Are you ready for an Italian experience of your dreams?

welcome

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My name is Bianca and I’d love to help you embrace your fierce creativity and show you the incredible energy of Florence, Italy.

It’s my honor to offer small group travel experiences designed exclusively for women who want to make the most out of their life. I’m excited to show you how you can have a life changing travel opportunity and learn hot modern photography with award winning photographer and blogger Leela Cyd.

Whether you’re looking to take your passion to the next level or you’ve just purchased your first camera — this week is designed to give you a well deserved week of “you” time. We believe traveling and learning new things about the world and ourselves is the key to a happy successful life full of opportunity.

We’ve helped other women experience Italy and return home more inspired to face the world with passion and vitality.

We would love the opportunity to do that for you too.

Thanks for being here,

xx  Bianca

 

experience_FWould you like to create magazine worthy photographs?

Would you like to explore your creativity through lens and laughter?

Do you think the Tuscan light and the direction of a pro photographer will help you capture your best photos ever?

We do.

And we’ve create your golden opportunity.

Join photographer Leela Cyd Ross in the streets, markets and piazzas of Florence.

This is more than just a holiday. It’s a time designed to make the most of your precious time in Italy. We want you to FEEL Italy, not just SEE Italy – and using your camera is the perfect way to do that.

Tell your story through details, panoramas, portraits and moments of serendipity.

Here is a fact: Learning photography can enhance your life forever.

Imagine being the official photographer of your life — with the skills to document each passing year, each precious moment and each life phase.

With styling, composition, camera skills and a little moxie you CAN be — and this one-of-a-kind week will get you there.

Your lessons aren’t conducted in a boring studio shooting still life.

Through hands on workshops you’ll rock:

Magazine inspired food photography & food styling :: Transform static still life

Eating with Leela is a fantastic experience. She can’t really finish her meal without styling it to look like a feature in Bon Appétit. She’ll teach you how, with simple tricks of the trade, your dinners can turn into magazine worthy images.

Leela’s work for cookbooks, restaurants and the foodie mega-blog The Kitchn will transform how you approach food photography. You won’t believe what you will create together.

Cityscapes :: Create your own postcards

Hot modern photography is about capturing authentic moments that are individual and a little bit raw.

They call Florence a living museum — but it’s so much more than that. Learn how to mix incredible Renaissance architecture & the modern city for subject matter with substance.

Leela will lead you to intuitive composition tricks for developing your authentic voice and viewpoint.

Photographing people :: Capture portraits of people you know and those you’ve just met

Daily life in the Florentine streets are exploding with photo ops. Get your lens ready while mamma hangs the laundry, Antonio stacks fruit in the market, Massimo pedals his daughter to school on a rusty bike and children play in the piazza. This is Italy. Are you ready?

Leela will show you how to capture the personality behind the faces – which is why blogs & magazines love to feature her work.

Photograph interiors the right way :: How to approach a space and bring out personality within objects

You’ll have a no-holds bar opportunity to photograph the interior of a Florence address where you’ll gain insights on how to coax static objects into visually magnetic imagery that drip style and personality.

Leela will help you set up your camera for your best interior shots – her interiors have been featured in the New York Times and Apartment Therapy.

Travel Photography :: Depict Your Story of a Special Place

Learn how to combine the diverse elements of countryside, cityscapes, people, objects and interiors that depict nuance and feeling like a pro documentarian.

Leela will show you how. Her camera has been her ticket to see the world where she’s worked for clients in Argentina, Chile, Italy, and around the U.S.

 

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This trip to Florence is a mix of work and play.

We balance hands on workshops with specially designed events that let you enjoy the vibrancy of Florence. Get ready for:

An insider’s view of the artists’ quarter, the great eats and the sparkly Florence vibe with co-host Bianca Gignac (blogger + Italy travel pro + owner of Italian Fix).

Bianca first visited Florence as a student to learn Italian. She actually cried the first time she saw the duomo. She wants to show you the places in Florence she would take her best friend. Florence is big and overwhelming but when travel with a friend in the know — you’ll just focus on what really matters.

A hotel in a 16th century palazzo in the most beautiful piazza in Florence.

Your hotel in Piazza Santo Spirito is an incredible spot where you’ll be able to relax on the massive wrap around veranda with a glass of wine and a view of a classic Florence city scene. Fabulous bars, restaurants and nightlife are right outside the door. Your new address is in the heart of a real neighbourhood in an artsy zone  where the Florentine creative class work, live and hang out. Your gonna love it as much as we do.

Learn about photography as a business

Would you like to make money in photography? Wouldn’t it be nice to ask a pro photographer some questions over a glass of something? Well – seize this opportunity – because a week with a professional doesn’t happen every day.

Leela will chat about how photography goes beyond paying her bills. She’ll share how blogging, storytelling and freelancing has made her into a sought after professional photographer and who travels the world to do what she loves. This mentorship could bring you closer to YOU working in your dream career.

A cooking class and dinner to follow in the home of a local.

We are thrilled to invite you to the home of Italian food blogger and cookbook author Giulia Scarpaleggia of Jul’s Kitchen. We will spend an evening of cooking, eating and photographing at her country home near Sienna.

