The 2022 contest was open to everyone who participated in one of our four 2021 trips to the Luberon and Puglia.
We received 35 entries from 16 people. (Two people joined us for two trips in 2021 and were able to submit photos from each trip.) Thanks so much to everyone who entered!
This slide show includes all the photos entered in our 2022 contest, along with the description provided by the traveler. Each person could submit up to two photos, but only one could be selected as a winning photo. The seven winning photos are included first, and then the other photos follow, organized randomly.
Instructions for viewing the slide show: You can move through the slide show manually, using the arrows on the left and right of each photo. The caption will appear after a brief delay. You can also “hover” over a slide to pause the show.
GRAND PRIZE - Mitchell from Louisiana, USA. The Puglia Experience "We visited this multi-generational working farm on a beautiful fall day. Every nook and cranny of this magical place held a feast for our eyes. This photo shows the bounty of the harvest, fall tomatoes and peppers and herbs, all being dried to be used throughout the dormant winter season. You can also see the racks of tobacco leaves that have been hung to dry as a nod to the past history of this ongoing successful family enterprise."
RUNNER-UP - Eric from Montana, USA The Luberon Experience (September 2021) "What makes the villages of the Luberon so charming are the lush plants, colorful accents and wrought iron details that adorn the interesting architecture. They transform potentially cold stone structures into inviting homes, hotels and shops that you do not tire of seeing day after day."
SPECIAL RECOGNITION- Doug from Washington, USA The Luberon Experience "I liked this setting in the village of Lacoste, taken from the terrace of one of the SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) buildings there. The contrast of the angular contemporary sculpture with the ancient stonework, both in the wall of the museum and the buildings of Bonnieux in the distance, makes this an interesting thought piece. Both France, but old and new."
SPECIAL RECOGNITION - Charlie from Louisiana, USA The Luberon Experience (September 2021) "A peek at the light show in an abandoned quarry. This program featured the work of Paul Cezanne. The projections kept changing as you walked through the immense cave. Different!!"
SPECIAL RECOGNITION - Patti from Tennessee, USA The Puglia Experience (September 2021) "This is a photo of one of the breathtaking cliffs and Cola Porto Beach in the beautiful Adriatic seaside town of Polignano a Mare. For me this town captures the rich and long history of this area of Italy. The influence of other cultures and countries throughout centuries can be seen everywhere you turn in the architecture and in the old town streets. It was my most immersive visit of this trip."
SPECIAL RECOGNITION - Sarah from Missouri, USA The Puglia Experience (October 2021) "One of the many highlights of the Puglia trip was a visit to Grottaglie, known as a “Città della Ceramica.” Some historians believe ceramics have been produced here for more than 1,000 years. The rooster, a symbol of the region, appears in many of the ceramic pieces. A wall of ceramic tiles on the Via Crispi highlights the many different rooster designs that the more than 80 artisan workshops of Grottaglie have depicted in their work."
SPECIAL RECOGNITION - Helen from Illinois, USA The Luberon Experience (September 2021) "The store name (Carpe Diem) says it all: about those of us who travelled in 2021 and the colorful experiences we shared every day!"
Beth from Texas, USA The Puglia Experience "Puglia is filled with picturesque hilltop towns where you can weave your way through whitewashed alleys like this one in Cisternino. The neutral whites and tans are often cleverly splashed with color — who wouldn’t want to stop for lunch surrounded by these colorful flowers and planters?"
Jean Kay from Louisiana, USA The Luberon Experience "The doorway from the treasure that is Bonnieux to the beauty of the Luberon. So glad I walked through!"
Beth from Texas, USA The Puglia Experience In Italy when you start construction to build something simple like a bank, it’s a distinct possibility you’ll unearth an ancient Roman Amphitheater from the 2nd century CE. That’s what happened in the main piazza of the fabulous town of Lecce, and one of the reasons I happily visit Italy over and over again. We walked through layers of history multiple times during our magical day in Lecce.
