A Portrait of Italy with Me Ra Koh tour

A Portrait of Italy with Me Ra Koh tour

Tour Experience

A Portrait of Italy with Me Ra Koh - photography workshop tour


Set departure



Back by popular demand, take a dream trip exploring Italy through your camera with celebrity photographer, Me Ra Koh, and her husband, Brian Tausend (award winning photographer and cinematographer). Italy and all its beauty, history and scenery will romance your senses, while Me Ra and Brian empower you to capture your journey through hands-on teaching.

Well known for their photography instruction and sense of humor, prepare to be inspired creatively, laugh till your side aches, and eat the best food while drinking the best wine you've ever tasted! New to this year's tour, we will also have the pleasure of taking a private cooking class with the Countess of a castle! (No, we are not making this up. This trip is simply magical.) The group will explore ancient Rome, the lush, rolling hills of Tuscany, hidden, off-the-beaten path villages, cathedrals and world famous art galleries of Florence (birthplace of the Renaissance) while finishing the tour with a day to get lost in the romantic, winding alleys and canals of Venice. We will sleep in castles, villas and rustic farm settings. All levels of photography are welcome.

There is limited space on this tour so we recommend booking early to secure your place.



  • Photo workshops, hands-on instruction, tuition and mentoring by Me Ra Koh and Brian Tausend
  • International flights from the USA
  • 2 nights accommodation in 4 star hotel in Rome in double/twin room on breakfast only basis
  • 2 nights accommodation in villa/farmhouse style in Bolsena area in double/twin room on HB basis
  • 2 nights accommodation in villa/farmhouse style in Tuscany area in double/twin room on HB basis
  • 1 night accommodation in 4 star hotel in Venice Lido in double/twin room on breakfast only basis
  • Welcome dinner in a Rome restaurant including return coach transfers; 4 courses included 1/2 mineral water and 1/4 wine
  • Farewell dinner in Venice; 4 courses including 1/2 mineral water and 1/4 wine
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private a/c coach with driver including airport arrival transfers in Rome (USA group flights only)
  • Fast train from Florence to Venice, 2nd class
  • 1-day vaporetto pass in Venice
  • Professional local guide for sightseeing tour in Florence
  • Sightseeing fees and permits during guided tours
  • Farm visit and cheese tasting in Pienza area
  • Entrance fees to Civita di Bagnoregio town
  • Hotel city taxes


  • Travel Insurance (compulsory, available on request)
  • Single room supplements (chargeable if a same-sex room share is not available)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary (6 lunches, 1 dinner)
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (eg. laundry)
  • Departure airport transfer in Venice (your hotel is very close to the public vaporetto/water taxi which goes directly to the airport)
  • Tips for tour guide, driver, restaurants etc.
  • Any other items not mentioned above



DAY 1 Depart USA and fly to Italy

Those travelling to the tour on flights from the USA will need to depart a day early (16 May) as most flights to Italy are overnight. Flight inclusive prices from a range of airports are shown below. Other departure airports are also available on request and will be quoted at the time of booking.
On flight

DAY 2 Arrive in Rome, free time, welcome dinner

On arrival in Rome you are met at the airport and a private transfer is provided to your hotel accommodation. We’ll be arranging several transfers through the day so there’s a chance you may need to wait a short while for other members of the group with similar flight times to arrive. Me Ra and Brian will be there to greet you and help you settle in. The rest of the day is free to relax or perhaps head out for some initial sightseeing or to take some snaps of your immediate surroundings.
Rome – Hotel Ars

DAY 3 Capture Rome, the Eternal City

Our first full day in Italy is completely dedicated to the Eternal City!
Over breakfast, Me Ra and Brian will begin their teaching on camera settings for best results with architecture. You will be taking in the glory of Rome, and we want your camera to be dialed in for capturing this day. A photo exercise for the day will be given.
We’ll then set out to explore by walking and using our private coach to visit the highlights of the city and wonderful spots for good pictures, such as St Peter’s Square, Castel Sant’ Angelo, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain.
Before dinner, we will gather to review your images and receive feedback from Me Ra and Brian. Then we’ll enjoy our first special group meal together, with 4 courses of traditional Italian food & wine to savour in a local restaurant.
Rome – Hotel Ars

DAY 4 Capture Mystical Villages Off-the-Beaten Path

This is a day filled with magic! Over breakfast, Me Ra and Brian will provide a handful of photo tips on how to capture what you are going to experience throughout the day. They will give the photo exercise for the day, and then we will leave the eternal city for the mystical, cultural and romantic, ancient village of Calcata. It is a special place that over the centuries has managed to preserve intact its historial, artistic and natural heritage. Enjoy the fairy-tale feel of the place and its magical medieval houses, the mystic forests and the hedonistic lifestyle of its bohemian artists.
In the afternoon we’ll head North to the breathtaking Civita di Bagnoregio, an almost deserted town accessible only by a foot bridge. We’ll be able to stroll the narrow streets and marvel at the existence of a place where time seemingly stopped hundreds of years ago.
After dinner, we will do a sunset photo shoot that explores the golden light of Italy. We’ll arrive at our farmhouse/villa style hotel late this evening.
Santa Cristina Castle
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5 Cooking class, free time, Bolsena Lake

