Tuscany landscape photography

Capture the landscapes and culture of San Quirico d'Orcua, Itlay


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Activity types:

  • Central location
  • History
  • Meadows & hills

Holiday overview

Join our experienced leader as we photograph classic Tuscan subjects - villages, architecture, markets and people - plus the Renaissance city of Siena. Whether you are a beginner wanting to learn more about basic camera settings, or an advanced photographer seeking new challenges, our expert leader will give you the encouragement and tuition you need to get the best out of your camera and that inspirational Tuscan vista. Suitable for all abilities.

Holiday highlights

  • Visit inspirational vistas of beautiful Tuscany
  • Spend most of the day outdoors seeking out the best light, colours and images
  • Our professional photography leader will guide and encourage
  • Small, sociable groups of up to 15 like-minded guests

Price includes 

  • Good quality en-suite accommodation in one of our European partner hotels
  • Half Board – continental breakfast and evening meal
  • Guidance and tuition from a knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
  • All transport to photography locations, via mini-coach or other mode of transport e.g. boat

In pictures...


Hotel Albergo Palazzuolo in San Quirico d'Orcia, Tuscany, Italy

The 3-star Hotel Albergo Palazzuolo is set in a peaceful location in the countryside surrounding the village of San Quirico, and is very convenient for the local amenities. This family owned hotel was originally an attractive farmhouse, extended on both sides to incorporate the bedrooms. This hotel has excellent views to the gentle hills of Montalcino. The hotel offers good standards of service and comfort and has a relaxing atmosphere after your day’s walking.

Your room

The hotel has 42 comfortable bedrooms, all en-suite with shower. 

All bedrooms also have:
  • TV
  • Telephone
  • Air conditioning
  • Fridge
  • Hairdryer
Hotel Albergo Palazzuolo bedroom


Hotel Albergo Palazzuolo lounge Hotel Albergo Palazzuolo facilities consists of:
  • Lounge
  • Bar
  • Terrace
  • Attractive gardens
  • Outdoor swimming pool (swimming hat is required)


Our holidays at Hotel Albergo Palazzuolo are on a Half Board basis and include breakfast and evening meal.

The self-select continental breakfast includes cereal, cheese and cooked meats, bread, croissants and home-produced honey. Tea and coffee is available.

Evening meal
The five course set menu features many Tuscan specialities, using homemade pasta and locally-produced oil, meat and cheese. An alternative is available for vegetarians; however we recommend that those with special diets discuss their requirements with the manager or chef.
There is a well-stocked bar serving beer, wine and spirits.

Lunch (payable locally)
You can buy a picnic lunch from the hotel (order the night before). Alternatively ingredients can be bought in local shops, including a supermarket five minutes' walk away. On some days it may be possible to eat in a café during a walk or excursion; your leaders will advise you of all the options.
Hotel Albergo Palazzuolo outside dining

Your evenings

The friendly atmosphere of our holidays continues into the evening.

Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer before hearing about the next day's activities, then join your fellow guests for a leisurely meal.

One evening our guests can learn more about olive oil and take part in a tasting session, very popular with our guests.

Your leader will be checking out for other local events going on nearby, or you may prefer to relax on the terrace enjoying the panoramic view or in the bar with a drink.


The laid-back charm of Tuscany is a perfect setting for a Landscape Photography holiday. Enjoy excursions to a variety of beautiful locations, accompanied by your professional and experienced Photography leader.
Every effort is made to adhere to this itinerary, however there may be circumstances beyond our control which could lead to a change in the programme. 

San Quirico

San Quirico town and the Belvedere Farmhouse

Today is all about taking in the immediate locality at San Quirico, with its famous Belvedere Farmhouse. After breakfast and a brief talk about capturing the landscape in photography we walk into the historic town of San Quirico and within its walls observe and capture images of the town square, church and its many narrow winding streets. We head to the eastern walls to observe and capture the unfolding landscape with its rolling hills and cypress lined roads. We will walk out of the village to explore the landscape and view the famous Belvedere Farmhouse perched on a small hilltop surrounded by cypress trees. We return to our hotel to examine our images and discuss relevant issues surrounding the capture of those pictures.

