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Travel Photography in Italy Info

Course Description

Successful travel photography is more than just recording images of beautiful places and things. In this class students will learn how to capture the spirit of a location through research and discovery, using their own personal point of view as a starting point. Through real-life exercises, students will learn how to successfully navigate new locations and cultures. They will be offered tips on how to find compelling subjects and maximize various lighting situations regardless of climate or time of day. All participants will learn basic camera operations for both film and digital picture taking. Additionally, students will be introduced to the various tools used to digitally process, edit and enhance their images in order to tell stories through their photography as well as sharing their photography via online presentations and printed photography books.

Once acquired, these skills will be put into practical use in the field during a unique ten day trip through the Italian regions of Rome, Naples, Venice and Florence. Ultimately, students will enlarge their images for a show in the Vogt Gallery on the fourth floor of Lyons Hall.

Monday, July 6, 2009-Depart for Rome

Overnight international flight to Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci Airport. Meal service will be provided and an evening’s rest is suggested as the following days will be fast paced and visually exciting. Please note a valid passport is required for entry into Italy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009-Arrival in Rome, Train Departure to Castellammare

Upon arrival in Rome students will clear customs and board a train bound for the small Italian coastal town of Castellammare di Stabaie. Overlooking the Bay of Naples, our accommodations for the following four days will be the Vesuvian Institute, home of the Restoring Ancient Stabiae Foundation. Its mission is to excavate nearby ancient archeological sites buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79. These sites, while less frequently viewed than their neighbor Pompeii, nonetheless provide an unearthed view of one of the hottest and most happening resorts in ancient times . Upon arrival, the group will be served lunch and then have the opportunity photograph the winding streets that lead to the waterfront boardwalk. Among the many important aspects of travel photography is the ability to recognize the important role that the time of day plays in the appearance of the landscape. Throughout the trip we will photographing the countryside at this time taking advantage of the beauty and warmth the sun provides as it’s setting over the Mediterranean.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009-Tour Stabiae Ruins

Today the group will visit the ruins of Stabiae. The archaeological remains of Stabiae were originally discovered in 1749 but were reburied and not rediscovered until 1950. The villas in Stabiae provide us with a glimpse into the life of wealthy Romans at a seaside resort during the pinnacle of the Roman Empire. Students will photograph beautiful frescoes, sculptures, mosaics, and architecture, which show styles and themes comparable to those found in Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Thursday, July 9, 2009-Sorrento & Amalfi

With its steep cliffs and terraced landscape, Sorrento’s position high above the sea provides magnificent views of the coastline and the villas that line it. Students can take the steep walk down to the waterfront where swimming alcoves are dotted with colorful beach umbrellas and rows of cabanas reaching out into the sea. Following lunch, the group will take the breathtaking bus ride to Amalfi. It doesn't get much better than this vista of the sea, sky, cliffs and hills that unfold. You'll pass hidden beaches, isolated homes, colorful splashes of blazing flowers and curves in the road that will make your heart race.

Friday, July 10, 2009-Capri

One of the most fabled Islands in the world, Capri is famous for its Blue Grotto. After taking a hydrofoil to the island, the group will board a small boat to visit the grotto early in the morning when you will be amazed by the glowing blue water, shining with a mysterious light that comes from below. The boat tour will return you to Marina Grande, where you can take the funicular up the steep hillside to Capri Village, which has most of the island's shops, restaurants and hotels. The day will conclude with a walk along Via Tiberio, up a hill to the ancient ruins of the Villa Jovis, palace of Emperor Tiberius, the largest preserved archaeological site on the island. The spectacular setting shows why Tiberius chose this spot.

Saturday, July 11, 2009-Train to Florence

Leaving the south of Italy, our journey will now take us to Florence, one of the world’s greatest artistic centers. A midday arrival will allow for exploration of this city and a walk across the Ponte Vecchio, one of the few bridges that survived the devastation of World war II bombings.

Sunday, July 12, 2009-Florence

From the red dome of the main cathedral designed by Brunelleschi, to the David by Michelangelo, to the Church of Santa Croce, where Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Galileo have magnificent tombs, we will explore this fascinating and historical city. There is art everywhere you turn, amazing architecture, open air markets and the delicious smells of freshly made pizza, bread and pastry .  We’ll walk the same streets as the Medici’s, the powerful banking family who were so important to Florence as patrons of the arts, and as assassins to their foes.   It was here that Renaissance masters such as Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo all lived and worked.

Monday, July 13, 2009-Train to Venice

Departing Florence, the group will board a train bound for Venice. This city is entirely surrounded by water and upon entering this magical place you will witness the improvised ballet of boats navigating the canals and waterways as we make our way to our hotel. In this beautiful place you will find not one car, not one motorbike, not one moped, not one scooter and not even the least bicycle; We will spend the next two days walking across the series of bridges that connect the tiny islands that make up the labyrinth and traveling on the complex system of water transportation that makes Venice one of the most unique places in the world.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009-Venice

We will start the day off with a visit to The Basilica di San Marco, Piazza San Marco, an amazing 11th century Byzantine basilica surrounded by elegant 18th century coffee houses and a glass and marble mosaic pavement. Later in the day we will venture to the islands of Murano and Burano, world-famous for their glass making and colorful houses. Finally, the day will be concluded with a gondola ride, sure to be one of the highlights of this trip.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009-Rome

Sadly we will be leaving Venice however the grandeur and history of Rome awaits our next stop. Your accommodations while in Rome will be the BenhouseRoma which is located approximately 2 blocks from the vatican. After checking in, we will then visit the Spanish Steps and the posh area that the likes of Gucci and Prada call home. Later this afternoon, you explore the Eternal City and photograph some of its most famous piazzas and fountains including the The Trevi Fountain illuminated at night. The day will be concluded with a spectacular walk across the Tiber River to the Colesseum and the Roman Forum to photograph the city as dusk approaches and the ancient ruins are awash in light.

Thursday, July 16, 2009-Return

As we bid farewell to Italy an early morning visit to St. Peter’s Basilica will conclude our photographic tour.. Bathed in columns of light, the center of the Catholic Church will provide a spectacular finish before the group heads to the airport for a return flight home.

Travel Photography is a 3 credit course including both classroom instruction and travel to Italy . This class is offered as part of the Canisius College Summer Session with travel to Italy taking place from July 6-16, 2009. The fee for Travel Photography (FAS 122) is $3,299.00. This fee includes airfare, lodging, ground transportation and two meals per day. This fee is in addition to tuition. There is no required prerequisite for this class however students must provide either their own film or digital camera and must have a valid passport which expires no sooner than December 16, 2009

The instructor for this class is Thomas A. Wolf. For more information on the instructor and to view photographs of previous participants please go to and select the Travel Photography in Italy link or send an email to