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SARDINIA

Costa Smerelda, Mariolu, Cagliari, Bosa, Ottana and more

DOLOMITES

ICELAND

NORWAY

SCOTLAND

IRELAND

SARDINIA

Sardinia is one of Europe’s last great island adventures.

Similar in size to its nearby neighbor Sicily, Sardinia is a large Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea known for its stunning blue-green crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, medieval villages, authentic customs and even a touch of jet-set lifestyle. It has nearly 1,243 miles of coastline and a mountainous interior.

Sardinia’s capital, Cagliari, has a medieval quarter, Castello, with narrow streets, 14th-century palaces and a 13th-century cathedral. Castello’s Bastione di Saint Remy lookout has views over Cagliari and its harbor. A hideaway for the international jet set, the northern Costa Smeralda has a luxury beach scene, coastal caves such as the Grotta di Nettuno, as well as the northern Maddalena archipelago.

Sardinia has some of the dreamiest beaches you’ll find without stepping off European shores. Yes, the sand really is that white, and the sea the bluest blue. Imagine Costa Smeralda’s scalloped bays, photographing her countless breathtaking coves, looking up at sheer cliffs that ensure seclusion; or sailing to La Maddalena’s cluster of granite islands.

Whether you go slow or fast, choose coast or country, Sardinia is one of Europe’s last great island adventures. As DH Lawrence so succinctly put it: ‘Sardinia is different’. Indeed, where else but here can you go from near-alpine forests to snow-white beaches, or find wildlife oddities such as the blue-eyed albino donkeys on the Isola dell’Asinara and the wild horses that shyly roam Giara di Gesturi. The island is also a culinary one-off, with distinct takes on pasta, bread and dolci, its own wines (Vermentino whites, Cannonau reds) and cheeses – including maggoty casu marzu pecorino, stashed away in barns in the mountainous interior. In every way we can think of Sardinia is different, and all the more lovable for it.

This adventure is designed not only to guide you to the most photogenic locations carefully planned for the best light, but to aid you in mentally visualizing a scene before capturing the decisive moment. Our aim is to raise your awareness and spark your creativity so that you not only go home with images to be proud of, but use your new found skills to improve and expand your photographic technique in general. Apart from the technical aspect of learning your camera settings and capabilities, you will learn how to turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary image by using your own creativity.

In addition, you will become knowledgeable on how to survey the landscape, utilize and approach your environment, photograph people indigenous to the region and the cultural considerations and challenges of photographing in a foreign country. Our time together will include individual and group discussions, inspiring ideas and great fun. We cannot think of a better location to express your creativity than the island of Sardinia!

Sardinia has some of the dreamiest beaches you’ll find without stepping off European shores. Yes, the sand really is that white, and the sea the bluest blue. Imagine Costa Smeralda’s scalloped bays, photographing her countless breathtaking coves, looking up at sheer cliffs that ensure seclusion; or sailing to La Maddalena’s cluster of granite islands. 

Whether you go slow or fast, choose coast or country, Sardinia is one of Europe’s last great island adventures. As DH Lawrence so succinctly put it: ‘Sardinia is different’. Indeed, where else but here can you go from near-alpine forests to snow-white beaches, or find wildlife oddities such as the blue-eyed albino donkeys on the Isola dell’Asinara and the wild horses that shyly roam Giara di Gesturi. The island is also a culinary one-off, with distinct takes on pasta, bread and dolci, its own wines (Vermentino whites, Cannonau reds) and cheeses – including maggoty casu marzu pecorino, stashed away in barns in the mountainous interior. In every way we can think of Sardinia is different, and all the more lovable for it.

This adventure is designed not only to guide you to the most photogenic locations carefully planned for the best light, but to aid you in mentally visualizing a scene before capturing the decisive moment. Our aim is to raise your awareness and spark your creativity so that you not only go home with images to be proud of, but use your new found skills to improve and expand your photographic technique in general. Apart from the technical aspect of learning your camera settings and capabilities, you will learn how to turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary image by using your own creativity. 

In addition, you will become knowledgeable on how to survey the landscape, utilize and approach your environment, photograph people indigenous to the region and the cultural considerations and challenges of photographing in a foreign country. Our time together will include individual and group discussions, inspiring ideas and great fun. We cannot think of a better location to express your creativity than the island of Sardinia!

