- Shoot photographs of hilltop hamlets or historic cityscapes.
- Interview street performers and artisans in Florence.
- Ride a bike atop Lucca's medieval walls.
- Climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
- Trek to the seaside hamlets of Cinque Terre.
Choose one of these projects and delve further into your area of interest:
Itinerary 12 Days
It's no accident that so many writers and artists have found their way to Tuscany since the days of Michelangelo and Dante—inspiration lies around every corner. The cobblestoned piazzas of Lucca and Florence are lined with medieval and Renaissance architecture, but filled with the modern energy of bustling markets and lively cafés. The hills roll on as far as the eye can see, some striped with vineyards, others gilded with fields of sunflowers. Capture the essence of Tuscany through writing or photography.
Our home in Tuscany is nestled within the ancient walls of Lucca. Delve into this lively medieval city and spend twelve days pursuing your On Assignment project, whether it's a collection of portraits or a short story set in a colorful seaside village. Work in teams with the guidance of your trip leaders and National Geographic expert Massimo Bassano. A typical day begins with a workshop or an exercise designed to hone your photography or writing techniques. Then head out into the field to experience the region through hands-on activities. On a visit to Florence, record your impressions of Michelangelo’s marble masterpieces in the Accademia or photograph different architectural styles of the city’s palaces and churches. Interview local artisans about their craft and learn to make pasta at an authentic Italian cooking class. Venture deep into the quarries where Michelangelo sourced marble for his sculptures, and ride a historic funicular into the Tuscan Hills. Climb Pisa’s legendary leaning tower, or visit Machiavelli’s rural Tuscan estate. Head to the coast to explore Cinque Terre, where five brightly painted seaside villages are tucked in along the rocky shores below impossibly steep mountains. Hike the slopes high above the Mediterranean and reward yourself with a swim. On hikes in the countryside, capture images of tapered cypress stands on the hilltops, or take portraits of local farmers framed by fields of sunflowers. Take advantage of free time in the afternoons to play a pickup game of soccer with Italian teenagers, or sample the flavors in one of the world’s oldest family-run gelaterias. In the evenings, attend a workshop on oral storytelling, or set out to capture Lucca in different light on a nighttime photo shoot. Put together an informal pop-up gallery on a city street to share your final On Assignment projects.