It is always painful to leave Tuscany. After eleven years of visiting this region, it is becoming more and more difficult to end a week of absolute nirvana.

To photograph here you must become one with the land and immerse yourself into the culture. To succeed in your image quest, you have to understand the food, wine, people and landscape and how they coexist in perfect harmony to provide the best recipe for creativity and life.

You have to develop a huge connection and respect for what drives existence here. Their entire philosophy of life is based on patience and slow pace which prevents stress and allows life’s enjoyment. The concept is so foreign to most westerners, that you must truly embrace the culture and leave behind all preconceptions of our daily existence.

This time of year, the soil sweats blood in the form of poppies signifying the end of summer and the start of the harvest season. Rolling hills of green wheat give way to row after row of maroon grooves. Here the land is not used, it gives, and earth dictates change and pace. Ginestra flowers adorn the fields as if some higher being lifted its all-powerful brush and sprinkled with dots of yellow the majestic hills. In the distance, layers of light-emanating mountains glow with the power to impress centuries of artists.

Food is the star of Tuscany; no Michelin Three-Star chef starts to compare to the culinary wonders of Patrizia our hostess. Every plate an offering to the gods prepared with the priceless products of this soil.

And the wine, yes the wine, pillar of the Tuscan culture, divine elixir that must be consumed in peace and harmony with the landscape evolving in front of you. For me, food and wine on this trip weighs as heavenly as photography. These elements are key to my creative process and on how I portray the spirit of this exquisite region.

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