Pienza and Montepulciano

Historic hilltop towns and the Agriturismo a Terrapille

Let's see the landscape through the eye of the photographer as we drive to Pienza, a hilltop town that exudes history and charm. From the high walls, we capture views of the extensive Tuscan landscape including the Agriturismo a Terrapille made famous as the setting for part of the scene in the film ‘Galdiator’. We explore the old town and historic architecture before moving on to Montepulciano - a medieval and Renaissance hill town. On the outskirts is the beautiful San Biagio church which can be viewed from above and at ground level. The old square at the top of the town is surrounded by historic buildings all of which challenge the photographer to capture the best perspective. There will be some extensive walking up steep roads leading into the old town


Piazza del Campo, Palazzo Pubblico, Torre del Mangia and the Duomo

The urban landscape - looking for the unusual at Siena with its Piazza del Campo, Palazzo Pubblico, Torre del Mangia and the Duomo. We travel to Siena, a city in central Italy’s Tuscany region. It is distinguished by its medieval brick buildings. The fan-shaped central square, Piazza del Campo, is the site of the Palazzo Pubblico, the Gothic town hall, and Torre del Mangia, a slender 14th-century tower with sweeping views from its distinctive white crown. The city’s 17 historic contrade (districts) extend outward from the piazza. From there the Duomo can be reached and if you climb the towers there are extensive views to be had. There are plenty of unusual sights and quirky detail to be captured including narrow streets traversed by numerous arches. Along these streets washing is found hanging from many of the old apartments and homes that occupy this area.

La Foce and Monticchiello

We're interpreting the landscape and exploring new skills at La Foce from where we can observe and be challenged to capture the most famous twisting road in this area lined by cypress trees. After that we venture up to the small hilltop village of Monticchiello to explore its narrow streets and wonderful views of the rolling landscape of this region. From there we head back towards our hotel but stop en route for a walk across the landscape to visit the site of Cappella di Vitaleta – a small chapel in an isolated location on top of the Tuscan hills. The walk will probably take 30–45 minutes and hopefully we will be there as the late afternoon sun begins to offer its golden glow on the scene. From there we return to our coach and head back to the hotel.

Montalcino, the Abbazia di Sant’Antimo and Bagni Vignoni

We're blending village and towns into our landscape images today! This morning sees us travel to Montalcino, a hilltop town capped with a castle (now a wine merchants) where we can enjoy and capture views across the town and the surrounding landscape. Along its main street are many narrow streets offering enticing views waiting to be captured in camera. From there we travel to the Abbazia di Sant’Antimo, an old Abbey nestling in the surrounding hills and surrounded by old olive trees and with extensive views of local vineyards occupying the rolling hills. We then pay a visit to our final location of the week, the lovely small spa village of Bagni Vignoni. The village is well known for its hot springs and there is a central bath in the village around which are clustered homes, hotels and cafes. On the edge of the village the hot springs can be enjoyed as they cascade over the cliff edge to the valley below. 


Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.

Our 7 night holidays have a free day for you to relax and enjoy the facilities at the hotel, further explore the historic walled town or travel further afield for additional sightseeing.


What to bring

  • digital camera, DSLR, CSC (mirrorless), Bridge or Compact.
  • memory cards
  • battery* and charger (essential)
  • your camera’s instruction manual
  • appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear, ideally walking boots
  • bag or rucksack for your camera equipment, spare clothing, lunch, water, sunscreen etc
  • notebook and pencil (pencils work better should it rain!)
  • a high vis (neon) vest might be useful for those who want to go out early to get a sunrise shot (we’ll have to walk along a road to get to where  we want to be) and a small torch.

Optional camera accessories (remember you will have to carry some of these and possibly also pay extra for them if you exceed your luggage allowance)

  • spare memory cards
  • spare camera battery*
  • spare camera (you never know)
  • small selection of lenses: wide angle, telephoto, macro, for example
  • laptop plus accessories for viewing, editing and sharing images (whilst it’s not absolutely essential, bringing your own laptop will mean you get more from your photography holiday if you shoot digital)
  • memory stick or CD for storing images
  • camera rain-protector—a shower cap or plastic bag, or something more expensive if you prefer
  • filters: neutral density and graduated, polarising
  • tripod or monopod if you feel more comfortable with one

* Spare batteries must be protected from damage or short circuit before and during flights. Please check with your airline before travel regarding any restrictions.

