Tuscany

buongiorno

Photo Spot Summary

Country: Italy

Category: Landscape

GPS Latitude: 43.031876

GPS Longitude: 11.668824

Directions

Tuscany is a region in Italy in which beautiful cities of Florence, Siena and Genoa are located. Best way to get to Tuscany is to fly to Rome or Milan and from there to one of the aforementioned cities.

Photo Spot Details

While traveling in Tuscany one must rent a car and go between Siena, Florence, and Genoa off-highway. This way you will be exposed to beautiful valleys, e.g. Val d’Orcia, meadows, cypress hills, etc. Tuscany is a dreamland for landscape photographers and therefore I recommend to take a tripod, wide-angle and telephoto lenses, and graduated-density filters.

“Grab a bite”. “Hop in the shower”. “Just a sec”. Modern life often feels rushed. Not so in Tuscany. They value good food, good company, and family life – all at a gentle pace. They truly understand – and fiercely protect – the ingredients of a life well-lived. It doesn’t hurt that they get to do it all in one of the most stunning landscapes on the planet.

toscana
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 70mm, ISO 100, 1/160, f/8.0

Ancient farmhouses perched on rolling hills lined with cypress trees and surrounded by vineyards. Misty mornings. Flaming sunsets. They have it all.

so this place exists
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 145mm, ISO 100, 1/125, f/4.0
farmhouse
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 116mm, ISO 100, 1/320, f/8.0
magic
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 110mm, ISO 200, 1/100, f/8.0

The typical landscape is comprised of so many layers and textures that are constantly changing with the time of the day. What’s a photographer to do?

texture
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 70mm, ISO 500, 1/15, f/4.0
more layers
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 135mm, ISO 200, 1/30, f/5.6

Medieval villages dot the countryside, often at an elevation, offering stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape.

montalcino
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 70mm, ISO 80, 1/200, f/4.0
monastry
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 70mm, ISO 400, 1/250, f/8.0
san gimi i
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 130mm, ISO 100, 1/60, f/8.0
San G, view from the west
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 200mm, ISO 100, 1/80, f/8.0
Volterra
NIKON D610 + 14mm f/2.8 @ 14mm, ISO 100, 1/250, f/8.0

Narrow streets and alleys pulse with life, offering tourists a glimpse of a way of life that has changed little over the centuries.

streets
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 70mm, ISO 100, 1/125, f/4.0
nice life you got there
NIKON D610 + 35mm f/1.8 @ 35mm, ISO 200, 1/4000, f/2.8
italy
NIKON D610 + 35mm f/1.8 @ 35mm, ISO 100, 1/2000, f/1.8

Drive a few hours east or west and behold the beauty of the Italian coastline.

color
NIKON D7100 + 14mm f/2.8 @ 14mm, ISO 100, 30/1, f/9.0

The great Italian cities are never far. Firenze, to the north, is one of great cities of the world and a center of culture and art.

firenze iii
NIKON D610 + 35mm f/1.8 @ 35mm, ISO 100, 1/800, f/4.0
firenza ii
NIKON D610 + 35mm f/1.8 @ 35mm, ISO 320, 1/100, f/1.8
firenze i
NIKON D610 + 35mm f/1.8 @ 35mm, ISO 200, 1/4000, f/1.8

Piazzale Michelangelo is a square perched on a hill with spectacular panoramic views of this magnificent city (beware of the selfie-obsessed mobs though!)

duomi i
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 116mm, ISO 100, 13/10, f/8.0
incidental
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 185mm, ISO 320, 1/60, f/8.0

To the east, one will find Bologna – an old city with a young population that is always bustling with life.

beemer
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 100mm, ISO 200, 1/40, f/8.0
Torre Asinelli
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 125mm, ISO 500, 1/30, f/4.0
pulsing iii
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 145mm, ISO 100, 1/200, f/8.0

The great Italian lakes straddling the Italian Alps and the Dolomites are a few hours drive.

view from limone
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 70mm, ISO 100, 1/60, f/8.0

Not that one ever feels the urge to leave countryside. It is truly a magical place.

popular
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 145mm, ISO 100, 1/50, f/8.0
hay
NIKON D610 + 70-200mm f/4 @ 75mm, ISO 100, 1/400, f/8.0

Have you ever been to Tuscany? If yes, please share your adventures below!

