Italy: Venice and The Dolomites

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Join Randy Hanna on this very small group (only 8 guests) workshop and photograph the beauty of autumn in Italy’s Venice and The Dolomites! You’ll be expertly guided by Randy and Paolo DeFaveri to both iconic and off-the-beaten track locations. Expect to shoot from sunrise to sunset, and even in the night! Everything’s included, so just pack up your gear and get ready for an amazing photography adventure.






October 8–15, 2017

Fitness Level:

Medium, some short hikes at elevation

Your Pros:

Randy Hanna
Paolo DeFavere


Sold Out

Randy did a wonderful job of getting us to the really great shooting locations. Furthermore, and even more importantly for me, he responded to requests for help in setting up and improving shots without being overbearing and trying to do it all for me.
— Linda Hansen, Palouse '16

Itinerary and General Information

October 8, 2017: Arrive in Venice (VCE) on or before this day. We will meet at our hotel at 3:00 pm. After introductions, we'll go through the entire workshop schedule and we’ll level set on artistic and technical goals for everyone. We shoot sunset from Riva degli Schiavoni, the large footpath along the basin of San Marco. Dinner follows, and then if it’s not too cool, and with good weather, we can take some night photos at either Rialto Bridge or San Marco Square.

October 9, 2017: Sunrise shoot at Riva degli Schiavoni, we will photograph the sun rising behind San Giorgio Maggiore, with San Marco Square, Doge’s Palace and gondolas in the foreground.

Morning: we will have breakfast at around 9:00 am, either back at the hotel or at one of the many bars in Venice, and then we will take a walk on the Calles and Canals surrounding San Marco‘s square, photographing some of the most famous landmark of the Serenissima (San Marco Cathedral and Bell Tower, Doge’s Palace, Biblioteca Marciana). We will also look for small, intimate subjects such as architectural elements, pavements paths and textures, shop’s windows, friezes, building facades, etc. Of course, if we have acqua alta  (the high tide that occasionallyfloods many areas of Venice—and particularly San Marco), then we will focus and spend more time on this amazing phenomenon, as San Marco square is simply gorgeous with acqua alta and the related reflections.

Afternoon and sunset: we will have a quick lunch at a bar or trattoria, and then we will get back to Riva degli Schiavoni for taking the vaporetto nr. 2 (water bus) to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. We will spend the rest of the day visiting the small island and the cathedral, and will go atop the bell tower, where we will enjoy an unobstructed view of the whole city. Later, we will shoot the warm light of sunset gently tinging with reds and oranges the whole skyline of Venice from the wonderful vantage point provided by the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.

Dinner follows, and afterwards, as an option, we could still shoot for approximately an hour after dinner, either at the Accademia bridge or Riva degli Schiavoni.

October 10, 2017: Whole day: We will take the ferry to Burano at around 10:00 am. We will spend the rest of the day shooting the wonderful, crazily saturated colors of the houses of this amazing, small floating village. Burano is one of those photographer’s playground where possibilities are simply infinite. We will shoot wide vistas, near to far compositions with wide angle lenses, geometries and textures, particularly focusing on the wonderful reflections in the canals’ waters.

Sunset shoot from the small harbor of Burano, with sidewalks, lamp posts, jetties, boats, ripples, and reflections in the water as a foreground, and the Venice skyline as a background, far in the distance.

October 11, 2017: Sunrise shoot from Punta della Dogana.  We will photograph the sun rising behind the island of Giudecca and San Giorgio, with the churches of Redentore and San Giorgio in the background. We will photograph the sun rising over the San Marco Basin and behind San Giorgio Maggiore, with the old-style lamppost that has replaced the statue in the foreground.

Morning: we will have breakfast at around 8:30 am at the hotel, then we will leave Venice and head to the Dolomites. We will drive north on the motorway A27 and then on state roads, heading to San Martino di Castrozza in the province of Trento. We will have lunch in San Martino.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will take the road that from San Martino climbs up to Passo Rolle, a high altitude pass linking the valley of Primiero with the Fiemme Valley. This pass is a wonderful viewpoint on the group of the Pale di San Martino, one of the most famous massif of the Western Dolomites. We will shoot in this area for the rest of the day, waiting for the sunset in val Venegia, a wonderful, enchanted valley just below the pass.

Evening: After sunset, we will get back to the cars and drive to Carezza, where we will have a late dinner, and spend the night at one of the hotels in town.

October 12, 2017: Sunrise shoot at Carezza lake.  This is a small alpine lake completely surrounded by a wonderful forest of pines and larches, and it’s one of the best locations for photographing the Latemar and Catenaccio groups at sunrise or sunset.  We will then get back to the hotel for breakfast.