Group Size

4 – 8 Guests

Experience | Difficulty

  • Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers
  • DSLR, mirrorless, compact or iPhone cameras
  • Moderate schedule
  • Travel by car or minibus
  • Considerable elevation changes and a moderate amount of walking
  • (non-photographers also welcome)

Weather | Sun

June – Temps 82/60 F  28/16 C  Sunrise 6:00 | Sunset 8:52 (20:52)
September – Temps 80/60 F  27/16 C  Sunrise 7:10 | Sunset 7:23 (19:23)

Includes

  • Travel, landscape, seascape, architecture, and people photography
  • Professional photographer | guide
  • Photo walks & discussions
  • Small group size (4-8 guests)
  • 3, 4 or 5-star hotels
  • Breakfasts
  • 2 Dinners
  • Local transportation

Travel Information

Arrival Airport: Cagliari Elmas Airport (CAG) – Transfer time to hotel 30min
Departure Airport: Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport (OLB) – Transfer time from hotel 30min
Our adventure begins at 11 AM on the first day and ends at noon on the last day.
Travel Visa: A visa may be required depending on your nationality. Go to Visa Map to find out.

Accommodations

Cagliari – Hotel Villa Fanny, Sardegna Hotel, Regina Margherita Hotel or similar
Bosa – Sardinian Gallery or similar
Cala Gonone – Hotel Cala Luna, Hotel Villa Gustui Maris Cala Gonone or similar
San Pantaleo – Petra Segreta Resort & Spa or similar



Photo AdventurePriceRegister
SARDINIA | SEPTEMBER 18-27, 2020 From: $7,995 Register
SARDINIA | SEPTEMBER 17-26, 2021 From: $8,495 Register


Sardinia 5 day**PriceRegister
SARDINIA | JUNE 14-18, 2020 From: $4,295 Register

**Special 5 Day version for the 2020 3 Amigos 10th Anniversary Photo Tour, focusing on northern Sardinia – days 6-10.

Photographer Leader

Photographer Leader

Michael Chinnici

June 14 – 18, 2020** (with Roman Martin and Laurie Cohen)
September 17 – 26, 2021

**Special 5 Day version for the 2020 3 Amigos 10th Anniversary Photo Tour, focusing on northern Sardinia.

Photographer Leader

Photographer Leader

Laurie Cohen

June 14 -18, 2020** (with Michael Chinnici and Roman Martin)
September 18 – 27, 2020

**Special 5 Day version for the 2020 3 Amigos 10th Anniversary Photo Tour, focusing on northern Sardinia.

*All prices are per person and based on double occupancy. Please select single occupancy for a private room. For your convenience, we offer optional early arrival and late departure accommodations so you can extend your stay before or after the trip. We typically stay in boutique hotels in the 4-star category. Not all destinations offer these types of properties. We look for unique hotels which offer cultural, historic and/or authentic features. Depending on the size of the group, smaller boutique hotels may have limited room inventory. In some countries or in remote locations, we may be limited to lodges or branded chain hotels. Breakfast is included only if included in our room rates.

ITINERARY

SARDINIA 10 DAYS

Day 1 | Cagliari

We meet in Cagliari at our hotel, where we will discuss PWA’s “10 Guiding Principles to Great Photography” as well as our “THE ART OF SEEING” photographic technique. During our group lunch, we will have informal discussions on what our guests are trying to achieve in their photography, subject matters, styles and techniques.

From here we will set out for a wonderful day of photography throughout the city of Cagliari. Although Tunisia is closer than Rome, Cagliari is the most Italian of Sardinia’s cities. Vespas buzz down tree-fringed boulevards and locals hang out at busy cafes tucked under arcades in the seafront Marina district. Like many Italian cities, Cagliari wears its history on its sleeve so everywhere we go we will come across traces of its rich past: ancient Roman ruins, museums filled with prehistoric artifacts, centuries-old churches and elegant palazzi. We’ll spend the afternoon exploring the richest part of the old city.

