Venice Unknown – Venezia Sconosciuta

Venice, Italy – October 29th to November 1st, 2023

Venice, one of the most popular and visited cities in the world, still has corners that only the Venetians know and where tourist groups don’t dare to venture.

After having been to Venice many times and having gotten to know a few true Venetians, who have showed me some of those corners, I have decided that it was time for me to share them with you.I am now inviting you to join me on a photographic and cultural exploration of what I call Venice Unknown.

During this four-day tour of this ancient and charming city, I will lead you to discover and photographs some of those hidden places, including

  • bridges and canals where the sun creates stunning light effects only at certain times of the day
  • squero–a shipyard where gondolas and all kinds of boats are still made by hand,
  • the workshop of a puppet maker,
  • a quirky bookstore where books float on a gondola in times of high water,
  • the lively fish market in the early mornings,
  • the ancient Ghetto with its synagogues,
  • a private tour of St. Mark’s Basilica and its crypt (subject to availability),

and more.

This intensive workshop will help you find your own unique vision and style through assignments created to get you past photographic fears and cliches to capturing lyrical, poetic and decisive moments that communicate the hidden charm of Venice. You will learn to capture the scenes and the moments that escape the eye of the casual viewer.

This workshop is suitable for all level of photographic experience and can be taken with any kind of camera equipment, including smartphones. However we will also shoot in situations and environments where the light is poor, so a good camera and a tripod are advisable in those circumstances.

What is Included

  • 3 nights single accommodation at 4-star Hotel Palazzo Priuli, with breakfast.
  • A welcome dinner at a traditional Venetian restaurant.
  • Boat passes for the city of Venice.
  • All entrances to museums and attractions.
  • Instruction by a professional photographer in a small group setting.

Private taxi fares to and from the airport are not included, but we can organize them for you on request.

The cost for attending this workshop is €1,900 (incl. taxes). A deposit of €600 is required to secure a seat. The workshop size is limited to 12 participants.

Venice Unknown Booking Form

Pay with PayPal.

About Your Instructor, Ugo Cei

Ugo CeiIf you were to ask me what do I do, I would say that I am an educator who helps photography enthusiasts sharpen their skills, so that they can take amazing pictures.

I am a professional travel and landscape photographer from Italy with a multi-year experience in leading photo tours and workshops. I love to travel and show the beauty of the world and its inhabitants to everybody. This is really an amazing planet we live on and every place and every culture possesses beauty that deserves to be shown.I have been to Venice more times than I can remember, always with great pleasure and joy and with the aim of finding undiscovered places where I can bring my students.

Diana Hatfield Denver, CO
Arthur Wolkovier Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sherry Benjamins Los Angeles, CA
Lynda Rubin Greenberg Toronto, Canada
Judith Pannozo Racine, WI
Frederick Fenyvessy San Antonio, TX
Patsy Latscha Newport Beach, CA
Chris Lord New York City, NY
David Bernal USA

I have done 3 photo tours with 3 different guides and locations, this has been the best of the three. Ugo was definitely the best of the three guides. His attention to detail with setting the scene and location with models, suggestions on camera settings were helpful for me, a novice with portrait photography. I would definitely recommend any tour with Ugo, he is an excellent photographer willing to share his knowledge, experience and secrets of special places he knows to make the entire photography experience a lifetime memory.

It was a great joy to participate at the Ugo Cei workshop in Venice.

A pleasant, kind and generous person, always ready to share his knowledge about the Venice and carnival. The organization was impeccable, the sessions with the models was done in a very professional way, the tours around the city were incredible. He knows every corner of this charming city. My wife and I came back with 5,000 extraordinary photos. An incredible experience, I recommend!

If I could I would give 6 stars!

Imagine having an opportunity to photograph some of the most incredible locations and people in the world’s most romantic city, Venice. And, during Carnevale! It was wonderful in every way. From the first email with Ugo, I could tell he was a caring, highly professional and experienced photographer and tour guide for us. He knew this city well and shared a lot before we were there.

I am so glad we chose Ugo and it was very special – my husband is still talking about it. There was so much to learn and interspersed with seeing a boat builder (gondolas), meeting the only professional puppet maker in Venice – and seeing how glass jewelry is made. Photo shoots were morning and night – you have to appreciate and be patient with the models. They are stunning.

The food also was wonderful – Ugo knew the best places. The group was small and allowed for intimate discussion and ease. We are so grateful for a truly immersive and learning experience in a magical city.

Ugo was a wonderful teacher and host in Venice at last years’ Carnival. He takes all the time you need to get your shot and to help with the camera settings when needed! Ugo was very generous and took us out for dinner two times, beginning and end of the workshop. And, he’s fun to be with!!