Morning: After breakfast, we will take the car and drive in the Fassa valley up to Canazei and from there up to the Sella pass, one of the most important passes of the Dolomites, linking the Fassa Valley to the Gardena Valley. Along the road that climbs up to the pass with sharp, hairpin turns, there are many wonderful view points on some of the most famous groups of the Dolomites, such as the Marmolada, the Sella Towers, Sasso Lungo and Sasso Piatto group, Odle range, etc. We will spend the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon shooting at this location. At around 2:00 pm we will head back to the cars and from the Sella pass we will drive to the Funes valley where we will spend the rest of the day.

Sunset: We will wait for sunset at the famous Sankt Johann in Ranui’s church in the small hamlet of Santa Magdalena, with the jagged peaks of the Odle range in the background. We will stay overnight at a hotel in Funes.

October 13, 2017: Sunrise: We will wake early at 5:00 am, pack up and head to the Erbe Pass, a high altitude road pass linking the Funes Valley to the Badia Valley. We will photograph here at sunrise the amazing jagged peaks of the Sass de Putia (Peitlerkofel) group.

Morning: After the sunrise shoot, we will drive down to Badia Valley and we will stop in the small town of Badia, where we will have breakfast. 

Rest of the day: After breakfast, we will keep driving south in the Badia Valley and we will stop at the rifugio Capanna Alpina at the entrance of the Fanes, Valley, a side valley of the Badia valley. From here, with an easy trek of about 2 hours one way, 6 kms long and 400 mts of elevation gain (4 miles and 1,200 ft) we will reach the enchanted plateau of Malga di Fanes, a marvelous location in the centre of the Lagazuoi group, with small lakes, streams, prairies and amazing peaks such as the Conturines range, Lagazuoi and Piz Taibon. After our picnic lunch, we will get back to the car, and we will head to our hotel in Cortina.

Sunset shoot: We will leave the hotel at around 4:30 pm, heading to Antorno Lake, a small alpine lake surrounded by a beautiful evergreen forest, where we will photograph the Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Drei Zinnen), probably the most famous massif of the Dolomites, shining in the pink light of the setting sun, and reflected in the calm waters of the lake.

October 14, 2017: Sunrise: We will wake at around 5:30 am, and will drive to Landro Lake. This is a small lake in the Alta Pusteria valley, and it’s the best location for photographing the Cristallo group at sunrise. After the sunrise shoot, we will get back to the hotel for breakfast.

Rest of the day: After breakfast, we will drive up to the Rifugio Auronzo, a mountain hut at 2,300 mts of altitude, lying in the prairies at the foot of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Group. From the prairies surrounding the rifugio it is possible to enjoy a 180° unobstructed view on some of the most beautiful massifs of the Ampezzo Dolomites, such as Cadini di Misurina, Cristallo, Mount Piana, Croda Rossa d'Ampezzo. We will shoot from this location for the rest of the morning and then, after a picnic with our packed lunch, we will head to the Rifugio Locatelli, reachable with an easy trek of about 4 kms and 150 mts of elevation gain (2.5 miles and 500 ft.). We will spend the rest of the day photographing the Tre Cime di Lavaredo from this very iconic location.

October 15, 2017: Sunrise: We will wake at around 5:15am, and will drive to the Rifugio Scoiattoli at the foot of the Cinque Torri group. We will shoot the sun rising on the Tofane and Lastoi de Formin groups. We will then spend approximately one more hour for visiting and photographing the trenches and the other vestiges of World War I, dug in 1915 by the Italian and the Austro-Hungarian troops all over this area.

Morning: After the sunrise shoot, we will get back to the hotel for breakfast, at around 10–10:30 am. Workshop concludes.

From here, we will transport you back to Venice Airport, and flights home or elsewhere can be made for anytime after 6pm.

What’s Included

  • Double Occupancy lodging (single available, just ask)
  • All meals and soft drinks during the workshop
  • All transportation during the workshop
  • Photographic guiding and instruction from two pros
  • Images reviews, critiques and post-processing instruction
  • Fun, inspiration and a great time

Whats Not Included?

International air travel. Travel and trip cancellation insurance. Alcoholic beverages. Items of a personal nature. Anything not specifically listed as included.

Payment Terms

Your deposit of $2,000 will hold your space in this workshop. Final payment of $3,495 will be due not later than July 1, 2017. All of our standard terms and conditions apply.

Additional Information

This small group (only 8 guests) workshop sells out fast. To secure your spot, click the "Sign Me Up!" button now and we'll see you in Italy!

A beautiful short film about Venice from National Geographic and director Oliver Astrologo.