In the evening we celebrate with our “Welcome Dinner” at one of our favorite Sardinian restaurants. (D)

Day 2 | Sant'Antioco - Porto Pino - Porto Flava - Iglesias

Today we will explore the southwestern coast of Sardinia including the coastal beaches around Chia and Porto Pino, the island of Sant’Antioco, the mining village of Porto Flavia and the town of Iglesias. 

Sardinian beaches are stunning. So stunning that you will find it hard to pick your favorite. With so much soft white sand, the water is exceptionally clear. There are sections of beach along the southern coast that exhibit very interesting wave patterns blown into the sand. These make for beautiful photographic opportunities using light and shadow. 

Sant’Antioco is a working fishing port and the main town of the island that bears its name, the Isola di Sant’Antioco. The island has been inhabited since prehistoric times, but the town was founded by the Phoenicians in the 8th century BC. Known as Sulci, it was Sardinia’s industrial capital and an important port until the demise of the Roman Empire more than a millennium later. It owes its current name to St Antiochus, a Roman slave who brought Christianity to the island when exiled here in the 2nd century AD. 

Next up… Porto Flavia, a marvel of early-20th-century engineering, Porto Flavia is a port dug into cliffs 170ft above the sea. Consisting of two 1500’ tunnels and an ingenious mechanical arm, it was used to load zinc and lead ore directly onto cargo ships waiting in the waters below. 

In the afternoon we will visit the town of Iglesias and stay through sunset. Surrounded by the skeletons of Sardinia’s once-thriving mining industry, Iglesias is a historic town that bubbles in the summer and slumbers in the colder months. Its historic centre, an appealing ensemble of lived-in piazzas, sun-bleached buildings, churches and Aragonese-style wrought-iron balconies, creates an atmosphere that’s as much Iberian as Sardinian – a vestige of its time as a Spanish colony. During Easter you can experience the city’s extraordinary Semana Santa (Holy Week) processions, featuring trains of sinister, white-robed celebrants parading through the skinny lanes of the centro storico. You will love Iglesias. After a wonderful dinner, we’ll return to Cagliari. (B)

Day 3 | Porto Corallo - Cala Sa Figu - Cagliari

Today we will head east of Cagliari exploring the beaches along the south eastern shores up to Porto Corallo. There are too many coastal beaches to list, each with its own unique personality. By mid afternoon we will return to Cagliari for an evening sunset shoot looking west over the marina. Dinner afterward. (B)

Day 4 | Oristano - Bosa

On day four we will depart for the port city of Bosa, which lies on the north bank of the Temo River, on the western coast of Sardinia. We will use Bosa as our base for the next two days. 

On our way we’ll stop in the city of Oristano, known for its elegant shopping streets, ornate piazzas, popular cafes and good restaurants. Oristano’s refined and animated centre is a lovely place to chill and grab lunch. 

Bosa is considered one of Sardinia’s most beautiful towns. Seen from a distance, its rainbow townscape resembles a vibrant Paul Klee canvas, with pastel houses stacked on a steep hillside, tapering up to a stark, grey castle. In front, moored fishing boats bob on a glassy river elegantly lined with palm trees. 

Bosa was established by the Phoenicians and thrived under the Romans. During the early Middle Ages it suffered repeat raids by Arab pirates, but in the early 12th century a branch of the noble Tuscan Malaspina family moved in and built a huge castle. In the 19th century, the Savoys established lucrative tanneries here, but these have since fallen by the wayside. 

After we check-in we will begin exploring the port, focus on a nice sunset location, and dine afterwards at one of the restaurants lining the riva. (B)

Day 5 | Bosa - Alghero - Spiaggia La Pelosa - Basilica di Saccargia

Today we will focus on the northwestern corner of Sardinia, including the stunning coastal city of Alghero, the peninsula of Spiaggia La Pelosa, and the Basilica di Saccargia. 

One of Sardinia’s most beautiful medieval cities, Alghero is the main resort in the northwest. Its animated historic centre is a terrific place to people watch and photograph, and with so many excellent restaurants and bars, it makes an ideal base for exploring the beaches and beauty spots of the nearby Riviera del Corallo. But since we will be there to photograph, we will first hit the breathtaking beaches of the Riviera, and then focus on the the marina and the old city behind the medieval walls. 

