Italian BTO Trip 2016





July 7 - 21, 2016 (We may have to adjust dates a day or two to get confirmed hotels) 

Directed by Bill Bachmann


     - FLORENCE                     - VENICE                   - LAKE COMO              - DOLOMITES

         - TUSCANY                        - MILAN                     PISA                                         CINQUE TERRE


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We will take a train and then walk to explore the 5 photographic cities of Cinque Terre. This is Vernazza.


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Bill knows isolated places in the dynamic Dolomites - like no other mountains in the world. Val di Funes. (See Day 11)


Do you want to see the most beautiful areas of Italy and photograph them for your wall?? This is the opportunity to do that and travel safely with someone who knows the area and wants you to have the best trip possible to this glamourous life in Italy.

This will be the 23rd Bachmann Tour Overdrive trip. Hope you can join us and become part of our fantastic group of adventurous travelers. We have created a "family" that travels so well together and creates terrific images, often helping each other. 

Of all the places I have ever directed a trip, Northern Italy, with it's spectacular scenery & villages, is probably the most beautiful place. I know the area well and I will take you to special locations I have discovered that are "off the beaten path". Take a look at the wonderful photos here and see if you don't agree.

The isolated church & village with the dynamic Dolomites mountains powerfully behind in the sun... the wonderful scenics of Tuscany... the romance of Venice... the breathtaking tranquility of Lake Como... the hidden "gems" in the mountains that make up Cinque Terre... the magic & art of Florence, even the distortion of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. What a trip this is to some of the most spectacular visual experiences on our Planet! 

This has to be everyone's "Bucket List" of beautiful places to see and photograph. And you will be led by a man who will stop at every exotic location so that we can all see & take stunning photographs to bring home and frame. The busiest time in Italy is, believe it or not, September -- so I am choosing July with it's good weather and also a time that teachers who travel with us can explore Italy while they are on summer break.

Below will be pictures and the itinerary, along with the price, of the entire trip. WE MUST FILL THIS TRIP QUICKLY SO THAT WE CAN RESERVE THE HOTELS WITH DOWN PAYMENTS.  July is also a busy time in Northern Italy and we must "hold" the hotels quickly or we could lose them. There will be a link for a form below (near the price) that you need to fill out and send with a deposit to me. I must send it on quickly as Northern Italy is TOUGH on hotel reservations. They need deposits & names to hold rooms!

This promises to be one of our most scenic photographic trips. We are limiting the group to only 20 people and paying extra to get a bus that holds 35 people, allowing almost everyone to have a window seat and room for photo gear. Our days will be traveling mostly short distances, with lots of scenic stops to take as many pictures as we want. We will also stop in small villages to shoot local people, farmers, isolated mountain views and unusual lighting vistas in Tuscany, for instance.

All breakfast & some lunches are included, and of course, the Farewell Dinner. We will have lots of time to stop in small villages and find our own little quaint cafes. We want this trip to be fantastic for photography and also have enough free time to relax whenever we can in villages.



 Lake Como will be our first stop. You will fall in love with this peaceful & picturesque paradise.





Day 1 - July 7 - Arrive in the morning into Milan. Lunch included in Milan. Before we leave, we stop at the Basilica de Santa Maria delle Grazie to see Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece  -- "The Last Supper". Believe it or not, this classic painting is painted on a wall above a door! Then we drive smooth roads to George Clooney's famous hometown -- picturesque Lake Como. We should arrive in plenty of time to relax around the Lake Como area, have a leisurely dinner on our own and get to bed early.

Overnight in Lake Como. 

Day 2 - July 8 - After breakfast, a full day tour of the area around Lake Como, boat ride to Bellagio and some free time to explore.

Overnight in Lake Como. 

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Everywhere in Lake Como is a photograph.                                                                                    We will stop at many overlooks to savour the beauty.  

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We will film the colorful locals in Lake Como.                                            We will do several walking tours. 


Day 3 - July 9 - After breakfast in Lake Como we drive on route to Portovenere, which will be our gateway to the isolated & fabulous Cinque Terre. We stop for lunch in Parma in a trattoria connected with Giuseppe Verdi's Teatro Reale (Opera House) and do a short tour of Parma. Then we drive the rest of the way to the coast to Portovenere.

Overnight in Portovenere.

Day 4 - July 10 - In the morning we start to discover the fabulous world of Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre translates into "The Five Lands" -- five tiny & quaint villages that are not reachable by car. On Day 4 & 5 we will try to explore all 5 by either train or ferry and some walking. Our guide will show us the best spots to stop for lunch and/or dinner, where to meet, how much free time in each city etc. This will be one of the many highlights of this fabulous trip. Look at the pictures below of Cinque Terre -- is this area made for photography or what??

Overnight in Portovenere.

Day 5 - July 11 - Today will also be in and around Cinque Terre & taking pictures of our home base of Portovenere. (See Portovenere image below along with some of these gorgeous places in Cinque Terre).

Overnight in Portovenere.

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This is our homebase of Portovenere; it is worthy of photos also, right?                                                      Does it get any prettier than this? Manarola in Cinque Terre.  

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Close ups, architecture in Manarola.                                                            Everywhere you look is beautiful. Riomaggiore on the cliffs. 

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Another of the cities Cornglia.                                                                                                           Looking back at the shore end of Manarola. 


