Interview: Ella from I Am Ella talks blogging, travel and her love for Italy!
We recently caught up with travel, fashion and beauty blogger Ella who lives by the motto that "There is no better gift in life than the gift of exploration, the hunger for adventure and understanding of the world". Having recently returned from a trip to Italy, we had the chance to quiz Ella on one of our favourite destinations and what makes it so special:
Your blog I Am Ella covers lifestyle, fashion and beauty but what inspired you to start writing about your travels?
When I started living with my partner he started travelling a lot for work and I would usually go with him. Whilst I travelled I would be posting a lot of photos and drive people crazy so I decided to start the blog and give people the choice to look at the photos if they wanted to.
Why Italy as a travel destination?
I'm from Croatia and Italy is a neighbourhood country that I have never really explored enough. Venice was one of those magical places I wanted to visit for ages and Verona was actually a pleasant accident . My whole family speaks Italian except for me and some of them even live there, so I wanted to really see the country for myself. Italian cuisine is really close to what I normally eat so I also went to indulge in foodie pleasures!
What do you look for when booking accommodation?
I like baths and they need to be a good size! I really hate showers so I like to make sure I can relax. If I am staying for longer I also like my accommodation to have a great view. Service is really important to me too so normally I always read reviews online or what other bloggers have written. Personal experience is very important but also very individual. I have in past made mistakes in booking accommodation that was too far away from all the things I wanted to visit and that took a toll on my timetable, so now I make sure I book something in centre of the city always.
What’s your favourite thing to eat and drink in Italy?
I love Gnocchi with gorgonzola, I've loved it since I was a kid! I also enjoy different Italian tapas choices from more modern cuisines. My favourite type of dining is fine dining because I am very picky and prefer to be surprised. If I don't know what it is, chances are I will probably eat it with no complaining and it also gives me a chance to really explore new types of foods. I usually drink champagne or rose wine, but that changes as soon as I step into a new country, so obviously prosseco is my drinking choice in Italy!
How do you find out about great restaurants and bars to head to?
I actually don't. Sometimes I look on tripadvisor but I like to stumble upon places and randomly walk in. I don't like predictable restaurants and always eat outside of the tourist zone. If you walk further away from where tourists are you will find amazing restaurants for much better prices and quality. Most family restaurants are never in the city, so the best thing to do is to ask the locals! I think Venice is a really tough one because there are lots of tourists and most of restaurants don't give Italian food the respect it deserves.
What three things are on your holiday packing list that you absolutely cannot forget?
I always travel in jeans, a shirt hoodie and a coat with flat shoes. I also pack another pair of trousers, shirts maybe a dress and a pair of heels incase I go for dinner somewhere nice. I go on city breaks a lot and I like only taking hand luggage to avoid checking in bags and to save time at the airport. I never forget my camera - that is the most important thing for me!
What is your favourite thing about travelling?
The moment I walk in to my hotel room. I am always so excited to leave my bags and go exploring. I love different cultures and people and for me that is some kind of escape from my everyday reality. Travelling is the best thing in the world, I believe that it actually makes you a better person.
Which destination is on your bucket list for 2016?
This year will be epic for me! I have already been to Slovenia, Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy and I'm about to go to Qatar, Japan, Spain, Greece, the Caribbean, Croatia and the Maldives - I'm super excited to visit them all. Other countries might happen but I can't plan too far ahead because my life is just too random at the moment.