Sea-Girt Villages of Italy (Autumn 2015)

Sea-Girt Villages of Italy Photography Adventure with Harold Davis


This once in a lifetime trip focuses on some particularly photogenic areas of Italy, and gives us time to get to know these special places so we can come home with incredibly unique imagery. We will photograph in an extremely small group and get to know Cinque Terre (recognized as one of the best places to photograph in the world!), Naples, the island of Capri, and Positano and the Amalfi Coast.

The detailed itinerary follows below (please scroll down). Click here to register.

These are wonderful and special areas with their own charms. They embody the Italian culture and the picturesque nature of sea-girt villages clinging to the sides of mountains facing the ocean. The pacing of this trip allows us time to explore and photograph. We will focus on four major locations, viewing them in depth. Our small group size will allow Harold Davis to give you individual attention as you photograph.

Harold believes that where one stays is extremely important in travel photography. The hotels on this journey are 4-star where available and have been hand-selected by Harold for quality, location, and photogenic charm.

The pacing of this over-two-week trip allows for variety, but we won’t be moving every night. That way, we can really get to know lovely areas such as Cinque Terre on the Ligurian Sea, and Positano on the Amalfi coast. The Photographic Adventure starts in Florence and ends in Naples, so those folks with additional time can add optional excursions to other Italian destinations either before or after this trip.

Dates: Wednesday October 28, 2015 (leave United States October 27) – November 11, 2015 (15 days and 14 nights).

Group size: Maximum of six.

Cost: $6,495.00 per person (excluding airfare, single supplement $925.00 additional). Includes all accommodations, many meals, transportation and extras per the Itinerary and Inclusions shown below.

Registration: Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, and requires a $500 deposit and an application form. Click here to register.

Harold Davis-2015 Italy Tour


Day 1: October 28, 2015 (D)

Arrive in Florence, Italy—the capital of Tuscany and the birthplace of the Renaissance. We will be staying in a central, charming location that is ideal for exploring the wonders of Florence. Please consider arriving a few days early to explore Florence on your own. It is a magical city full of history, architecture, and great art.

Group meets in lobby of hotel at 3PM

Walking tour of Florence

Welcome dinner

Hotel in Florence:  Hotel Balestri (or similar). This delightful hotel, situated in the heart of the Santa Croce district, is re-opening on January, 5th, 2015 following a complete renovation programme lasting more than a year and is now a boutique 4 star hotel with great charm and atmosphere. Its privileged position directly overlooking the Arno, a few minutes’ walk from the Ponte Vecchio, means that rooms have unique views of many different aspects of Florence: in one direction they overlook the stunning Renaissance palaces in the square or the rooftops of the city, including the campanile and Palazzo della Signoria, to the other side the Arno, Ponte Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo and as far as the hills of San Leonardo and San Miniato. The 50 rooms have undergone careful redecoration and are spacious and elegantly furnished. They are ideally suited to travellers in search of high quality service, comfort and stylish surroundings and offer a modern and comfortable environment for the whole family. The entrance hall has large windows and high ceilings and a timeless elegance. The wonderful location of the hotel makes it ideal for visiting the city and the ideal starting point for exploring Florence and the Oltrarno area, the true ‘Village of the city’.

Day 2: October 29, 2015 (B, D)

Morning: Free time in Florence

Afternoon: Transfer to Cinque Terre.

Private Coach to Monterosso and a stop en route in Pisa to photograph the famous Leaning Tower. Photographs of the Leaning Tower of Pisa have become a trope in their implementation of the illusion of forced perspective. With this famous background we will try our hands at playing with scale and forced perspective before continuing on to Cinque Terre.