Michell from Louisiana, USA The Puglia Experience "This stunning little seaside town boasts crystal clear aquamarine waters of the Adriatic Sea lapping against stark limestone cliffs dotted with whitewashed houses. This is most definitely a feast for one’s eyes. But tucked amongst the narrow, winding streets we were delighted to discover random walls, doors and stairways graced with bits of poetry written by a local poet. It was an absolutely charming surprise!"
Herb from California, USA The Puglia Experience "This photo encompasses the unbelievable dining experience we enjoyed at the Masseria Le Stanzie. The storage of the tomatoes, garlic, and peppers are some of the basic ingredients of Italian food."
Joan from Massachusetts, USA The Luberon Experience "We learned about the history and modern production of wine making at the wonderful estate Chateau la Canorgue. The melding of ancient tile roofs with a modern satellite dish provided a strong accent to the scenic vista beyond."
Kathie from Tennessee, USA The Luberon Experience "This photo was taken at La Louve Garden just after our arrival in Bonnieux. I love all the different shapes and textures of the plants and the contrast of the various greens against the bright blue sky. I found it to be a very tranquil spot to refresh body and spirit after a rather hectic travel day."
Charlie from Louisiana, USA The Puglia Experience "Interesting bicycle in Puglia. This wooden one was in Lecce in front of a residence that had been excavated on the inside, an archeological dig!!"
Herb from California, USA The Puglia Experience "This picture speaks volumes of the beauty of Ostuni as seen at night. The architecture and the lighting was fantastic, with the empty chairs just waiting for someone to enjoy a beautiful evening."
Patti from Tennessee, USA The Puglia Experience "The Masseria Le Stanzie was for me a complete Italian farm to table sensory experience. The views of the farm and the harvest displays, an example depicted in this photo, were stunningly beautiful. The vintage decor of the restaurant showing different aspects of farm life and artistry provided a multilayered picture of Italian farm and countryside life. These coupled with the distinctive, luscious food will be long remembered and appreciated."
Jerry from Colorado, USA The Puglia Experience "The Spire of Sant Oronzo, a column dedicated to Saint Orontius of Lecce, is placed in the Piazza della Libertie in beautiful Ostuni. I was there at just the right time to capture this moment just before the clouds rolled in to cover the moon! It was fun to line this up just right!"
Jean Kay from Louisiana, USA The Puglia Experience "Making cheese! Who knew this is how!"
Helen from Illinois, USA The Luberon Experience "The Knights Templar have always fascinated me. I was delighted to discover this Templar Chapel attached to the upper church in Bonnieux."
Eric from Montana, USA The Luberon Experience "Another Tough Day On Tour - Moments earlier, I had received a text from my boss at work asking how my trip was going. In reply, I sent this photo from my hotel room since it summarized quite nicely the relaxed pace of the tour in the beautiful surroundings of the Luberon."
Jean Kay from Louisiana, USA The Puglia Experience "The essence of the European Experience: good food shared with great people in a beautiful setting."
Charlie from Louisiana, USA The Puglia Experience "Interesting bicycle in Puglia. This bicycle was near the house at the Masseria Le Stanzie, a wonderful farm with many products displayed. Lunch was impressive."
Charlie from Louisiana, USA The Luberon Experience "The door into the original old building at the Chateau la Canorgue winery in Bonnieux, run by a very impressive young lady. She did everything from planting the grapes to running the business end of the winery while raising a family. Very knowledgeable about all winemaking."
Marguerite from California, USA The Puglia Experience "This photo of the blue boats was taken on our last day. We were at St. Vito near Polignano a Mare. Even though the sky was overcast and the water was gray, the blue boats caught my attention. The area was a beautiful location on the sea and the boats were the perfect spot of brightness."
Jerry from Colorado, USA The Puglia Experience "This was the view from my room in Ostuni after arriving after dark the night before. What a surprise and delight to see The White City from this charming window!"
John from Tennessee, USA The Puglia Experience "This is a picture of the bulls in the bull pen at Masseria Fragnite. The reason this photo is special to me is that it brings back memories of my youth growing up on a farm in Central IN. The bulls are at peace relaxing in the bullpen. The barn is much like the ones in days of my youth in the Midwest where there would be missing sections of walls and hay stored on the ground. It was fun to see that farms and farmers in our country are so similar in Italy."