Day 6 - July 12 - After breakfast, we sadly leave the Cinque Terre area. But the good news is we head for Tuscany! On the way we have a stop for a short visit in the town of Pisa. Here we photograph the Leaning Tower of Pisa -- the only object in all the world that is celebrated for the builder's incompetence! They have tried several methods to have it straightened, but if you want my honest opinion; they haven't tried very hard. If they straightened it, no more tourists! We will stop along the way for any beautiful villages and reach our destination of Montepulciano. Great news... instead of staying at a Tuscany  hotel (which are mostly boring), we will be staying for two nights in a TUSCANY FARM ESTATE.

Overnight in Montepulciano Farm Estate. 

Day 7 - July 13 - After breakfast we explore 3 small areas of Tuscany. We will explore Montepulciano, Cortona, and Montalcino during the day.  We will have lunch at our Tuscany Farm House. 

Overnight in Montepulciano Farm Estate.


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 Sunsets can be awesome in Tuscany.                                                                                                   We will stop at vineyards everywhere. 


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A typical Tuscany vineyard scene.                                                                                                              If you like shooting architecture detail, Northern Italy is perfect.  

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Tuscany is a shoppers paradise.                                                                                                A glowing sunrise in Tuscany.


Day 8 - July 14 - After breakfast, we continue to explore Tuscany by bus. We go to Siena, Monteriggioni & San Gimignano. These are all wonderful towns & areas of Tuscany. The entire day we were driving North towards our destination for the evening, fabulous Florence.

Overnight in Florence.


Day 9 - July 15 - We spend the whole day in enchanting Florence. We will have a walking tour, we will stop and see Michelangleo's classic sculpture DAVID, and then time to spend on our own for dinner in a cafe and be able to experience Florence's great shopping. (See photo below.)

Overnight in Florence.


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View of Florence from the Michelangelo Piazza.                                                           Another view of Florence with the famous Duomo Cathedral built in 1294.


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Michelangelo's "David" from 1504.                                                      Duomo.                                                                 The gold Gates of Paradise.

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Colorful Pontevecchio from the Arno River.                                                                                 Another shopper's paradise -- Florence. 

Day 10 - July 16 - After breakfast we travel to the town of Bolzano. This will be our base for two days to explore the astounding Dolomites. The Dolomites are part of a mountain range of the Alps that is similar to the Grand Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They are the same ragged limestone peaks, much more pointed & spectacular than the regular Alps or Rockies are. You will love the "power" these mountains add to the simplest vista.

We have lunch included in a Malga, a typical farmhouse that you can only find on the Dolomites where cheese is produced. Short tour of the city upon arrival and time to relax in a cafe.

Overnight in Bolzano.


Day 11 - July 17- We will tour any town that looks interesting in the Dolomites area. For certain we will stop at Misurina Lake, Lavaredo Heights, and my favorite, Val Di Funes. See photo at the very top of this website of that small village and below for some of the vistas of the area. 

Overnight in Bolzano.


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How do you call this area anything other than amazing??                                                      Some of the ragged peaks of the Dolomites.  


Even NG says "The Europe Nobody Knows". You will know it! 

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Another photo of the same church as in the National Geographic Traveler above.                                             We will look for wildflowers and scenics along the drives.


Day 12 - July 18 - After breakfast, we leave to travel South to Venice via Bassano del Grappa & Marostica. We will have short tours of these towns. Arrive to romantic Venice.

Overnight in Venice.


Day 13 - July 19 - Walking tour with guide in eclectic Venice. After the tour, we will give you time to just get lost and explore, finding your way back to the hotel by walking and/or by gondola. 

Overnight in Venice.

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Is there a more romantic city in the world than Venice?                                               St Mark's Square -- called "The Living Room of the World".  

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 You'll want to buy a Mardi Gras mask.                                                                   Ahhh... Venice at night. You'll want to photograph the canals.

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Gondala ride anyone?                                                                   Your own serenade.                               Relax with a drink in St. Mark's Sqaure. 


Day 14 - July 20 - Leaving Venice, we drive to Milan. An afternoon tour of the city including the famous Opera House, La Scala. Farewell Dinner in the evening is included.  

Overnight in Milan. 


Day 15 - July 21 -  Transfer to our flights back to the USA. Some of you may want to stay longer or extend your trip on your own and perhaps fly home from Rome or somewhere. Some of you may even want to stay in Venice longer and not fly back out of Milan. We are flexible with your schedule. If you wish to fly in earlier than the group or fly out later, we will work that out with you. 




Total Cost:  $4959 pays for the trip with all the items on the above itinerary.

Single supplement is $1020. ** These prices are only valid for a group of 20 people. 

** We will do all we can to “double up” to get you a roommate if you want to save on the single room supplement.  It usually works out evenly for those who want to share a room. 

As always, I would reccomend travel insurance in case of any emergencies at home or on the trip. This has helped several people on our past trips, and it is well worth the cost for that security.


Not included: Any alcohol or drinks, any lunches or dinners not mentioned, airfare to and from USA/Milan, any tours not mentioned. 




To reserve your space on this exciting trip, you must do the following quickly:

1. Check made out for $1000 to "Bill Bachmann."

2. Must print, fill out & include the Registration Form - CLICK HERE -

3. Photo copy of your passport photo page..... make sure it does not expire by Janurary 21, 2017.

4. Email Bill at so that he can keep track of spaces filled even before your check/reg form arrives.

To help Bill organize our group and to make sure to hold a spot, mail all of this RIGHT AWAY to:

Bill Bachmann
PO Box 950077
Lake Mary, FL 32795-0077

Any questions email me at the studio RIGHT AWAY!


To Print this Itinerary CLICK HERE!