This was the first trip for some time where I was in the company of friends. I was unsure what impact that would have on my photography, but I welcomed the promise of company and shared experiences. I was not disappointed. My friends Chris, Deb, Bob and Penny, had rented a villa outside the town of Certaldo, just 30 KM from Florence, with comfortable accommodations for all of us, and a great location for exploring Tuscany.
Another nice surprise was that the other two men in the group had just acquired Canon 5d cameras, and needed some help getting acquainted. Each morning the men got up early and went out shooting, and came home to a waiting breakfast, the ultimate luxury! It was fun watching these guys discover the joy of their cameras, and helping them where I could.
Each day we went to a new town in the afternoon, Siena, Florence, Certaldo, San Giamano, Montalpulciano, enjoying good food at each stop. We cooked our meals at home each night, enjoying the company, the breeze and the view.
At the end of the week, I spent a night in Florence, did some shooting there, then took the train the next day to Venice. Chris and Deb were also in Venice, so we continued our joint ventures some of the days. i met Elizabetta, a friend of Elke's, who acted as my guide for the stay. It made a huge difference having her help, and I will try to arrange similar facilities when i travel in future. Elizabetta taught me the history of Venice, and showed me places that the tourists do not go.
My favourite place was a distant island called Burano. The men fish, and the women make lace products. It was a charming place, and i will certainly return for a longer stay.
After my week in Venice I had three days in Rome, where I did all of the tourist sites that I missed the first visit. Loved the Pantheon the most, and I found a museum near the train station that had an amazing collection of Roman art including lots of mosaics.
A good trip, my fourth and possibly last visit to that country.