A multi-course Tuscan meal with wine pairings guided by a local sommelier.

Eat at a celebrated Florence eatery where the locals love. Because it’s criminal to visit Florence without a wine + food fest.

Escape the city & cruise the country roads of Tuscany by bike.

You’ll get to visit a castle and eat a country lunch. It might be more fresh air than you’ve had all year.

A private walking tour hosted by the city’s most beloved local guide.

Go big: be inspired by the history, the art and the iconic places that make Florence matter.

Meals enjoyed together at the most celebrated eateries in the city.

Expect great food, relaxed chatting and the upbeat spirit that eating in Italy delivers.

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We want to send you home with something special: a portrait of you in Florence.

Your self  portrait will be styled in a Florence city scene and is your gift to keep. We want you to remember this specific moment for the rest of your life and this portrait session will help you do it.  Clients normally pay hundreds for a session with Leela — but we’ve included this opportunity as a special cherry on the top of an already fabulous week. Your new portrait is great for your biz, your blog or just Facebook brag time. But we hope you frame it and put it in your home to remind you of a special moment in time when you invested in yourself.

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leela_cyd_rossLeela Cyd is a professional photographer based in Portland, Oregon.

She does what she loves everyday and her infectious enthusiasm will inspire the photographer inside of you.

Leela has landed her some pretty sweet gigs as a cookbook photographer and a contributor to the mega-blog Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn. Commercial clients also hunt her down for her stylish portrayal of their hotels and restaurants.

She has shot interiors, portraits and food for magazines such as Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Kinfolk, Whole Living and the New York Times. She also owns the award winning blog Tea Cup Tea.

More than anything – Leela’s camera has been her ticket to touch, taste and laugh with the rest of the world. Her passion is leading workshops for beginning and advanced photography enthusiasts, bloggers and story tellers. Working on global assignments for clients in faraway places is what makes her job so inspiring.

This creative collaboration between Leela and Bianca builds on the wild success of last year’s trip to the Cinque Terre. You can see her photos from that trip here.

 

Bianca Gignac landed in Florence 10 years ago and it completely changed her life.

She proved why it is so dangerous to let your daughter go to Italy – she met and married an Italian man. She lived on his turf for a few years: she got a job, built a life and made great friends. She even got along fantastically with her Italian mother-in-law (a strange sub-culture of people who iron their children’s underwear).

Her relationship with Italy is unique – she understands it as a resident and as a foreigner – and she knows sharing her second home, her love and her insider knowledge of Italy can make other people’s travels to Italy more meanigful.

She built a place where that can happen every day through her blog Italian Fix and her one-of-a-kind group travel opportunities like this one that happen once a year. She is completely convinced that travelling to Italy with someone in the know is much better than going it alone — it’s the closest thing to having an Italian friend. She’s also thrilled to offer an alternative to cookie-cutter group travel and to serve people who look for unique a Italian experience.

Right now, Bianca and Alessandro live in Canada with their daughter Flora — and feel totally fortunate for the lifestyle their two countries offer them.

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Mornings will be spent in hands on photo workshops through group instuction and individual attention. Workshops will be help throughout the city, not in a classroom. Your afternoons and evenings will be spent exploring the city with Leela and Bianca. Most meals are eaten together at the best spots in Florence. Your time will be a balanced blend of activity time and play time to make the most of your precious time in Italy.

You’ll also experience the gorgeous Tuscan countryside surrounding Florence. You’ll be able to see the Chianti countryside and you’ll also spend an evening at a local’s home in a small village near Sienna. Of course all day trips and transportation is included in the fee.

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We have an inclusive tech philosophy that focuses on you getting results with the camera that you already have.

Remember, a camera is a tool , but the tool is irrelevant. You’ll learn to push whatever camera you bring to the limit to create dynamic images.

Don’t feel like you need to jump on an expensive camera just to join this trip. It’s not like that — it’s about gaining confidence using whatever you bring.

Of course if you need camera advice before you go then Leela will give you her straight up ideas to fit your budget. Email her at leela@leelacyd {dot} com.

past guests

Think of this as a girls getaway: we treat you like a friend, not a reservation number. You should expect incredible personal service in a relaxed and friendly environment.

But don’t take it from us, check out what past guests have to say about travelling with us.

Bianca has a gift for sharing the happiness and love of Italy, and also organizing amazing one-of-a-kind activities with locals. The greatest element was the people that came on this trip: amazing women who love food, who love travel and who love life! Ayon Wen-Waldron | San Antonio Texas.

I’ve traveled a lot but I must say this was definitely the best trip I have ever taken. I speak of this trip often and I always get goose bumps…it was just that amazing. Bernadette Cay | Portland Oregon.

I can’t wait to travel with Bianca again. Belinda Molina | San Antonio Texas

There were so many incredible moments – I loved them all. I can’t wait to do more travelling with Bianca and friends. Miranda DeSantis | New York City

I loved this vacation! Carolann Stoll | Nanaimo British Columbia

The biggest marker of success for us is that we have repeat clients joining us this season. Read the full reviews from past guests.