Hotel: Margherita (Monterosso al Mare). The Hotel Margherita is a small, family run hotel surrounded by lemon, orange and olive trees in Monterosso, minutes from the beach and the Cinque Terre hiking trails. We will be staying at this hotel for four nights while we explore the extraordinary land and sea of Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre—or “Five Lands”—consists of the villages of Cornigilia, Manarola, Monterosso, Riomaggiore, and Vernazza on a beautiful, rugged portion of the Ligurian coast. Over the centuries, people have carefully built on the steep landscape right up the cliffs that overlook the sea. Paths, trains and boats connect these villages, but cars cannot reach them from the outside. Today Cinque Terre is largely protected by an Italian National Park.

Day 3: October 30, 2015 (B, L)

All-day guided tour by foot and train of Cinque Terre with lunch provided. We’ll use this day to discover the “lay of the land” in the five villages of Cinque Terre, how to get around, and to scout for locations we wish to return to photograph.

Hotel (per Day 2): Hotel Margherita (or similar)


Day 4: October 31, 2015 (B)

Free time and/or guided photography with Harold in Cinque Terre. This Day and Day 5 are for exploring Cinque Terre in depth, singly, in groups, and with Harold. Harold will also provide guided assignments, as well as technique and image review sessions.

Hotel (per Day 2): Hotel Margherita (or similar)


Day 5: November 1, 2015 (B)

Free time and/or guided photography with Harold in Cinque Terre

Hotel (per Day 2): Hotel Margherita (or similar)


Day 6: November 2, 2015 (B, L, D)

Morning: Transfer to Florence by coach.

Train to Naples.

Coach from Naples Station to Naples hotel.

Afternoon: Guided tour of Naples by motor-coach. The hurly-burly city of Naples, with the best pizza in Italy today, rests on the shores of the Gulf of Naples below Mt Vesuvius. From people to architecture to landscape, Naples is a spectacular city to explore and photograph.

Hotel: Palazzo Decumani (Naples), (or similar). This 4-star hotel is a centrally located, carefully restored palazzo. We will be staying at this palazzo for three nights while we explore Naples and the surrounding area, including Pompei and Mount Vesuvius.


Day 7: November 3, 2015 (B, D)

Morning: Free time in Naples

Afternoon: Guided tour of the ancient city of Pompei. Lost for 1,500 years, Pompei has been rediscovered from the ashes of the volcanic explosion that buried it and left it incredibly well preserved. It is one of the most popular attractions in Italy.

Hotel: Palazzo Decumani (Naples) (or similar)


Day 8: November 4, 2015 (B)

Morning: Guided tour of Mt. Vesuvio

Afternoon: Free time in Naples

Hotel: Palazzo Decumani (Naples) (or similar)


Day 9: November 5, 2015 (B, D)

Morning: Transfer by ferry to Capri (guide to meet transport)

Afternoon: Guided tour of Capri and Anacapri. Romantic, lush Capri has been a favored spot since the Roman Emperors built their vacation retreats here! We will be fortunate to explore the gardens, vistas, and romance of Capri off season, away from the crowds, and our cameras will come away with lush, dramatic images of this place of unparalleled beauty off the coast of the Bay of Naples.

Hotel: Boutique Hotel Casa Mariantonia (or similar). The original Casa Mariantonia, later expanded and modernized, was built in the first half of the 1800s. It was Mariantonia herself – great-grandmother of the hotel’s current hosts – who opened the first restaurant and inn here, an informal, family-style hostel where passing travelers were treated as family, sitting around dinner table and sharing the same dishes. Over the past centuries, guests including Alberto Moravia, Jean Paul Sarte, Elsa Morante, and Totò have broken bread with Mariantonia and her family. Today, some things have changed: bathrooms are no longer in common and travelers no longer have to arrive in Anacapri by donkey. But some have remained the same: the familiar feel and island warmth are as strong as they’ve always been.

We will be staying in this great location for two nights while we explore the fabulous island of Capri.

Day 10: November 6, 2015 (B)

Free time and/or guided photography with Harold in Capri. Day 10 is for exploring Capri in depth, singly, in groups, and with Harold. Harold will also provide guided assignments, as well as technique and image review sessions.