Map

Tuscany

 

About Talha Najeeb

Talha Najeeb is a self-taught landscape, travel and street photographer. Please visit his website and his Flickr page to see more of his work.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. WAYNE LOW
    December 29, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Dear Author,

    I like to start off by saying AMAZING SHOTS and thanks for sharing! It has helped me immensely in trying to picture certain compositions that i want to achieve on an upcoming trip.

    On my personal request; I would really like to ask where would 2) be; a hint on nearby city or village name would already be plenty helpful – Reasons for asking being me absolutely captivated by this landscape and probably my main reason having this trip and also as I will not be able to drive, Bus and Trains are probably my only modes of transports, in which advice on the locations would help a lot.

    Appreciate your advice.

    Best Regards,
    Wayne

  2. Dan Francis
    June 14, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Beautiful photos Talha. I loved the perspective you were able to get using a telephoto lens. I was there two years ago with a singles travel group and the only lens I had at the time for my D750 was the 24-120 f4. I found that range to be very useful. The best vantage point I experienced in Tuscany was from the top of Torre Grossa in San Gimignano. I would absolutely love to go back and drive through Tuscany. Firenze and Sienna were also amazing!

  3. Shah-Ul-Hamid
    June 12, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Seriously, wonderful images….

  4. Val
    June 9, 2017 at 8:58 am

    My Nonna and Nonno were from Tuscany was fortunate got to go a lot when I was growing up, last went 2 years loved Florence and the small villages . I could live there but my kids and grandkids are all here

  5. Peter d
    June 8, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Your next photo trip to Italy: fly to Milan rent a car and drive to Venice. After that drive North through the vineyards to Bolzano. From Bolzano you have great access to the Dolomites. Stunning.

    • Talha
      June 8, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      I did that exact drive but had to stop near Trento for various reasons. Went to Garda instead. Dolomiti are spectacular, want to drive from Bolzano to Bavaria, some day.

  6. June 8, 2017 at 3:09 am

    Stunning images, Thala. In my opinion, a 70-200 and a 35mm prime are mandatory for a visit to Tuscany. The other requirement is time! There is never enough of it. You bring back many happy memories. Thank you.

  7. Alessio
    June 8, 2017 at 1:26 am

    Hello from Italy, thank you very much for your words and pictures. I agree that Italy is the most stunning country in the world, from north to south, from east to west (Alps and Dolomites, lakes, coasts, culture, art, eating, dress and fashion, Sardinia, Sicily, Venice, Milan, Rome, and so on…). Come and visit Italy and you’ll leave a (big) piece of your heart here.

    Ciao!

    • June 8, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      Why do you guys get to have all the fun? All that good stuff and then bistecca fiorentina on top of that!

      • Alessio
        June 9, 2017 at 3:27 am

        Try fish cooked everywhere near the coasts, it’s mindblowing.

        • Talha
          June 9, 2017 at 10:28 pm

          I had a mindblowing seafood Rissotto in Corniglia once — and I don’t even like seafood..

  8. Vinnie
    June 8, 2017 at 12:42 am

    Beautiful photos and composition Talha. Nice article, I very much enjoyed reading it. I have never been to Italy myself even though my paternal grandparents are from Naples in the the Campania Region, and maternal grandparents are from the small village of Nicosia in the province of Enna in Sicily.

    Mi piacerebbe andare lì un giorno.

    Vinnie

    • June 8, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      Thank you.
      My children also have Italian lineage from their mother’s side (somewhere south east of Rome).
      And I hope that day comes for you very soon (a dio piacendo)

  9. Swati Prasad Siddharth
    June 7, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Hello. Your pictures are stunning.

    You mentioned that you knew you would “need” the 70-200 the most on your travels. Can you please elaborate on that?

    I would like your opinion on what lenses to carry for a holiday that is largely landscape and city (museums, architecture, street). I mainly do wildlife and I would like to try something different.

    Thank-you.

    • Talha
      June 7, 2017 at 11:57 pm

      I meant this particular trip, given the specific topography of Tuscany.

      For the stuff you mentioned, I’d imagine a 24-70 range might be a better fit.

  10. HMS
    June 7, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Beautiful photos; congrats!
    I’ve been to Tuscany twice in last six years and am keen to return. I’m trying to pinpoint the location of image 11; is it San Gimignano??

