Positano, after sunset © Paul Nguyen

Positano, after sunset © Paul Nguyen

I even made a "cat series" of photographs, since Italy, especially southern Italy, has so many of them scurrying around. They'll make a nice addition to my existing ones!

Interested in our 2019 tour? Send us a message so we can put you on our 'shortlist,' and we'll email you details when we're closer to our tour announcement before anyone else!