Hotel: Boutique Hotel Casa Mariantonia (Ana-Capri) (or similar)


Day 11: November 7, 2015 (B, D)

Transfer directly from the Island of Capri to Amalfi via hydrofoil. This amazing modern form of transport will whisk us exactly where we need to go in these ancient sea-girt lands.

Explore Amalfi on foot with guide (guide to meet transport)

Transfer via private motor-coach to Positano. “Positano bites deep”, wrote author John Steinbeck. “It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” One of the many amazing locations on the spectacular Amalfi coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea, this former fishing village steps up the spectacular coastal mountain side from the sparkling sea.

Hotel: Villa La Tartana (Positano), Villa “La Tartana” faces the beautiful sea of Positano. It takes only a few minutes to reach the famous “Spiaggia Grande” going down the Lion Steps. Villa “La Tartana” is a typical Positanasian house.
Recently renovated, it has not lost any of its original characteristic architecture, which has instead been enhanced.


Day 12: November 8, 2015 (B)

Free time and/or Guided photography with Harold in Positano. Day 10 is for exploring Positano and the surrounding area in depth, singly, in groups, and with Harold. Harold will also provide guided assignments, as well as technique and image review sessions.

Hotel: Villa La Tartana (Positano) (or similar).


Day 13: November 9, 2015 (B, L)

All-day guided motor-coach to Ravello and other points on the Amalfi coast. Ravello is a spectacular Unesco World Heritage site located high above the Amalfi coast. Coming up the scenic, twisting road to Ravello, one comes upon historic mansions and gardens. Beloved by artists, you may recognize Ravello as the backdrop for Humphrey Bogart in the classic film Beat the Devil (John Houseman directed it, and Truman Capote wrote the script).

Hotel: Villa La Tartana (Positano) (or similar)


Day 14: November 10, 2015 (B, D)

Morning: Guided tour to Paestum via private motor-coach. At the foot of the Amalfi Peninsula, facing the Tyrrhenian Sea, Paestum is probably the best-sited, best-preserved, and most photogenic Greek ruin on the Italian mainland.

Afternoon: Free time in Positano

Farewell dinner

Hotel: Villa La Tartana (Positano) (or similar)


Day 15: November 11, 2015 (B)

Transfer by private motor-coach to Naples airport for return to the US via Milan or to other points in Europe as privately arranged.

Meal codes: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner


  • 1 night in Florence, at Hotel Balestri or similar
  • 4 nights in Monterosso, at Hotel Margherita or similar
  • 3 nights in Naples, at Hotel Decumani or similar
  • 2 nights in Capri, at Boutique Hotel Casa Mariantonia or similar
  • 4 nights in Positano, at Villa La Tartana or similar
  • Meals: All breakfasts (14), 3 Lunches (as indicated), 7 Dinners (as indicated, including welcome and farewell dinners)
  • Welcome dinner in Florence
  • Guided tour of Florence with guide
  • Transfer by coach to Monterosso.
  • En route stop in Pisa; entrance fee to Leaning Tower included.
  • Guided tour by train from Monterosso to Vernazza and return. Lunch included, but not drinks.
  • Train to Naples
  • Guided tour of Naples with guide and coach
  • Guided tour of Pompei with coach and guide
  • Guided tour of Mt Vesuvio with coach and guide
  • Door to door transportation from Hotel in Naples to Hotel in Capri
  • Guided walking tour of Capri with guide
  • Transportation from Hotel in Capri to Hotel in Positano
  • Tour of Amalfi Coast with guide and coach
  • Coach to Ravello and Vietri
  • Guided tour to Paestum with guide (meet locally) and coach
  • Farewell dinner
  • Transfer to Naples Airport

Not Included:

  • City Tax to be paid at hotels
  • International Airfare
  • Any meals or entrance fees not in the above itinerary

Registration: Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, and requires a $500 deposit and an application form. Click here to register.