Doug from Washington, USA The Luberon Experience "View From My Window – This was taken on a sunny morning from my hotel room at Le Clos de Buis. I had a great view of the garden next door and the hills beyond. The shot of red color on the lamp matches the small pattern in the drapes; and complements those green hills in the distance. The “odd” angle of the window just adds a bit of casual whimsy.
Sarah from Missouri, USA The Puglia Experience "Masseria Le Stanzie provided a wonderful lunch time experience. Dating back to the 1500’s, the masseria (or farm) houses a restaurant serving local cuisine. In the courtyard entryway, tomatoes and peppers hang from wooden beams. The area was inhabited for centuries before the 1500’s, and the location of the Masseria Le Stanzie was believed to originally be a “statio” or resting place along the Roman road. In recognition of this history, the restaurant’s proprietors explain on their website that they are attempting to keep alive the anthropological function of the Masseria as a place of rest and refreshment."
Jean Kay from Louisiana, USA The Luberon Experience "Roussillon!The Grand Canyon of the Luberon!"
Joan from Massachusetts, USA The Luberon Experience "Luberon group with our driver enjoying the ambiance and cuisine of one of the many delicious lunches during the seven days of joyous touring in the Luberon."
Kathie from Tennessee, USA The Luberon Experience "This photo was taken when I was exiting a "toilette" in the lower level of a restaurant where we had stopped for some refreshment. The contrast between the very old lovely stone arch and the modern heating and fire protection utilities seems typical of how the people in this part of the world adapt very old-- even ancient-- buildings to modern day usage."
Jo Ann from Louisiana, USA The Puglia Experience "This photo is an example of what we love most about Italy. This region is all about the local produce & products that creates the most delicious food. The farm visit & lunch with all of the dishes prepared with ingredients from their farm. Simply beautiful to me. I LOVE Italy & European Experience trips."
by Jo Ann from Louisiana, USA The Puglia Experience "The other photo is another example of our love of Italy-the stone buildings that are simply beautiful-I was so drawn to this one with the contrast of the neutral color of the stone & wooden door & the pop of color of the flowers. Simply beautiful to me. I LOVE Italy & European Experience trips."
Marguerite from California, USA The Puglia Experience "This was our first morning in Ostuni. We were free to wander on our own around the charming town. Coming up a tiny lane I spotted this charming scene. I loved how it all came together... the blue bicycle, the old washed out blue wheelbarrow, the menu on the wall, and just a touch of greenery. It seemed as if a 'set designer' had created it especially for me."
We (Kathy and Charley) judged the contest together. European Experiences team member Kelly Wood managed the contest, which allowed us to judge “blind.” We didn’t know who entered or who submitted each photo until after we made our decisions. We considered the photo along with its description, selecting a final portfolio of winners that we felt represent our different destinations and the many different aspects of the European Experiences trips.
And the Winners are…
Grand Prize for Best Photograph
The prize is a $500 discount on a future European Experiences trip.
Michell from Louisiana, USA
Grand Prize Runner-Up
Our Runner-Up receives a $250 discount on a future European Experiences trip.
Erik, from Montana, USA
Special Recognition Awards
These five photographers were also recognized for their photos. They each won a $50 Amazon gift certificate or a $50 discount on a 2022 or 2023 trip.
Charlie from Louisiania, USA
Doug from Washington, USA
Helen from Illinois, USA
Patti from Tennessee, USA
Sarah from Missouri, USA
Everyone else who participated in the contest will receive a special gift from us to thank them for sharing their memories and being part of our contest.
Beth from Texas, USA
Herb from California, USA
Jean Kay from Louisiana, USA
Jerry from Colorado, USA
Jo Ann from Louisiana, USA
Joan from Massachusetts, USA
John from Tennessee, USA
Kathie from Tennessee, USA
Marguerite from California, USA
We’ll feature these photos on our websites, in our newsletters, on our Instagram page, and on our Facebook page over the next year and in the future.
Thanks to everyone for sharing their special photos and memories with us!