Italy! Where do we begin? No, seriously! Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with all sorts of incredible places to see and things to do throughout the entire country. Because of this, it can totally feel overwhelming trying to nail down everything to see and do, especially if you plant to hit up multiple parts of the country. Content creator Delaine Dcosta is here to help. We spoke with Dcosta, who gives us a breakdown of incredible hidden gems and Italian travel tips that will save you a lot of time and stress. So, sit back with some gelato and get ready to plan your trip to Italy with these great, insider tips.
What to Do
If you’re in Venice, you’re going to want to head to the library – the Libreria Acqua Alta, that is. This isn’t your average library though. Delaine tells us the venue is “a work of art” that will have you running to share pictures of it on your Instagram. Fun fact: the current owner of the Libreria Acqua Alta designed the building himself, and Delaine says he’s very proud of it.
Milan might be known for fashion, but there’s more to discover here than the latest Valentino designs. Make your way to the “Bone Church” here called San Bernardino alle Ossa. Why the nickname “Bone Church”? Turns out, there’s a chapel there filled with human skulls. You’ll already have a leg-up on the other travelers since Delaine says this place is a hidden gem and not many people know about it.
Just as Italy is known for great artists, it’s also known for iconic architecture. That being said, there’s also plenty to experience outside of Italy’s standard must-see spots. Delaine is a fan of the little villages along the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre. She adds, “some of the villages like Ravello and Corniglia are built high above and it makes you wonder how on Earth did people even get up there.”
Forget about renting a car as you make your way around Italy. Delaine says the best way to stay active is to use public transportation and walk around. Turns out, getting lost can end up being a great workout too, and we have to admit getting lost in a beautiful Italian village or city doesn’t sound so bad either.
Meeting Like-Minded People
Tours aren’t just ideal for seeing new places, they’re also a nice way to meet people. Delaine says she usually meets people during these excursions. Want to get to know the Italian locals? Delaine suggests striking up a conversation with the owner of the cafe or restaurant you’re dining at.
Where to Grab A Bite to Eat
Florence is one of Italy’s most beloved cities and where you’re going to find Delaine’s favorite place to eat. She says the restaurant Zaza “serves an excellent ‘Bistecca Fiorentina’.” In the event your Italian’s not perfect, it’s basically a massive Florentine steak and Delaine says it is “worth every penny!”. Great service and a photo-worthy ambiance add to Zaza’s appeal. The great thing about Italy, she adds, is that the ingredients here “are so tasty and fresh that even the simplest in food tastes good.”
Another popular area of Italy is the exquisite Tuscany. Delaine’s recommendation for lodging here is the La Bagnaia Golf & Spa Resort Siena, Curio Collection by Hilton. If you look up photos here and wonder why this hotel looks like a medieval village, that’s because it used to be one. Delaine says the place was abandoned until Hilton took over. The hotel even uses ingredients from their garden to make some of the items on the breakfast menu.
Equipment & Editing Tips and Tricks
Carrying around lots of equipment can be tough when you’re roaming from place to place, so Delaine keeps it simple by using a smartphone most of the time. The great news is that there are plenty of incredible smartphones on the market these days that take top-notch pictures. She also mixes it up by using a FujiFilm X-A3 sometimes too. Her favorite time to shoot is during the day when the light is good.
Lightroom is Delaine’s go-to editing software. She says she uses it “always”.
Follow Delaine’s travels by checking out her blog at oftravelsandtales.weebly.com