Lago di Orta - Gourmet Photography Experience

with Paolo Ferrero & Matt Anderson / May 10 - 13, 2013

Just around the corner from the world-famous Lago Maggiore lies the less-known hidden Jewel of Lago di Orta with it’s mystic Saint Julius Island. This often overlooked destination in northern Italy is steeped in Roman Catholic history and unique cultural heritage. It’s fantastic landscape and 5th century architecture conspire to create a toxically romantic atmosphere. In fact, the tiny Island was the birth place of Saint William of Dijon, the site at which Pope Saint Julius died (explaining the island’s name), and was chosen as the final resting place of Filacrio - the bishop of Novara, who insisted on being buried there. To put it in simple terms, George Clooney picked the wrong lake for his secluded Italian holiday home. He’d be better off in Orta San Giulio.

Join Matt Anderson (Viewfinder Center) and Paolo Ferrero (Buon Gusto Tours) on this four-day visit to the Lakes region of northern Piedmont, Italy. We will document this unique location with our cameras and indulge in the terrific food and wine of the region. This area is renowned for it’s Gorgonzola blue-cheese and complex local Nebbiolo red-wines (Ghemme and Gattinara) among other culinary specialties. The middle-ages town of Vercelli, the spring rice harvest, Saint Andrews cathedral, the many Romanesque and Gothic style architectural sites, as well as the charming local inhabitants - will serve as our travel photography inspiration. Other highlights include a tour of historic Orta San Giulio Village by the former mayor of Orta and a trip to “Ristorante al Sorriso” (three-Michelin-stars) to photograph Chef Luisa Valazza preparing a speciality of the house. Treat your eyes to the visual inspiration of the region and your stomach to its’ mouth watering cuisine during this unique adventure.

Course Details

*Workshop participants are responsible for the cost of their own lunches. For those wishing to depart early or arrive later - train travel to nearby Omegna must be arranged independently.

Dates Friday through Monday, May 10 - 13, 2013
Time Rendezvous on Friday at 10:00 in Zurich, Returning to Zurich on Monday evening by 20:00
Location Lago di Orta and surrounding areas, Northern Piedmont region of Italy
Class Size Minimum of 5 students, maximum of 7
Instructor Matt Anderson, with Paolo Ferrero - our local Italian culture & gastronomy guide
Fee € 1675.- per person* (includes travel to and from ZRH, hotel accommodation, dinner & breakfast, tour guide and photography instruction, transport during workshop, welcome drink and a special lunch on Monday before departing.)

Class Requirements

This workshop is open to all skill levels from beginner to advanced. The focus of the workshop will be on capturing our experience and the landscape of the region. There will certainly be opportunities to address technical photography questions as well, however if you wish to brush up on your fundamental photography skills, we recommend the dSLR 1-2-3 series for beginners in Zurich.

Equipment Guidelines:

  • Camera and lens (it’s not necessary to bring an extensive assortment of equipment). A dSLR type camera (recommended) or a compact camera if you prefer.
  • Tripod (this will come in handy for shooting early morning or late evening landscapes)
  • Laptop computer (not absolutely necessary, but if you wish to learn some workflow tips - bring your laptop).
  • A camera bag or backpack which is comfortable enough to carry all day.
  • Comfortable shoes are a must. 
  • A big appetite is highly recommended!

Please Note: You will need to bring a valid passport with you for travel across the border from Switzerland to Italy. We also recommend carrying some cash Euros for small purchases such as lunch, coffee and snacks while out and about.

About Our Guides

Paolo Ferrero, Buon Gusto Tours

Paolo Ferrero, Buon Gusto Tours

Paolo Ferrero, 48, was born in Torino, Italy and ran a top-ranked Piedmont restaurant (1000 best Italian restaurants) close to Asti - the Monferrato wine district’s capital. In 2006 he founded his own gastronomy tour company - Buon Gusto Tours. Working mainly with small groups, Paolo shares his passion for food & wine with guests who wish to explore his beloved corner of Italy: the Piemonte. Paolo is the go-to tour guide in the region and has worked with guests such as Billy Idol and Roy Bittan (from the E-Street Band). Paolo’s second passion is creative writing and to his credit he has published several books including a multi-lingual cookbook with over 50 local Piedmont recipes, a book about the legendary truffle hunts of the region, and a novel about the dark side of restaurant life.

Matt Anderson, ViewFinder Center

Matt Anderson, ViewFinder Center

Matt Anderson, 34, from Seattle WA - USA, is the owner and director of the Viewfinder Center for Photography. Matt has a diverse background as a professional photographer, traveler and teacher. He studied photojournalism at Western Washington University, worked as a daily newspaper photographer for several years in the US and regularly freelanced for the Associated Press in Seattle, WA. His photography has been published in a host of National and International publications. Before moving to Switzerland he completed a master’s degree course for Teaching. Previous to that he worked as a mountain guide, taking groups to the highest summit in North America (Mt. McKinley) and to the tops of many other mountains in the western USA and Canada. More recently (in Switzerland) Matt has made his living as a full-time commercial, editorial and wedding photographer. Matt has a passion for travel, the outdoors and for sharing his photography knowledge. In addition, he has an immense appetite for Italian food!