What an extraordinary experience to participate in a photography tour and workshop with Ugo Cei Photography Tours, in Venice, Italy during the Venice Carnival. His knowledge of Venice along with the right place to be at the right time made this perfect. Add to that his technical and lighting knowledge and then to top it off the perfect local eateries and local interests. It was days full from daylight to evening at a manageable pace with likeminded new international friends. So glad I took the leap and participated.

Amazing photography tour in Venice. Ugo is both a great teacher and guide. I attend multiple photo tours/workshops every year and this is one that will go into my "I really want to travel with Ugo again". Great balance between photo time and free time - and he allowed me to see a side of Venice which I missed in previous trips. It being Carnival - he placed us in a great position to create images, provided timely and creative feedback and made the entire experience not only fun but a deeply creative experience.

I had a wonderful experience in Venice with Ugo. I learned new things while enjoying the wonderful city. I have some special needs which he was able to accommodate perfectly. I highly recommend his company for photo tours.

Thoroughly enjoyed the recent workshop in Venice. The Carnival is a wonderful event to photograph as is the fantastical city of Venice. Ugo got us to all the right places at the right times for an incredible photography experience. Certainly a top recommendation!

I attended a Carnevale in Venice workshop with Ugo and had a wonderful experience. With Ugo's knowledge of Venice and Carnevale, he was able to put us in great locations with dozens of models and a few occasions with private shoots where only the people in the workshop were able to photograph the models. If attending Carnevale in Venice is on your bucket list, as it was on mine, then attending Ugo's workshop is highly recommended. You will be totally satisfied after the first day!

Terms and Conditions

Basis of Rates: All prices are based on one person occupying a single room. all prices are quoted in Euros. In case you would like a double room to share with a non-photographer partner, please contact me. The rates are based on current exchange rates and are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.

Eligibility: Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the entire journey.

Group Size and Booking Considerations

The tour will be confirmed only if a minimum number of 6 participants is reached. In order to keep the group size small and the experience enjoyable for everyone, the maximum number of participants I accept is 12.

Payment Schedule

The payment for this trip is split into 2 installments, due as follows:

  • €600 deposit is due at the time of booking.
  • Your balance payment is due by Aug 31st, 2023.

Cancellation Policy

The booking deposit will be refunded if participant numbers are not reached by August 31st, 2021.

After your group has been confirmed, the deposits are non-refundable.

If you cancel between 60 to 31 days prior to date of departure you will forfeit 50% of your total trip cost, including any applicable single supplement.*

If you cancel within 30 days of the date of departure, you will forfeit 100% of the tour cost. Where the full cost of the tour has not yet been paid, it will be immediately payable on cancellation.*

* Note that if you cancel up to 31 days before the start of the tour and I are able to backfill your place, I may refund recoverable costs at my discretion.

Payment Options

To book your place, click on the “Pay With Card” button above or on the PayPal link. Contact me if you’d prefer to pay by direct bank transfer.

Travel insurance

It is advisable to take out your travel insurance at the time of booking your trip as cover will commence for pre-departure cancellation from the policy issue date. This will therefore provide cover should you have to cancel your trip for an insured reason such as illness or serious accident.

I strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are adequately insured, providing financial protection against unforeseen circumstances. Cover should include medical expenses, as well as repatriation, in the event of accident or illness. In addition, I strongly recommend that you have cover for personal belongings, delay at your outward or homeward point of departure, personal liability, overseas legal expenses and cancellation. If you are undertaking any sports or adventurous activities on your trip, including trekking, you should also make sure that your policy covers these. Please also ensure you read the policy conditions and exclusions.


Ugo Cei will provide education enrichment during photo tours. The other providers are solely responsible and liable for providing their respective services. Ugo Cei and its designated tour leaders shall not be held responsible for (A) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, and (B) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation, or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government, or by acts of nature, strikes, fire, flood, war, terrorism, sickness, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control. The participant waives any claim against Ugo Cei and its designated tour leaders for any such loss, damage, injury, or death.  Ugo Cei reserves the right in their sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant on any photo workshop. Ugo Cei reserves the right, without penalty, to make changes in the itinerary whenever, in their judgement, conditions warrants, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants.

You have assumed the responsibility to select an activity appropriate to your physical abilities and interests. You are personally responsible for being in sufficiently good health to undertake the activity.

Physical Fitness Considerations

Getting around in Venice means having to walk a lot, as the boat buses only travel along the Canal Grande and around the city. While venice is flat, going from point A to point B usually requires going up and down the steps of a number of bridges in order to cross the numerous canals. If you have difficulties walking and have severe respiratory problems, this is probably not the activity for you.

That said, even elderly people, as long as they are reasonably fit, can join me in Venice, as they have done in the past. Whenever we have to walk, we always do so at a leisurely pace.