We made it back home in about 30 hours… Wow! Very tiring, but happy to be back.
The day before we left, a local gave us a tour of a private castello (castle) that dates back to the 10th century. Parts of it were destroyed and/or damaged and reconstructed over the centuries and it was at the center of a farming community. It sits on the highest point between Florence and Siena, which made it a strategic location throughout history. One can see for miles in all directions from the top of the high tower. The current owners’ family purchased the property in the late 1800s. They make their own wine, olive oil and honey. Also on the grounds was a Romanesque church from the same time period- I thought the old wooden doors and stone walls were beautiful with the dappled light coming through the adjacent oak forest.
Thinking about our May Villages of Tuscany tour, I was inspired to cook Tuscan last night… For our “Primi Piati” I made a traditional country Zuppa di Cavolo con Fagioli (Cabbage Soup with Beans), with crusty garlic bread in the bottom of the bowl. For our “Secondi Piatti” I made Zucchini Farcito (Stuffed Zucchini), and for “Dolci” (desert), Caffe in Forchetta (Coffee on a Fork- a coffee flavored custard). Mmmm, Buon Appetito!
We drank a nice California wine that went very well with the soup and the zucchini…
It’s always fun to taste a bit of culture before you go somewhere!
FYI- We still have room in our March 19th Digital Photo Basics Workshop in Scottsdale!
Please join us this weekend! We will be at the Sonoran Arts League Annual Festival of Fine Art in Cave Creek and this will be our last show in the Phoenix area until fall. The show will be at the Stagecoach Village Friday through Sunday, 10AM-5PM each day.
Here is Joel’s new release, Cantina Antica. I love how Joel captured the feel of the old Tuscan winery. In fact the winery is centuries old, and in the same family the whole time. And the wine wasn’t bad either! To visit this winery and more, join us on our Villages of Tuscany tour in May…
In recent news, we completed a couple more workshops in January, Basics in Scottsdale, and another Adobe Lightroom class in Flagstaff. Lightroom is a great piece of software… and I don’t say that very often!
We only have a couple spots left on our Tuscany tour in May and it should be an amazing trip as always (see back posts on the blog if you’re interested in what we’ve done in the past). We’re working on a fun new location so there is a possibility we may not do it again next year! We will have more information on this in a few months… However, if you or someone you know is interested in Tuscany, take advantage of it this year. We’d love to have you!
This image is from 2010- that’s our village!
Join us November 10th for a special evening where Joel will take you on a tour of Italy. He’ll show some of his favorite images on the big screen. During the presentation, Joel will share stories and techniques behind the images providing useful tips on how to take your own stunning travel photos. Time will be allowed for a Question and Answer period after the presentation.
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Date: November 10th, 2010
$10 per person for reservations made by Nov 1st ($15 per person after that or at the door).
Light refreshments will be served. Advance reservations are required.
Proceeds from this event benefit the Arizona Art Alliance and the Sonoran Arts League.
Click here for a sneak preview of some of the Images of Italy
Ciao! Hope to see you there…
We’re now booking our 2011 Villages of Tuscany workshop! It will be a unique cultural and visual journey. Visit some previous posts to get an idea of what we do. The dates are 14-21 May, 2011*. As always, we include 7 nights accommodation, in-country transportation, many wonderful meals, wine tasting, and much more! We’re really excited for another great trip. Click here to see a full description.
*We can also arrange a similar tour for private groups to Tuscany or Provence! Contact us for more information…
Ciao for now.
After doing an art show within days of our return from Europe, I think we’ll take a day off! Then, this will be our week to “catch up.”
In this post is a mid-day shot of our home base village for our Villages of Provence workshop in September. In fact, the view from our hotel is very similar to this- pretty spectacular! They have a wonderful open air market here that we will photograph with our group, as well as beautiful nearby villages, an abbey, vineyards during the harvest, a winery, oh and did I mention the food? The list goes on…
A tout à l’heure! (See you later!)
Here’s our group shot in the winery where we had a wonderful Tuscan lunch of homemade breads, sausages, pecorino cheeses, and of course a wine tasting! All were products of this family winery dating back centuries. The well surrounded by flowers is in our very own little village- built in the 15th century- and recently part of a flower festival that ended a week ago. They only just took the beautiful display down today.
A Domani! (Until Tomorrow!)
This morning it felt like it would be cold, gray and rainy all day. Just look at the fog in a nearby village… but Provence showed its true colors this afternoon and the rain clouds cleared out to beautiful sunshine! We visited a picturesque winery, which is on the schedule for our September workshop/tour. The leaves are young and lime green now, but in September they begin the harvest, so the vines will be full of plump grapes. Let me also say that the wine is very good… in fact we’re drinking some with dinner tonight!
Hope you enjoy my photos!
We were sad to see everyone leave, but the workshop was wonderful! I think we enjoyed it as much as our participants did. Our last day, we visited a beautiful walled medieval village with ancient wine cellars and a local organic farm where they make amazing sheep cheese, among other wonderful things. We had what was very nearly my favorite meal of the trip at the farm, which is saying a lot. And of course the adorable great pyrenee puppy- nearly 5 weeks old- won all our hearts! I think everyone was impressed by their own photographs at our “Greatest Hits” slide show.
Joel and I are now in Le Marche and hope to find some treasures to photograph in the area. We are going to a town celebration dinner tonight, which should be a lot of fun… and tasty of course.