I am very privileged to work with some amazing people both in Australia and Italy. Nikole Ramsay is certainly no exception. We are both passionate about sharing our knowledge and giving people an experience that combines food and photography, with two experts in their field. Recently Nikole who has photographed across all three Annie’s Brands came in store to do some head shots for me. One thing lead to another and next minute we were hatching a plan to join forces to offer a very unique and special experience culminating in Nikole providing a photography workshop experience combined with all things food, wine and design in the veneto region of Italy with Annie’s Italy.
That project has now come to fruition and brings together a love of Italy, food and photography.
It is an educational tour where mornings are spent learning together and afternoons are filled exploring bustling markets, wineries and gourmet cooking schools.
The accommodation is a charming guest house set in a rural area with sweeping views located in between the towns of Bassano del Grappa and Asiago.
We have recently been featured on The Design files and also The Geelong edition. Below is a couple of questions recently asked in an interview with Nikole.
What types of photography will you focus on during the week-long tour?
We will focus on food, travel and lifestyle photography, which will include how I approach photographing people/portraits, interiors and food (both finished dishes, raw ingredients and people making the food).
Depending on the experience level of the group, we will also discuss how to shoot stories for magazines and how to pitch stories for publications.
We may also cover some areas of the business of photography and there will be plenty of time for conversations and questions too if participants have particular goals they are working towards in their photography.
Tell us more about what makes the light in Italy so special, especially through the eyes of a photographer.
Yes, the light in Italy has a magical quality! Especially late afternoon light with its golden glow! Also, the colour of the buildings, the old stone and the painted facades all come to life in that beautiful soft quality of light.
Who is this tour ideal for and how much photography experience is required?
The tour is ideal for anyone who is passionate about experiencing travel with a food focus while at the same time learning new photography skills.
Nikole goes on to explain that the tour is open to people of all levels of photography, although would ideally suit someone who has a basic understanding of their camera and is wanting to learn more, to take more beautiful pictures of travel, food and lifestyle images. I would expect that most participants have a basic understanding of their camera, but you don’t need to be an experienced photographer to join us.
Nikole joined me in 2016 to shoot Annie’s Italy, to capture the true essence of what this tour is all about. Love, connection, food, wine and design are just a few amongst the vast array of emotions this country seems to convey to anyone visiting. The imagery captured was simply mind blowing and Nikole will be joining me and my guests on my Annie’s Italy tour to re shoot and capture more of this incredible region before our Photography and food Tour.
Each trip I allow time to meet with many local artisan heroes in the region to be able to continue to offer more wonderful experiences for my guests. I get such a buzz when I discover a new winery or artisan producer. I recently stayed at a new accommodation I will be using for next years tours not far from the village of my nonna. Set in the Vincenza hills the renovated school house is a wealth of history along with the area famous for its malgas (cheese farms). The malgas dotted throughout the countryside truly are paddock to plate passed down through the generations. The lush green hilly pastures are the perfect ingredient for making the famous Asiago cheese named after the towns namesake.
Our tour in may 2020 will be the first time we will have stayed and ventured into this area of Veneto. I am excited to be offering our guests a road less traveled in Northern Italy and also captured by Nikole Ramsay Photography
Its hard to believe Annie’s Italy 2019 is done and dusted and what a week we had. This tour was full of first times which was exciting not only for me but also my guests. Firstly we stayed at an incredible B&B hidden in the Tarzo Hills, with a drive way to challenge even the most confident of drivers. I couldn’t wait to share with my guests on arrival day this magic place which was met with gasps upon our arrival ( also because of the drive way).
Ruth & Andrea our B&B hosts and lets not forget Denny, Ruth’s father and their gorgeous little girl Jasmine were waiting our arrival at the top of the steep drive way. Met with big hugs, kisses, prosecco and afternoon delights our guests were transported to another world up high. Our group of 4 were shown their rooms and given time to settle in and an aperitivo time of course.
The week that followed was filled love, laughter, incredible food and wine and a real sense of the real Italy. Interestingly enough two of my guests proceeded to tell me that they have visited Italy many times and actually never liked it and their family didn’t know why they were coming back. Visiting major towns in the past they experienced bad food and service along with a perception Italy was greatly dirty. The whole week there mouths were aghast as they experienced an Italy they didn’t know existed filled with incredible producers and a generosity of spirit which left them in awe!! OK job done!!
Our tour included an elegant dinner at Villa Anagarano, a cooking class with our hosts, prosciutto education and tasting and our first time to Trieste.This hustling and bustling town with the most incredible Piazza on the water was a joy for us all. We had lunch with 6th generation prosciutto supplier Federica Morgante at her families recently opened salumeria in Trieste and what a delight this was. Federica the day before had shown us all things prosciutto in San Daniele followed by lunch also, her generosity of time she gives Annie’s Italy always blows me away.
A quick thank you to those who came and experienced my Italy and in particular the Veneto region of my roots. I never take for granted people entrusting me with their holiday plans and seeing a side to Italy they haven’t seen before.
One of the first things people ask me is how do I do that long haul flight a couple of times a year. No problem I answer! Its all in the way you look at it I believe and also the times you fly. I always catch an evening flight that leaves around 9.30pm, I have had my dinner before getting on the plane ready to settle in and watch a couple of movies. By this time I am well and truly sleepy and ready to say goodnight.
Having not eaten the plane food late at night it aids in having a more reasonable nights sleep. I usually take something to help me get to sleep and most times wake up between 7-8 hours later with usually around 4 hours to go to landing. Once landed its usually a couple of hours turn around before boarding once more with a 5-6 hour flight straight in to Venice landing at 1.30pm.
Travelling over is always so much easier than coming back as so many of you have experienced but I find if you land around 6.30pm your not needing to stay up too long before getting to bed. Over the years I have experienced everything from no jet lag to kill me now jet lag, however I think I have given myself these days with hindsight the best chance possible for maximum recovery.
So as I head back to Italy for my September food and wine tours keep up to date with my blog posts to see how much fun we get up to!!