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The trip fee is $3500.00

This investment in yourself includes:

6 nights hotel hotel in the 16th century palace Palazzo Guadagni in shared accommodation, 4 half-day group photography workshops with Leela Cyd plus individual assistance, a cooking class at the home of a celebrated Italian food blogger, a private walking tour of Florence, a Tuscan countryside day trip by bike, wine tasting with a sommelier, individual portrait session with Leela Cyd, welcome cocktails, farewell cocktails, 6 breakfast at our hotel, 3 lunches, 5 dinners with wine at the best restaurants in the city. More details are here.

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“Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our mission is to help you be a better version of yourself.

We believe you need to invest in yourself first. We believe focusing on your health and happiness is the best way to be a positive influence for the people in your life and a force of good in the world.

The crazy thing is we forget to truly nurture ourselves because there is always so much “to do”. We tend to invest more in “things” than we do in our actual self improvement or in life lifting experiences. If you currently spend more on your car than you do on yourself, then it’s time for a reality check.

Most of us work too much and get exhausted. Sometimes we feel very alone. We wonder if there is more to life than what we are currently living. If you’ve ever felt like this — we get you.  This company was founded on the belief that travel, done right,  can hit your internal reset button.

We don’t come to the most inspirational place in the universe by accident; Italy is a place of love and laughter. Because you deserve it.

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” Oprah Winfrey

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We believe that access to travel and education is an incredible privilege. We want you to live that privilege, but we also want to create better situations for people who need it most. This is why Italian Fix gives cash to organizations who are making the world a saner place.

Know that each time you are investing in yourself, you are also investing in someone else.

This year we are proud to support entrepreneurs in developing economies. A percentage of sales from this trip go directly to fund small business loans for women, girls and the working poor through Kiva.org

We have also awarded one travel scholarship this year. That means we’ve waived the trip fee for one guest on our 2013 trips. We care about our people. Read more here.

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You might be wondering if this trip is for you.

You might already know that travelling Italy with insider knowledge is a killer strategy because Italy can be confusing and overwhelming when you don’t know the language.

Maybe you are looking for something different from the cookie cutter all inclusive vacations. Or maybe you don’t recognize yourself  right now because you’re even considering an organized trip —  your simply not a “tour” person.

We know not everyone is interested in what we offer because what we do is incredibly unique.

But if you’d like to know if you are a good fit for the trip then keep reading.

This trip is great for:

  • People who don’t want to travel alone.
  • Photographers by passion or profession looking for renewed inspiration
  • Bloggers, storytellers, image makers, amateurs, stylists, designers + artsy types (and wannabees!)
  • People who’ve bought an SLR but don’t know how to milk it for the best shots. Or people who have never owned a real camera but think they would like to.
  • Moms + Grammas who want to take better photos of the small people in their life
  • Anyone interested in taking their photography hobby to the next level (bring all your questions on how to go pro – they will be answered.)

This trip is not for people who:

  • Cannot handle group instruction; these lessons are done in a group setting. Of course bits o’ individual attention will be offered.
  • Are critical of others peoples’ creative process or think they know everything. Our goal is to unlock your individual skills – whatever stage you’re at.
  • Prefer to travel without set schedules. This week is balanced by learning new skills and events that compliment your time in Florence. If you prefer vacations with excessive free time this isn’t for you.

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You can reach Bianca or Leela anytime to ask your burning questions about camera gear or Italian travel plans or to get more information. You can also read the frequently asked questions here.

We are here for you. We treat our clients as friends: that means the moment you register you have help to make your trip stress free and incredibly valuable. We want you to succeed!

Let’s chat.

Bianca’s email is bianca@italianfix {dot} com

Leela’a email is leela@leelacyd {dot} com

We would love to hear from you.

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Is there a voice inside you that says: “I want this!”

Could you see yourself in Florence walking across the ponte vecchio with your camera slung over your shoulder?

Could you use an opportunity to connect with a pro photographer for mentorship and support?

Would you like to be a part of a group of women who are living their life to the fullest?

Are you looking to travel more, invest in yourself, and become a more authentic vision of yourself in a supportive learning environment?

Do you know what the difference is between the people who are living a fulfilling, happy life? It’s super simple but incredibly powerful: they are actively making choices to make it so. That means that they aren’t letting life toss them around, they are stepping up to the plate and saying, “I am responsible for my own condition”.

We want you to step up to the plate and make great things for yourself. If you don’t, who will? Carpe diem honey.

“Understanding that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility.” Bishop T.D. Jakes

We hope to meet you at this event in Florence.

It would be our honor and privilege to share Italy with you.

Air kisses + hugs + gratitude,

Bianca + Leela.

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Registration is now closed.

But don’t be sad: you can get on the wait list for future trips.

Click here to get on the wait list and hear more about Italian Fix trips.

 

OVERVIEW | ITINERARY + PRICE | PRAISE | PHOTO GALLERY | FAQ’S | FINE PRINT

Kiva - loans that change livesWe are proud to support entrepreneurs in developing economies. A percentage of sales from this trip go directly to fund small business loans for the working poor through Kiva.org

Photo credits: Leela Cyd