"Collect great moments, not things."


Il Palio in Siena is the world’s most spectacular horse race dating back to 1283. Siena is situated in the southern part of Tuscany. During the race Siena’s big, famous medieval square Piazza del Campo is covered with lots of soil, and the city center is transformed into a breathtaking racecourse. All the contestants ride bareback and in a colorful outfit – showing the contrade, the rider stands for. It is an experience unlike any other. You will get a rather unique chance to make a photographic story about an authentic moment in time – which feels like you are suddenly part of a medieval spectacle.
Il Paliois more than a simple horse race. It is the culmination of ongoing rivalry and competition between the contrade (districts). Ten of the 17 contrade (districts) compete, and the winner gains the high honor of being Palio champion. Siena’s entire year revolves around these races. Young drummers prepare and practice their rhythms, flag bearers rehearse all around the city, and the leaders of each contrada barter throughout the year to get the best jockeys and, more importantly, the best horses.
The main race is held on July 2 and is named Palio di Provenzano, in honour of the Madonna of Provenzano, who has a church in Siena. We will photograph a reportage about one of the worlds most spectacular races. In order to get a full story we will photograph all the events leading to the main event on July 2.


  • Explore the spectacular horse race Il Palio together with award-winning photographer Marco Di Lauro
  • Learn about travel and reportage photography and how to capture people and scenes in a natural environment. How to approach people and situations – and get a feeling of photographing the right moment.
  • Shoot amazing photos in a reportage / documentary style
  • A journey into magnificent ancient traditions in Italian culture
  • Discover the Northern Tuscany and Siena


You will learn how to approach the unique challenges of travel photography and how to capture candid moments, dynamic energy, motion and human interaction.


  • Teaching and training in the best techniques and personal hints and advise.
  • Composition and focus on lines, golden section, perspective, foreground, middleground and background.
  • Work in different lighting and with short/long exposure times and aperture.
  • How to handle equipment with care on location.
  • Private hands-on lessons that can help taking your photography skills to the next level.


  • Expert review and constructive criticism of the images taken during the day.
  • Workflow in Photoshop and/or Light Room, and printing.
  • Portfolio Review.
  • A Better Moments Certified Photo Instructor is available during the entire workshop to offer assistance with camera settings, the basics of composition, guide and help in general.



Since the absolute best light is during the evening and night hours, we will chase our motives in these very hours – the late evening and night. At these moments the light is saturated with pink red colors and the mighty landscapes will appear in the most beautiful and dramatic way.


Arrival at our hotel in Siena. At the hotel we will have a briefing on the coming workshop.
Time to explore Siena with our cameras in the night, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site with architectural treasures such as the Siena Cathedral and the Piazza del Campo.


This day offers a lot of adventure and great scenes. We will explore the the final rehearsal and final rehearsal dinner with our camera. The grand dinner depending on the size of the contrada, have seats anywhere from 900 to 3500 people, who all eat, sing and drink lots of wine, with the favourite topic of conversation being the contrada’s chances in the race the following day.


We will get early up in the morning at the day of the main event to photography the exciting moments and the spectacular horse race Il Palio.
7.45 am – In the Chapel adjacent the City Hall, the Archbishop celebrates the “Jockey Mass.”
3 pm – Blessing of the horse and the jockey in each Contrada’s parish church. The priest ends the mystical rite with a wish that sounds like an order: “Go and come back victorious!”
Also around 3 p.m. each Contrada performs a benediction ceremony of its horse and afterwards joins in the large parade in historical costume with over 600 participants, that winds through the city.
The parade arrives around 5 p.m. at the Piazza del Campo, and ends by around 6.30-7 p.m. The Piazza del Campo is completely packed with local spectators and tourists. The event is scheduled to begin around 7 p.m., but the actual start can be delayed by the preparations. The race takes only 75 seconds – it is fast and dangerous for the jockeys and the horses. At the end, the winning Contrada is presented with the Palio banner which represents a great honor. The winning Contrada then marches through town with the banner.





June 30 – July 3, 2017 
4 days

Explore Piazza del Campo in Northern Tuscany, which is covered with lots of soil, and the city center is transformed into a breathtaking racecourse.



Marco Di Lauro is a World Press award-winning photographer working for amongst others Newsweek, Time Magazine, New York Times Magazine and Der Spiegel. He has worked under an exclusive contract for Getty Images Reportage since 2002 covering the Middle Eastern conflict in the Gaza Strip and spent almost all of 2003 and 2004 in Iraq, documenting the American invasion and the drama of the Iraqi people. Along with his wartime coverage, Di Lauro also cover events such as the Palio of Siena horse race and the battle of the oranges that breaks out every year in the city of Ivrea in Italy at Carnival time, Easter processions in Sicily, Easter procession in Seville, and the religious life in Italy and the Vatican City. In all the stories he photograph, whether large or small, in Italy or abroad he always attempts to capture the sacred side of life and its deeper meaning.



Number of guests: 8-12

Local transport: Cars
Exertion level: Easy 
Accommodation: Hotels 
Meals: All meals included
Type of photography: Travel, city, portrait and storytelling 
Weather in May: Min -3°C , Max 8°C .


€2,450 per person in shared accommodation
€2,950 per person in single accommodation

If you sign-up a group of 4+ participants you will receive a discount based on the size of your group.

Hotel accommodation
All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
All excursions
Coaching, teaching, workshops and seminars with Marco Di Lauro.

Transportation to/from Siena, Alcoholic beverages and travel insurance.


Airport pick-up:
Better Moments arrange one pickup and one return to the airport on arrival day and departure day. Most often, none of our guests will wait longer than one hour, as all international flights arrive and depart at the same time.



Most travellers arriving by plane will land at airports in FLorence or Pisa. Buses of the Siena line connect Siena with the Bologna Marconi airport (twice daily, 2.5 hours), a favorite with the discount carriers. There is also a bus link to Pisa airport.


All foreigners intending to enter Italy must provide the documentation required to justify the reasons and duration of their stay as well as, in some prescribed cases, the availability of adequate economic means and lodging. Depending on your citizenship, the stability of that country and the duration and reasons for your stay you may need to obtain a visa before coming to Italy.

See more information: http://www.esteri.it/visti/home_eng.asp


Siena weather is characterised by an excellent temperate climate, with weather that is mild through most of the year and generally avoids the worst extremes of hot or cold that can be found elsewhere in Italy. Siena has four seasons: spring (March to May), summer (June to September), autumn (October to November) and winter (December to February). Summertime in Siena rarely gets as hot and sticky as other parts of the country, peaking around 31°C. Winters usually avoid the harshest cold, with temperatures around 10°C.


Linguistically speaking, the Italian language is a member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. It is spoken principally in the Italian peninsula, southern Switzerland, San Marino, Sicily, Corsica, northern Sardinia, and on the northeastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, as well as in North and South America.


The lira (plural lire) was the currency of Italy between 1861 and 2002. Between 1999 and 2002, the Italian lira was officially a national subunit of the euro.


  • Tuscany is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy and its influence on high culture. It is regarded as the birthplace of the Renaissance and has been home to many figures influential in the history of art and science.
  • Siena is capital of the province Siena in Tuscany, Italy.
  • The historic centre of Siena has been declared by a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.  It is one of the nation’s most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008.
  • Siena is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year.
  • The Palio di Siena is more than a simple horse race. It is the culmination of ongoing rivalry and competition between the contrade. The lead-up and the day of the race are invested with passion and pride.