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Would you like to know where you can snap some of the most stunning landscape photographs in the world? When it comes to landscape photography, experienced photographers often recommend landscape photography in Italy. If you have ever traveled around Italy, you more than likely know that the coast and the rural part of the country, offer an endless array of amazing vistas.
Photographing Italy means you are unlikely to run out of photography hot spots. You have the beautiful coastline of Amalfi at your disposal, historic cities such as Rome and Venice, and Alpine lakes. You are simply spoiled for choice.
Photographing in Italy 365 Days Per Year
Italy serves up photographic treats all year round, and you will never be disappointed. You can visit the country at any time. The light is always amazing, however, in general, it is best to visit southern parts during early summer and the more northern parts in June.
Rome is manic most of the time apart from August. Venice is best avoided in winter due to the risk of flooding. Amalfi coast deserves a visit during the early spring when the countryside is covered in cherry blossom.
The Best Landscape Photography Locations in Italy
Traveling around photographing Italy is a pleasure for all of your senses. As mentioned earlier, it is a good idea to visit at different times of the year. Cinque Terre, one of the most scenic coastlines in the world, deserves a visit during early summer before it gets too hot.
Taking a photograph journey to Cinque Terre in northern Italy is like a step back in time. The beautiful five towns of the Cinque Terre appear to rise from the Mediterranean sea. But, any visit to this region of Italy is also worth a tour around the countryside.
Immerse in the Cinque Terre National Park are the five villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. Walking or catching the regional train to go around exploring these amazing villages, you can spend a few days shooting breathtaking photos.
You can either hike the entire area or take sections of the many trails and discover spectacular views over the sea with the ancient villages decorating the landscape.
The idyllic atmosphere continues away from the coast, and there is no reason why you should not spend a couple of days traveling around the area. If you don’t want to get stuck among hundreds of tourists and tripods visit Cinque Terre in autumn or winter. You won’t get disappointed.
Ancient and Modern Rome
Rome is receiving more visitors than ever before thanks to both excellent flight and train connection. The center of Rome is often pretty maddening. During the day, it is difficult to take the best photographs of central Rome.
Why not slip away during the day, and return in the evening when the sun lights up ancient monuments? Day time in Rome can be spent exploring around and scout the best locations to take your photos. My favorite shots are the one of Castel S’Angelo over the Tevere River and the Vhe Vatican museum staircase. Don’t forget to bring a tripod with you for long exposure and a wide angle lens for interiors!
Venice Is a Must
When photographing Italy, Venice is high on most visiting photographer’s bucket list. Yes, the Bridges of Sighs makes an amazing backdrop, but there is more to Venice than St Marks Square and gondolas. One of the best times to visit Venice is in September during the annual gondola regatta. It is one of the most spectacular events in Italy, and for some reason, not generally that well known to outside visitors.
Snap away and you will go back home with some stunning photos of this amazing spectacle which has been going for hundreds of years.
Also, don’t forget to visit the islands and the Jewish quarter. Finding unique photographic hot spots is easier than you think. It is a matter of location, location, location, and many of the most scenic ones, are not known to the general visitor.
Some say that Matera in the Puglia region located in southern Italy is almost a metaphysical place. Wandering around this ancient town can best be described as a surreal experience. Visitors often experience a sense of deja vu.
The truth is that Matera is magical. It lies in canyonlands and you get a feeling the town itself is trying to escape from the passage of time. Make sure you visit this place to add something really unique to your photographic portfolio.
The Amalfi Coastlines
The Amalfi coast is much more tightly packed when compared to Cinque Terre. It has long been a popular location to visit and celebs often try to hide away in the hillside villages which seem to appear out of the sea. But, you don’t need to be an A-lister to enjoy this part of Italy.
If you love to take photographs of ancient lemon, almond groves, and vineyards, but don’t want to travel further inland, this is the place for you. The sea is always close by and there are many vistas all around the coast to enjoy.
Once again if you’re a long exposure lover, don’t forget your tripod and make sure you don’t get late for sunset in Positano!
Giotto’s Bell Tower of the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral in Florence is one of the most photographed places in the world. Yes, you may feel you need to take a snap or two, but why not just wander the streets of this Renaissance city. When you do so, don’t forget to look up which most other visitors forget to do.
The stunning Renaissance architecture is found everywhere. Take a personal walking tour with a local guide and ask her to show you the secret treasures of Florence.
My favorite spot is the elevated Piazza Michelangelo, south of the fiume Arno. It offers spectacular panoramic views of Florence and it’s perfect for golden hour shots!
Landscape photography in Italy is also about the mountains. The Dolomites is one of the most stunning mountain ranges in the world. Visit in May when the region is covered in alpine blooms and take a hike to the Seceda mountain station.
The views from up here are second to none, but on the way up, you will also get a chance to photograph the surrounding landscape. No, you are not in Switzerland, you are still very much in Italy.
When in the Dolomites, take the opportunity to visit Lake Braies, one of Italy’s most beautiful lakes. Any time of the year, the area surrounding the lake offers you a photographic backdrop to the most dramatic scenery in the world. If the weather conditions are good and you arrive before 9.30am to avoid crowds, you can rent a boat and take awesome photos from it.
Scopello in Sicily
Scopello is easily reached from Palermo. It is a lovely place to visit, but don’t go on a Sunday. This when the local Italians take over the pretty beach and the restaurants are packed. It would be better to go during the week when you can enjoy guided tours to the surrounding countryside.
The cave of Uzzo is a location which many visitors miss out on. It contains prehistoric art and should be high on your agenda. The surrounding countryside is wonderful to wander around in, but don’t try to do so in the height of summer. It is too hot for comfort.
Val d’Orcia Tuscany
The landscape of Val d’Orcia has not changed much over time. The best way to see this part of Tuscany is to rent a car and drive around. Along your route, you will come across historic towns and villages such as Siena.
When you drive out of Siena, you will probably wonder why many of the roads are straight. That is because they follow ancient Roman roads built by the Roman legions. It was easier for the ancient Romans to move troops around Italy in this way. Stop along the way and listen for the footsteps of legionaries. Visitors often say they hear marching feet after the hours of darkness.
Spectacular lands, villas and romantic castles complete your photographic experience in Val d’Orcia.
Landscape photography in Italy is an experience for the soul. Once you have started photographing Italy, you may not want to stop. Will you run out of landscape photography locations in Italy?
It is unlikely. Don’t rush your visit, just come back again and make sure you plan your photography road trip. You will always be assured of that famous Italian “Benvenuto”.
Over to you now.
Have you ever visited Italy?
What is your favorite photography spot?
Let me know in the comments below.
Stefano Caioni is the founder of Pixinfocus. His passion for photography helps him discover new places and live new adventures.