    Best regards.

    • Talha
      June 7, 2017 at 11:54 pm

      Thanks. 10 & 11 are both San G.

      I feel like San G is a photo project in and of itself. There are so many potential vantage points from where it can be photographed.

  11. Mohammad Nasrullah Khan
    June 7, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    As a keen student of photography, it a great doc for learners.

    • Talha
      June 7, 2017 at 10:57 pm

      Thanks

  12. Kevin Mckanna
    June 7, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Beautiful images. Great composure.

    • Talha
      June 7, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      thanks Kevin

  13. Peter d
    June 7, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    I have been to Tuscany about 5times and wanted to retire there, but my wife had different plans. It’s one of the most beautiful places on this planet. If you like literature, art, music and pizza, no better place. Photography? You can close your eyes, turn in a full circle while hitting
    the shutter, and you’ll get great pics.

    The people are great, and the wine…never mind.

    Voglio ritornare al Italia.

    • Talha Najeeb
      June 7, 2017 at 6:42 pm

      Strongly second everything you said. I’d like to live there but I always feel like the Tuscans like to keep it to themselves. And I respect that. That’s probably how they’ve been able to preserve it.

      anche io voglio tornare ..

      • Peter d
        June 7, 2017 at 7:28 pm

        How about having a little camera shop on the Ponte Vecchio?

        • Talha
          June 7, 2017 at 9:17 pm

          probably a line from the Uffiz all the way to the Santa Maria Novella for that gig ..

          • Peter d
            June 8, 2017 at 1:06 pm

            I had a business meeting in Rome with a few days off before the next meeting in Paris. I decided to rent a car and drive from Rome to Florence and only stop in small towns. What a trip. Got to know small town Italy and made it a practice to eat pizza in each of the towns. The mountain towns were amazing as were the people.

    • Nigel Madeley
      June 15, 2017 at 4:49 am

      In Italia. (‘In’ for regions and countries, ‘a’ for towns and cities. So ‘a Firenze’).
      Sorry to be the pedant, but the Italians will pick you up on it!

  14. Yuri B
    June 7, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Beautiful use of telephoto lens (the sharp and lightweight f/4 edition) to build a sense of perspective. A great reminder that landscape photography is not all about wide angle getting it all in.
    But one question stands: why D610 and what happened to your D810?

    • June 7, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      I actually bought the lens especially for the trip. From previous travel, I knew it would be the one I would need most (ended up being true). It was my first zoom ever and I didn’t realize how shallow the DoF could be at longer wavelengths. Lost some good images to that.

      As for the camera body, why do you think I have a D810? :)

  15. Jay G.
    June 7, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Great shots Talha, I’ve always wanted to visit Tuscany but wondered about driving a car. Did you rent a car and how was the driving?

    • Talha
      June 7, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      I live in the States and I’ve always found driving in Italy to be easier. It’s left hand drive like here and the highway signage is a lot more intuitive and easy to follow. I’ve driven on freeways, around the coast and on country back-roads without a problem. And yes, I always rent (my last rental was from Avis). The only challenge is in the cities especially the historic centers (Centro Storico) which are often pedestrian only. That’s where I would recommend avoiding driving as much as possible and using a trains/cabs/feet to get around.

      • Greg
        June 7, 2017 at 10:04 pm

        You should try driving down in Napoli. Tuscany is a fascinating place and you captured it well. If you do not mind me asking, where did you get the high point vantage of the Duomo? Firenze is one of a fascinating places in Italy. Great job!

        • Talha
          June 7, 2017 at 10:55 pm

          I’ve had the privilege of visiting the Napoli area. It’s fantastic. Can’t wait to visit again.
          As for the Duomo, I got the shot from Piazzale Michelangelo.

    • Nigel Madeley
      June 15, 2017 at 4:46 am

      I’ve been to Italy loads of times, rented cars and had 2 accidents. The Italians are great when you have a crash – everyone is very polite, including the police, and it’s regarded as part of everyday life. Even the rental companies when we returned the cars were fine.
      That said, it is pretty hairy and expect to be overtaken on blind bends and have the person who’s overtaken you turn off immediately afterwards (unless that’s just on the Amalfi coast).
      And don’t drive in Naples. But do visit it!

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