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“A Celebration to Remember”

Camera Etrusca Private Day Tours
Ranked #47 of 73 things to do in Orvieto
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Professional British photographer Patrick Richmond Nicholas organizes photography workshops and guided private tours as Camera Etrusca in central Italy. Based in Orvieto, he goes off the beaten track into the surrounding countryside of Tuscany and Umbria by Land Rover to places you would never discover on your own. He also does walking tours round the back streets of Orvieto, private tours and photo workshops in Rome and Tivoli. Patrick knows all the areas surrounding Orvieto, including Rome, intimately, and will share his knowledge with you as well as his experience of teaching photography, at all levels. Half day and whole day tours. Patrick has lived in Italy for 25 years, speaks Italian fluently and can guide you with or without a camera, around the Tuscan and Umbrian towns and hamlets - indeed better than most of the locals! His other passion, beside photography, is the history of the area, from the Etruscans of three thousand years ago through the Renaissance to the recent past and he’s happy to enlighten others. If you want to learn about this fascinating corner of Italy, include him in your travel plans.
Reviewed September 26, 2012

Anticipating our Ruby Wedding, we decided to plan a 'holiday of a lifetime' to celebrate. Having decided on a photography course and Tuscany our research led us to Patrick Nicholas and Camera Etrusca. The six day course sounded just what we were looking for as we like getting off the beaten track as the web site promised. An ex-pat English tutor was reassuring as we knew we'd have no problem following the tuition. We even decided to have a go at learning some Italian in advance for the later part of our stay, dedicated to 'practice'.
We have never before experienced anything which undersold itself to such a degree. The description of 'off the beaten track' did not come close to what we experienced. We are used to going off road in our own Land Rover, but Patrick took it to a new level. He took us to places we'd be surprised if even the locals can find! His trusty Discovery may be a replacement, but it has soon learned the ropes of how to find hidden gems - and serve as a viewing platform - as well as transporting all the camera gear.
The small parties are limited by the capacity of the vehicle, but that is a great bonus and one of the things which attracted us. We were fortunate to meet some interesting and friendly fellow students and we bonded as a group, going out totgether for evening meals and comapring notes.
'Camera Etrusca' is not merely a nice name, but a theme for the tour. We visited many places with a rich heritage rooted in the Etruscans and their effects on the landscape. The stark beauty of the tombs was wonderful - and we got to have lunch in one. Now not everyone can say that, can they? The Viae Cave, sacred routes of the Etruscans, were a challenge to us, but how much more so for the Etruscans in creating them? How we ever got round the tours is a mystery as every step provided another incredible photo opportunity. The 'Sacred Glade' was just the most beautiful place, and we could easliy have spent all day there feeling it calm our souls with its aura and tinkling water and filling our lenses with beauty at every turn.
Oh, yes, and we did learn a lot about photography. This is such a beauriful place that you would be hard pressed to take a bad photo, but Patrick helped us get the most out of every opportunity, exploring panoramas and HDR and suggesting compositions. He clearly was equally able to help those who wanted to know more about their cameras and how the different settings work.
We expected a memorable holiday, but this exceeded all hopes and expectations. The accommodation was lovely, Patrick's input and willingness to go the extra mile - litrerally on several occasions - and the wonderful photo opportunities and tuition were al exceptional. Patrick clearly knows Orvieto inside out and suggested places to visit in spare time and evenings, possibly sparing us from missing the best a local will know about. Above all we shall remember meeting Patrick and his delightful family and their generous hospitality and kindness.

2  Thank Dik A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick N, Owner at Camera Etrusca Private Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

I have been amiss in not responding to your review until now - years later! Thanks very much for being so positive and reviewing in such detail. Patrick

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5 - 8 of 8 reviews

Reviewed June 7, 2012

We, two grandparents and a eager-to-learn 16 year old granddaughter, spent six wonderful days in Orvieto with Patrick Nicholas in September 2011. (Imagine being 16 and in Italy for the first time.) Grandfather and granddaughter are experienced photographers (and even more skilled after Patrick's teaching) and grandmother enjoyed tagging along. Patrick was a skilled and thoughtful instructor in photographic techniques, compositions, settings and tricks, as well as in Umbrian, Etruscan, Roman and Italian history and culture. We experienced scenery, ruins, and contemporary life, not to mention great food. This was not just a photography course nor just a "guided tour" of Orvieto and surroundings -- it was an immersion in local Umbrian life for six days. We cannot recommend too highly a photography workshop with Camera Etrusca and Patrick Nicholas.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2011

While traveling in Italy, we spend a glorious late October day in Orvieto, the medieval Italian town perched on top of a rock between heaven and earth.

As an amateur art photographer, I am slowly and methodically building a body of work to be proud of, and as I walked past Patrick Nicholas' gallery in the "downtown" Orvieto, my head spun nearly all the way around. Entering, I noticed him quietly working on a Mac near the rear of the space, with his heavenly and seductive photographs arranged around the gallery in concentric rings.  He was deep in thought, working on a photograph of a woman surrounded by cascading fabric of elegant colour and texture, in homage to some women of legend.

On the door of his gallery was a notice indicating his availability for group or private photo expeditions in Umbria and Tuscany.  I was blown away when he said he could make some scheduling changes and make it happen for me the next day.  We agreed upon a price, which to me seemed like a bargain when he described our proposed itinerary.

We set out early the next morning. The day started with a quick stop to make some photographs of Orvieto from a distance. Patrick's first bit of mentoring was to suggest a panoramic image to get the scale of the town and mountain right.  From there, in his trusty Land Cruiser, we sailed over the rocks and ruts of centuries old Etruscan roads.  We stopped in countless amazing places, from some random etruscan ruins in the middle of Tuscany, to Lake Balsena, to Pitigliano and more, all deeply photogenic and evocative. When Patrick stumbled upon a bunch of monstrous Porcini mushrooms growing deep in the Tuscan woods, he insisted we stop up the road at a friends restaurant on the lakeside where they'd be delighted to cook them up for our lunch.  It was one of the tastiest meals we had on our Italian vacation-- imagine porcini mushrooms that were in the earth 20 minutes earlier... Sumptuous, and the setting was REAL rural Italy at its best.

Patrick's gentle coaching and brave adventuring made this day in Italy something that I will never forget. and I have some amazing photographs to help me remember. Had I rented a car to try to accomplish a day of this level of adventure and spectacle, it simply would not have been possible-- his deep knowledge of the area was absolutely the most efficient and effective way for us to see the amazing things we saw. I WILL be back again.

4  Thank myklreinhart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2015
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2  Thank Serenagordini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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