This summer I had the privilege of co-hosting a photography workshop with Bianca of Italian Fix -- We've done this together for 3 years now, and it is a joy to teach and make merry in Cinque Terre region of Italy with a band of 14 or so other women. Bianca leads insider boutique tours every summer in Italy and the experience of traveling with her is unlike any other.

the cliffs of Riomaggiore are perfect for an afternoon swim (and smooch!)

the local darlings + delicious farm fresh produce

The trips I've co-hosted with Bianca have been so intense and wonderful. Teaching women about photography in this region of the world-- a place with immense physical beauty, colorful characters and artful traditions -- is ridiculous. The truth is you cannot make a bad photo of this exceptional area, the Unesco protected 5 villages known as the Cinque Terre. That being said, our guests work incredibly hard at advancing their photographic skills during the week we spend together. Whatever their starting point, they leave much more comfortable, turned on and savvy. It's so gratifying to me to help them on their way.
Bianca and the girls shopping in Pietrasanta

photo lessons and exceptional views of our village's harbor

cheers to the good life!!

The days usually started with a photography lesson in food, portraiture, sparking creativity/ritual, architecture and putting it together with "photo essay" type of shoot, moved through a few charmed sites/people/walks and always culminated in a multi-course, family style meal. Bianca finds the village with a tiny restaurant all-the-locals-go-to type of places and gets us right in, with a special pre-fix menu and visit with the chef!!
photo lesson bounty and our van driver on his break

my beautiful mama acts as model for a portraiture session, nooks and crannies of town, textures of a melted candle at my favorite restaurant Il Lunedi di lo Studio in Pietrasanta

One day our van had engine troubles while we were in a small Tuscan resort town en route to another village, so I carried out an impromptu portraiture lesson on a restaurant patio while we waited 20 minutes for a new car -- that was making Italian lemonade for sure! And a good point that no matter the location, you can make a beautiful image, you just have to use all your resources available,  your imagination and find the good light!
shopping till we drop!!

A favorite day of mine was shopping at a stellar outdoor market in luxury little town of Forte de Marmi, Tuscany -- I was able to relax from teaching a bit and set my pocket book free on a great pair of lucite earrings and some striped espadrilles, the hustle and bustle was contagious, the shoppers and vendors alike so chic, so Italian with their white slightly see-through summer dresses, beautiful shoes, cigarettes and animated conversations.

If you want more information about the Italian Fix summer 2016 tours -- hop on over to ITALIAN FIX and sign up there to get updates about registration.


  1. Leela,

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. This trip is the kind of thing we'll talk about when we're old. Thank you for treating all Italian Fix guests like gold and sharing your wisdom and skills with them. You're the absolute best.

    Love, Bianca


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