Here are a few of my favourite shots from my recent trip. Each photo tells a unique story and has a special place in my heart.
Calabria is an ancient principality in south west Italy (the toe of the boot). A region that has been subject to invasions for centuries by the Greeks, Spanish, Byzantines and Normans. It is both remarkable and enticing for the opportunity it presents to capture Italy at its most authentic and interesting. The Calabrian peninsula with the Ionian Sea to the east and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west is separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina. We will be staying in the northern Province of Cosenza at the Grand Hotel SanMichele. Our hosts, Andrea and Ornella, are the third generation to run this family-owned hotel. They have created a warm, welcoming and friendly environment in their hotel that is nestled up against the cliffs, from where you gaze across lemon, orange and olive groves to the Tyrrhenian coastline a 100 ft below.
Saturday 4 May to Saturday11 May 2024
Eight days and seven nights
The Cost : £1,575.00
Where we will be staying
Grand Hotel San Michele, Cetraro, Calabria
The price includes:
Photographic tuition, half board at San Michele, a local wine tasting, aperitifs on early Tuesday evening, transport during the workshop and transfers to and from Lamezia airport if travelling from on the recommended flights:
Ryanair - Flight times still to be scheduled for next May
This is mandatory for the trip. You will need to arrange your own
personal/travel and photographic equipment insurance for the week.
You will met by taxi or minibus at Lamezia or Naples airport and I will be waiting for you at the Grand Hotel San Michele. There will be ample time to unpack and settle in, take the lift down to the hotel’s beach, enjoy a light lunch and maybe a swim. Late afternoon Ornella will show us around the hotel and farm followed by tasting some of the local wines and chatting about photography.
After a leisurely breakfast we will visit the sleepy hilltop towns of Belvedera and Maiera. We will meander through the narrow alleys, across the piazza and go into the late baroque churches, surrounded by a huddle of houses. The lanes are steep, but once you get to the top there are some magnificent views of the mountains and the Tyrrhenian coastline. We will return to San Michele mid-afternoon to allow time to download and review everyone’s pictures.
We will spend most of the day photographing around the hotel and the organic farm. When I visited last March, they were cutting asparagus and artichokes. At the beginning of May, they will be busy picking the last of the oranges and lemons and harvesting courgettes and beans. In the late afternoon, we will go to Diamante, a coastal resort, to photograph the street art.
The day will be spent visiting the medieval town of Altomente, in the heart of the province of Cosenza. The journey to this hilltop town, winds up through the mountains and across an agricultural plain dotted with orchards, olive and orange groves. We will focus our attention on the vernacular architecture with its narrow houses, ancient churches, monastery and cloisters, and take in the view of the Pollino massif mountains. We will return late afternoon so there will be time to relax and download your pictures before supper.
Time to relax by the sea, go for a swim or take a leisurely stroll by the coast, past the fishing boats and the marina into new Cetraro. The old part of the town is perched on the rocks overlooking the coastal plain. In the late afternoon we will have aperitifs at the Villa Cirimarco, which is tucked in the mountains and has spectacular views of the local landscape
The Sila Mountains of Calabria, known locally just as ‘Sila’, is a massive mountain range stretching over three provinces, from Cosenza in the north to Catanzaro in the south. It is renowned for its cool, crisp air, alleged to be the cleanest air in Europe. In May, the wildflowers should be at their peak. We will spend most of the day exploring this region, with its wide valleys, meandering rivers and rugged foothills. When we return to San Michelle there will be time to download and review everyone’s images before supper.
On our last full day, we will visit the old part of Cetraro, nestled up against the hillside. On Fridays some local farmers will be selling their produce in the main square by the fountain. The cafes will be busy yet the narrow streets and alleyways off the piazza will be empty and the grand churches offer a peaceful retreat. If there is time, we will visit the Museum of Brettii before we return to San Michelle. After lunch at the hotel’s beach cafe there will be ample opportunity to download your photos and select your favourite images from the trip for the final review before supper.
In the morning, we will have a leisurely breakfast before heading off to the airport and home with a camera full of wonderful images and a head full of memories. Please note the itinerary might be subject to alteration. To reserve your place on the trip, contact me on the email below.