The main focus of attention is the picturesque centro storico (historic centre), one of the best preserved in Sardinia. Enclosed by robust, honey-colored sea walls, it’s a tightly knit enclave of cobbled lanes, Gothic palazzi and cafe-lined piazzas. Below, yachts crowd the marina and long, sandy beaches curve away to the north. Presiding over everything is a palpable Spanish atmosphere, a hangover from the city’s past as a Catalan colony. We’ll enjoy lunch here as well. 

Next we’ll drive to the furthest point in the northwest, and just across from the Island of Corsica, to Spiaggia La Pelosa. Here you will be treated to shallow, crystal clear water, for as far as the eye can see. Off in the distance is the islands that make up Asinara National Park. 

We will return to Bosa via inland roads. As we pass Sardinia’s second largest city Sassari, we will arrive at the Basilica di Saccargia (Basilica of the Holy Trinity of Saccargia). The church is the most important Romanesque site in the island. The construction is entirely in local stone (black basalt and white limestone), with a typical appearance of Tuscan Romanesque style. The church was finished in 1116 over the ruins of a pre-existing monastery, and consecrated on October 5 of the same year. Its construction was ordered by the giudice (judge) of Torres and entrusted to Camaldolese monks. It was later enlarged in Pisane style, including the addition of the tall bell tower. The portico on the façade is also probably a late addition, and is attributed to workers from Lucca, a small city in northern Tuscany, just outside Florence. The church was abandoned in the 16th century, until it was restored and reopened in the early 20th century. 

We’ll arrive in the early evening, just in time to set-up for low light and twilight shots of this gem. (B)

Day 6 | Ottana - Orani - Nuoro - Orosei - Cala Gonone

Today we will travel from west to east, cutting across the Nuoro province in the center of the island. Along the way we will explore the hilltop villages of Ottana, Orani, Nuoro and ending in Orosei. Ottana and Orani are best known for their traditional carnival costumes and performances, including distinctive masks worn by the Boes, Merdules and Filonzana.

This is the region people head to directly when they’re interested in discovering the most genuine Sardinia. Neither the Romans nor the Carthaginians nor any other foreigners have ever succeeded in conquering this wilderness. Centuries of isolation has created a culture in which ancient customs and traditions infuse everyday life to a greater extent than just about anywhere else on Sardinia. In many villages, magnificently colorful traditional clothing is still worn, and visitors who witness one of the countless festivals that are held here, will come away convinced that the ancient rituals still thrive in this region.

We’ll roam the ancient streets of Ottana, photographing and conversing with the residents. It is also home to the Romanesque church of San Nicola. We will stop in the small village of Orani, the city of Nuoro, and other nearby villages along the way. The entire route from west to east is only a 2 hour drive.

We end our drive in Cala Gonone, but not before passing through Orosei. Scenically positioned at the gulf’s northernmost point and surrounded by marble quarries and fruit orchards, Orosei is an unsung treasure. Over centuries the silting of the Rio Cedrino (Cedrino River), Spanish neglect, malaria and pirate raids took their toll on the town, once an important Pisan port. Today the atmospheric historic centre is laced with cobbled lanes that twist to pretty stone-built houses, medieval churches and leafy piazzas for kicking back and watching the world go slowly by.

Just east of the town is Marina di Orosei. The beach marks the northern end of the Golfo di Orosei; from here we can see the gulf arched in all its magnificence to the south. The Marina di Orosei beach is closed off to the north by the Rio Cedrino and behind the beaches stretch the Stagni di Cedrino lagoons.

After we settle in at our hotel we will explore the city and enjoy a relaxing dinner. (B)

Day 7 | Grotto del Blue Marino - Cala Mariolu - Spiaggia Cala Luna

We are up very early in the morning for the sunrise where we will depart by boat to the magnificent beaches and coves to the south including Grotto del Blue Marino, Cala Mariolu and Spiaggia Cala Luna.

We’ll hug the coast by boat as the sun rises over the horizon to our east. The coast is stunning beyond words. We’ll explore the Grotto del Blue Marino, which we will do both by land and sea.

