Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Victoria De Maio
Occupation: Travel Consultant, Blogger, Writer, Published Author, Tour Leader
Hometown: Born in Napa, California
Residence: Live in Santa Barbara, California
College: Attended Napa JC & U.C. Irvine
College major: Social Sciences with English & Math minors
Short bio: Victoria loves sharing practical no-nonsense travel tips and insights as well as her own experiences from a personal and light-hearted point-of-view on her travel blog, .
La dolce vita for me sums up her passion and love for all things Italian. An American (with deep Italian roots), her heart is always in Italy. Needless to say, her favorite subject is Italy!
Author of , she is also a regular contributing writer for Italian Notebook, Italian Talks, and L’Italo-Americano. You can find her on social media and join her on fabulous .
How many countries have you been to? 18
Earliest travel memory: Enjoying the big back seat of our Buick and going on family vacations to southern California (we lived in northern).
Favorite American city: Hard to choose—love San Francisco but Chicago and New York are fav fabulous American cities, too.
Favorite international city: If I have to choose, Venice, Italy.
Least favorite country: I haven’t been there yet!
I have no desire to go to: I’d better not say.
Friendliest people in the world: I’m prejudiced, I think the Italians are the friendliest but I find friendly people everywhere I go.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Wow, this is difficult…love Pompeii/Herculaneum and Agrigento (Sicily)…for starters!
Favorite airline: Love Swissair & Lufthansa but there are many reputable airlines I’ve yet to experience.
Favorite aircraft type: The one with the most legroom in coach.
Aisle or window: Always the aisle, please.
Favorite international airport: Zurich & Munich are so easy to navigate…
Favorite ho I tend to stay in B&B’s these days but a few nights at the Baglioni in Rome and Venice were pretty fabulous!
Favorite cruise line: Love Oceania for ocean cruises and Uniworld for river cruises.
Favorite island: LOVE Sicily and Santorini, Greece.
Favorite beach: Uncrowded, unpolluted, white sand, sparkling azure blue water.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Loved La Sponda at Le Sirenuse in Positano and Grotta Palazzese in Polignano a Mare, both in Italy.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Any hole-in-the-wall that makes a killer martini.
Favorite bar: Any bar with red leather booths, mood lighting (i.e., dark) that’s been around for generations, plays Sinatra, and makes a killer martini.
Favorite fruit: Figs! Also love fresh peaches, melons or pears or whatever is in season & local.
Favorite food: Anything Italian, especially seafood, and gelato, of course!
Least favorite food: Sushi and anything too hot or spicy.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Bubbly: Champagne or prosecco!
Favorite travel movie(s): I love watching any Italian cinema with Italy as the backdrop.
Favorite travel show(s): Anthony Bourdain.
Favorite travel book(s): Love historical fiction, Insight travel guide books and my “Italy Travel TipZ” book (of course!). I also love getting local guide books wherever I’m visiting.
Right now I am reading: The latest Montalbano episode from Andrea Camilleri.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: L’Italo-Americano, Italy Magazine, Italian Talks, Italian Notebook.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides Hundredbacklinks.com, of course! Besides you, of course! L’Italo-Americano, Conde Nast and Travel & Leisure.
5 things you bring on a plane: 5? My tech stuff, reading, tissues/wipes, water/snax, a shawl/sox, vitamins, basic toiletries & extra nightie/undies.
What do you always seem to forget? Since I write about packing & give travel tips, I rarely forget anything. However “over” packing can still be a challenge.
What do you like least about travel? Jetlag after coming home and that post-vacay let down.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? The best local chocolate or Chanel No. 5!
Favorite travel app(s): WhatsApp.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Walking through the lobby of a very large casino/hotel in Vegas and my underwear (clean, thank goodness!) was falling out of my garment bag!
I’m embarrassed but I haven’t been to: Several regions in Italy as well as Spain and Portugal.
Worst travel moment: Being caught without a tissue when most needed—need I say more?
What’s your dream destination? I just received my Italian dual citizenship so my dream destination(s) are the villages in Sicily and Tuscany where my grandparents were born.
Best travel tip: Plan and be flexible, too. Learn about and be respectful of your destination—its culture, traditions and even a few words of their language. Don’t compare. Connect with locals and take local experiences. Then, immerse and enjoy.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.