Italy's hot right now: More millennials than ever are flocking to the country, and the attraction is about more than just a chance to snap a picture of the Colosseum. Italy is an experience. Thanks to its illustrious history and distinct set of customs, the country has a way of making every second a moment worth remembering for a lifetime. But when everybody's got Italy on their bucket lists, how can you make your vacation shots stand out from the sea of Instagram posts? Here are three places you and your amici should be headed for drool-worthy Instagram opportunities that aren't Rome, Venice, or Florence.
See the shadow in Umbria
Just over an hour outside of Rome, Umbria is a picturesque valley named for the shadow cast by the mountain ranges that make up its border. Some of the world's best wine grapes are grown here, and the landscape is beyond stunning -- especially during the region's famous "burning" sunsets. Follow the Tiber River north, but make sure you stop for apertivi: The little towns just off the highway can feel and look like stepping into a different century. Don't forget to geotag -- and then sit back and enjoy the wave of "OMG! Where ARE you?" comments.
Climb with donkeys in Assisi
Sunbathe in Sardinia
If you're already a hardened world-traveler who wants only the most authentic material for your immaculately-curated travel Instagram, look no further than Sardinia, the island all the Italians go to for vacation. Sardinia doesn't just have world-famous beaches, tropical-blue water and legendary architecture; it also has some whacky food, including a type of cheese that is literally illegal everywhere else. Most Instagram-able Sardinian foodstuff? The traditional pane pintau, a type of bread shaped into elaborate, realistic wreaths of leaves and doves.
These three Italian destinations only scratch the surface of the wealth of hidden travel gems the country has to offer, but they're already enough to make everybody on your followers list feel like they're missing out. And who knows? Maybe you'll pick up some new Italian followers while you're at it. Buon Viaggio!