The sea at Cala Mariolu looks like it has been painted. It is known as ispùligi de nie (snow fleas) because it consists of small round, pink and white pebbles, mixed with sand. Cala Mariolu gets its name from the Mediterranean monk seal that is said to have ‘stolen’ the fish from the nets of the fishermen from Ponza and was therefore called the mariolo (thief). Its landscape is striking, with its endless shades of blue, emerald green and sky-blue, as well as its pebbles that resemble snowflakes. The cliff surrounding it reaches a height of 1400 ft and looks out onto the sea both to the north and to the south, making Cala Mariolu accessible from the land only via a challenging trekking trail (for experts) through dense Mediterranean scrub.

The beach, rock formations and shallow waters of the Cala Mariolu will give us countless photography opportunities. Please feel free to bring your GoPro’s, drones or an underwater housing for your iPhone. For those not interested in getting into the water, there is plenty to shoot from shore.

Spiaggia Cala Luna is Sardinia’s famous teardrop cave and a must for any photographer. It’s fun to shoot from inside looking out, especially when a sailboat is passing by. We may even bring a model with us to pose amongst the rocks.

Our final destination by boat for the day will be Spiaggia delle Rocce Rosse, in Arbatax, for a long exposure shot of the famous red rocks jutting out at sea. After a day of exploring, we return to Cala Gonone at sunset for a well deserved dinner. (B)

Day 8 | Porto Taverna - Olbia - Porto Retondo - San Pantaleo

We depart Orosei for the Costa Smeralda, in the northeastern part of the island. We will drive the coast, stopping near Porto Taverna to photograph Isola Tavolara off in the distance. Although this is a long narrow island, it appears as a pointed triangle out at sea making for a great midday long exposure. Please be sure to have a tripod and a 6, 10 or even a 15 stop ND filter.

If time allows we may stop in Olbia, but it’s a busy port city that sometimes is more trouble than it’s worth attempting to navigate the streets. Finally, we will arrive at our hotel in San Pantaleo (or Porto Retondo), where we will be spending our final two nights. (B)

Day 9 | Costa Smeralda - La Maddalena - Porto Cervo

Back in 1962, flamboyant millionaire Karim Aga Khan established a consortium to buy a strip of unspoiled coastline in northeastern Sardinia. The coast was christened Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) for its brilliant green-blue waters. 

These days billionaire jet-setters cruise into Costa Smeralda’s marinas in mega-yachts like floating mansions, and models, royals, Russian oligarchs and balding media moguls come to frolic in its waters. Starting at the Golfo di Cugnana, just north of Olbia, the Costa stretches 34 miles northwards to the Golfo di Arzachena. The ‘capital’ is the yacht haven of Porto Cervo, although Porto Rotondo, attracts plenty of paparazzi with its Silvio Berlusconi connections and its attractive seafront promenade. Inland from the Costa Smeralda, the mountain communities of San Pantaleo and Arzachena offer a low-key counterpoint to the coastline’s glitz and glamour.

We’ll spend this final day exploring the coast, have lunch in Porto Cervo on the veranda of some posh restaurant, and take a boat out to La Maddalena, a breathtaking island off the coast. We’ll return to enjoy a wonderful outdoor “Farewell Dinner” in the countryside at a family run farm-to-table restaurant. (B) (D)

Day 10 | San Pantaleo - Olbia

While enjoying breakfast we conduct our final group discussion and review. We’ll depart for the airport after checkout. We urge you to extend your stay in Sardinia or elsewhere in Italy and make good use of everything you will learn on our photo adventure. (B)

(B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner, (E) Excursion

May all who come as guests... leave as friends®

OPTIONS AND BENEFITS

Pricing

 

All prices are per person and based on double occupancy. Please select single occupancy for a private room. For your convenience, we offer optional early arrival and late departure accommodations so you can extend your stay before or after the trip. We typically stay in boutique hotels in the 4-star category. Not all destinations offer these types of properties. We look for unique hotels which offer cultural, historic and/or authentic features. Depending on the size of the group, smaller boutique hotels may have limited room inventory. In some countries or in remote locations, we may be limited to lodges or branded chain hotels. Breakfast is included only if included in our room rates.

Private Guided Adventures

 

We offer amazing private guided photo adventures, cultural tours and vacations for individuals, couples, families and groups. We can customize any of our published adventures, as well as others, to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. This may include the finest 5-star accommodations, business-class travel, and private guides and fixers who are able to make the impossible possible. If you are not interested in a photo-centric vacation, but you love our approach to private travel, we will be happy to design and deliver an amazing adventure focused on travel, culture and cuisine. Click here to request a quote. Feel free to call us at 1-888-834-0288 or contact us for more information.