Local area

San Gimignano

San Gimignano is a medieval walled hill town between Siena and Pisa. It is famed for its fourteen surviving towers and surrounding walls. The historic centre of the town is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One notable attraction is the Duomo (Cathedral), which has a beautiful interior with 14th Century frescos, which have never needed restoring. The film “Tea with Mussolini” had several scenes filmed in the Duomo and in San Gimignano main square. The Rocca was built in the 14th Century to protect the town from attack; this fortress also boasts extensive views across the surrounding countryside. It is also worth visiting the Church of St. Augustine, which is a little more off the tourist trail, and has ornate frescoes to marvel at.


Situated only 4miles from San Quirico, Pienza is a historic town, famous for being the birth place of Pope Pius II, when it was called Corsignano. In 1996, the town was also credited with being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the main architectural features of Pienza is the Palazzo Piccolomini built by Pope Pius II as his summer home in the Renaissance period. This was part of his project to build the ‘ideal city’. The Pieve di Corsignano is an ancient Church with Romanesque architecture on the western edge of Pienza. This contains the baptismal font where Pope Pius II was christened. The Diocesan Museum contains works of art from several churches. The museum was founded in the early 20th Century and contains an impressive collection.

Bagno Vignoni Hot Springs

Bagno Vignoni is a town with natural springs that have minerals with healing properties. As a result, this has become an area of pools and spa facilities. The renaissance pool in the town was built by the Medici family and has been popular since with famed nobles such as Catherine of Siena in the 14th Century. Many other wealthy people would visit the town to take ‘the cure’. The hot springs are still accessible today, and make a lovely day out.

Did you Know?

Val d’Orcia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


We recognise that everyone’s travel arrangements are unique, so all our holidays to Europe can be booked ‘with flight’ or ‘without flight’, giving you more flexibility and choice.


Travel by plane


‘With flight’ holidays – the hassle free option

Book your holiday ‘with flight’ and choose between Heathrow or Manchester flights to Pisa airport. For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.

If you choose this option we automatically include return transfers between the airport and the hotel. The coach transfer takes approx 2 hours 30 minutes to the Hotel Albergo Palazzuolo.

Please note guests travelling to Bonassola will also fly in to Pisa. Leaders will be available at the airport to direct guests to the correct transfer coach.




Driving to us

‘Without flight’ holidays – the flexible travel option

Alternatively, tailor your journey to suit you by booking your holiday ‘without flight’ allowing you the freedom to book your own flights from your local airport.

If you choose this option, transfers are not included in the price. However, below are some suggestions to help you reach your destination:

  • We can book you a seat on the HF Holidays’ transfer coach from Pisa airport. This is timed to meet the HF Holidays’ flights* (provisional flight times can be found on the dates and prices tab or you can call us on 020 8732 1220 for more information). Cost per single journey is £49.50. Please note guests travelling to Bonassola will also fly in to Pisa. Leaders will be available at the airport to direct guests to the correct transfer coach. 
  • Why not let us book you a private taxi transfer - price on request.

Transfers must be pre-booked.  Please call 020 8732 1220 for more details

* Please note that HF Holidays is not responsible for your onward travel if you fail to meet the transfer coach


Graham Light

Graham has been a full time professional photographer since 1977 and is based on the southern edge of the Cotswolds and a qualified member of The British Institute of Professional Photography. Over the years he has been commissioned to photograph royal events through to countless weddings, family portraits, commercial photography and has lead numerous courses in photography both at home and overseas. He is a tutor for a distance learning Diploma in Professional Photography and the author of a book 'The Wonder and Beauty of Westonbirt', the National Arboretum. In addition to this Graham regularly takes on commercial assignments for a variety of clients as well as personal tuition in photography. His work has been used around the world in a variety of publications. He believes photography should be fun and he aims to encourage his students to appreciate all they observe and see how they might record it in an imaginative and creative way.




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Dates & Prices

We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.

Prices are per person


  • Double room for sole occupancy: £18 per night (2017)
  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

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