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Venice -- Her Photography Workshop


Flowers for the rabbi's wife...

Still I persevered and the community officials ever so slowly began to trust me. Gradually, as the restrictions relaxed, the merchants of religious items allowed me to photograph shoppers in their stores. The rabbinical students learned to ignore my flash as day after day I attempted to capture a sense of their lives in the classroom. The leader of the Jewish Walking Tour posed for me in the square, the gondola driver introduced me to the baker who made the best apple strudel in town, and finally, on the last day the rabbi's wife invited me into her home to document her and her husband preparing for the Sabbath. I arrived at their door at the designated hour, a huge bouquet of flowers in one hand, camera in the other, so grateful for their generosity. They were wonderful subjects and I, novice photographer, nervously tried not to fluff this incredible opportunity I had been given.

Solo or with the group...

Our week's program blended photography lessons with interesting field trips -- to the early morning Rialto fish market, into churches laden with incredible art and on vaporetto rides to the outlying islands of Murano and Burano. Our cameras around our necks we were constantly on "red alert" as we searched for the perfect photo opportunities. Those who required more solo time were always free to go off on their own -- shopping for souvenirs, attending a classical concert in the church, or simply relaxing with an espresso at one of the many local cafes.

Mealtimes were marvellous times...

Thank goodness we did so much walking during the day or my classmates and I would all have returned to our respective homes many pounds heavier. Five dinners were included in this workshop's itinerary and what splendid multi-coursed extravaganzas they were. Each night our hosts led us to a new and unusual restaurant where we were able to sample the wonderful specialties and wines of the Venato region. Imagine the great fun we had as we shared tastes, drank toasts for any and all reasons, discussed photography and exchanged tidbits about our personal lives.

Special evening, special week...

One memorable evening Linda and Michael entertained at home with much elegance and grace. They did everything in their power to lavish us with their own brand of Italian hospitality. Candles were lit, wine flowed and Linda's very own creation -- a four-course Venetian meal was served by Michael tastefully dressed-up to impress. The evening closed with our multi-talented hostess offering a sampling of her extraordinary singing voice. Wow!

Sound as if I enjoyed this Il Chiostro photography workshop? You bet I did. I'm already scanning our travel and learn classifieds for my next adventure. Even for an experienced solo traveller, I found this type of group programming so very satisfying. I met lots of new folks who shared my interests, had alone time when I needed it, and when any personal travel problems did come up Michael was right there ready to help me solve my dilemma quickly and efficiently. That meant Journeywoman could devote all her energies to learning, eating, drinking, socializing, sightseeing and having an absolutely wonderful time in Venice.





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