 

Travel Insurance

We offer travel insurance through the internationally recognized Travelex Travel Insurance Company, as well as evacuation and medical transportation insurance through MedJet, one of the best in the industry.

The cost for travel insurance can be as low as 4% of the total trip cost, depending upon age and other factors. Knowing you have trip cancellation coverage can make a big difference should you have to cancel for some unforeseen reason. Travelex Insurance Services is a BBB Accredited business with an A+ rating. Click here to learn more about why you should consider travel insurance.

Rewards Program

Start earning points today and SAVE $200 - $900 off future trips!
Simply register for one of our amazing photo adventures and begin earning points today!

How The Program Works
For every adventure reservation you make with Photo Workshop Adventures, you earn valuable points which you can redeem on your next trip. This is a great way to save up to 8% off future trips. Our Rewards Program is designed with three tiers: Orange, Gold and VIP Members. Points may be applied towards balance payments on your next trip, or you may choose to accumulate points for a free trip in the future.

ORANGE REWARDS
All guests begin with our Orange Rewards Program (Level 1), which earns 4 points for every dollar you spend. You begin earning points immediately after your first trip. A $5,900 spend earns 23,600 points with a value of $236 USD.

GOLD REWARDS
With our Gold Rewards Program (Level 2), you earn 6 points for every dollar you spend. Orange Members who reach 120,000 accumulated lifetime* points (approx. 4-6 trips), automatically move up to Gold Rewards. A $5,900 spend earns 35,400 points with a value of $354 USD.

Additional Gold Benefits:

  • Earn up to double points during promotional events
  • Advance notifications for upcoming adventures and special offers

VIP REWARDS
With our VIP Rewards Program (Level 3), you earn 8 points for every dollar you spend. Gold Members who reach 350,000 accumulated lifetime* points (approx. 8-12 trips) move up to VIP Rewards. A $5,900 spend earns 47,200 points with a value of $472 USD, (8+/-% discount).

Additional VIP Benefits:

  • Earn up to double points during promotional events
  • Advance notifications for upcoming adventures and special offers
  • Ability to Gift or Transfer points to others
  • Receive complimentary airport transfers at the destination location*


Redeeming Your Points

Redeeming your points couldn’t be easier. You can always log in to your account to check your points balance. When you are ready to book your next trip, register and pay your deposit. When you go to pay your balance you will be given the option to apply your points and receive a discount.

THINK ORANGE Magazine

Subscribe to our Think Orange Magazine and eNews. THINK ORANGE is a wonderful mix of stories and tips related to travel, photography, adventure, culture, art, technology, cuisine, lifestyle, people and more. Our objective is to immerse you in a world you may only fantasize about. Raise your awareness and inspire your creativity. Perhaps even help make you a better photographer. We deliver similar experiential experiences that our guests enjoy on our photo adventures. Like all of our adventures, our blog is “photo-centric”, while also allowing you to experience all the nuances and cultural aspects of travel and adventure. Welcome to our world. We hope you enjoy. Our eNews is a great way to receive information about upcoming photo adventures, exciting new destinations, photography tips, special offers and more. Subscribe today!

Gift Cards

Give someone you know a Gift Card, good toward any of our Photo  Adventures, Photo Tours, Private Guided Tours, Online Courses, Prints or Merchandize. Our beautifully personalized eGift Cards and Certificates are delivered to you electronically. They are fully transferable and have a 2 year expiration date. They are available in any amount from $100 to $5000. It makes a great gift for anyone who loves photography, travel or adventure. Order now, or email for more information.

Combine-N-Save

You can SAVE up to $1200 by combining two or more back-to-back 6-Day or longer Photo Adventures. Call us at 1-888-834-0288 or contact us for more information.

Private Online Lightroom & Photoshop Tutorials

We offer private online Lightroom and Photoshop photo editing tutorials for individuals who would like to improve their post-processing skills. Each is customized to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. We provide you with one-on-one discussions using online connectivity. Many of our Photo Adventure guests select our online post-processing as an extension to their trip. Click here for more information.

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