After a busy couple of days we slow the pace down today. A fun cooking class with the hotel chef making fresh pasta and other Italian ingredients is included this morning. You’ll do some photography around this, and enjoy the fruits of your creation for lunch.
During the afternoon you have a couple of hours of free time to relax in the beautiful surroundings of the hotel. This is an ideal time to upload your photos from your memory cards to your laptops or tablets and to try some initial editing. Me Ra and Brian will circulate to provide assistance and advice. You can review some of your favorite images from the previous few days and discuss what is working well, and what other tips and techniques you can try in the days ahead so you can break through your creative and photography glass ceilings
After afternoon tea and snacks we head out to the scenic countryside around the nearby Bolsena Lake to enjoy the golden light and work on some landscape photography. .
We head back to our hotel to sit down for a leisurely Italian dinner with plenty of wine and chat. Later, layer up as the stars rise into Italy’s night sky, and experience a special photo session with Brian on how to capture time lapse photography of the stars.
Santa Cristina Castle
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6 Learn Magazine Photography at a Tuscan Farm

Today we’ll move to our accommodation in the Tuscan countryside, stopping in the area of Chianti on the way. Your photo assignment for the day will be to imagine you have a commission for a cooking or travel magazine. Your objective is to shoot a feature layout. Me Ra and Brian will walk you through the “5 Keys to Photographing for Magazines”.
Our first stop will the medieval and Rennaissance hilltop town of Montepulciano. Renowned for its food and wine, this small walled city is a great place to explore and take in its charming squares, Rennaissance palaces, and to enjoy extensive panoramic views over the surrounding Val d’Orcia.
Affter lunch we head through the area of Pienza, famous not only for its architecture but also for the excellent sheep’s milk cheese, or more correctly, ewes’ milk cheese, pecorino, that is produced in the area. During the afternoon we’ll visit a cheese factory to meet the farmer, discover production and taste and photograph of one the most famous cheeses of Italy.
After completing your magazine shoot, we’ll drive through the enchanting landscapes of the Val D’Orcia. Endless green fields, vineyards, olive groves, rolling hills, lonely farmhouses and cypress lined valleys makes it one of the most scenic areas in Europe and has rightly earned its place in the Unesco list of World Heritage sites. We’ll have the opportunity to stop several times in the countryside as we drive along to capture the classic Tuscan scenery. Me Ra and Brian will lead a special workshop this evening where you’ll learn more about the techniques and options available for shooting at this time of day. With such a beautiful backdrop you’re sure to take some gorgeous pictures. We arrive late at our hotel this evening and sit straight down for dinner after a long but rewarding day.
Villa San Filippo
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7 Florence, Birthplace of the Rennaissance

Meet for breakfast with Me Ra and Brian to discuss the day and your photo exercise. Then get ready to fill your creative soul with the inspiring renaissance history of Florence. We will dedicate the whole day to this unforgettable city.
Lorenzo de Medici transformed Florence into the cradle of the Renaissance by attracting the best artists, architects and writers of the time such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli. With a specialist local guide you’ll visit the Piazza del Duomo and the magnificent Cathedral, Piazza della Signoria, and the Ponte Vecchio. More time will be spent wandering around the city, exploring the famous market of San Lorenzo and discovering hidden corners to capture.
After returning to our hotel for dinner, we’ll enjoy an evening photo session over a glass of wine. This will be our last photography session with direct instruction and photo critiques. So, wear something comfy and have a glass of wine as we process the amazing day we’ve captured. Who knows, there may be some prizes on offer too!
Florence – Villa San Filippo
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8 Capture Venice's Romantic Streets & Canals

Meet for breakfast and then head to Florence station before enjoying a last taste of rural Italian scenery as we take the train to the coast at Venice. While on board, talk with Me Ra and Brian as you photographically prepare for the breathtaking, winding, romantic alleys and canals of Venice. The train arrives right on the edge of the old city, out in the Venetian lagoon and we’ll reach our hotel by private vaporetto and a short walk.
The most incredible experience in Venice is when you allow yourself to get lost and soak it all in. So, this afternoon is free to walk or take public Vaporetto rides through the narrow streets, along canals and over bridges. You can head out with Me Ra and Brian or feel free to explore alone, perhaps taking a classic Gondola ride (not included) to explore corners not reachable on foot.
We’ll say goodbye to Italy tonight with a farewell dinner with Special Awards to give!
Venice – Grande Albergo Ausonia & Hungaria
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9 Last Exhale before Heading Home

After a final breakfast with Me Ra and Brian, our tour comes to an end today. Your time is free until you make your own way to the airport for your departure. Our hotel in Lido is just 250m from the Santa Maria Elisabetta stop on the Blue Line “Alilaguna” water shuttle service which will take you directly to Venice’s Marco Polo airport.
If you would like to add more nights in Venice we’ll be happy to help with this.
See you soon Italy!


8 days




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