We’re thrilled to announce that we’re partnering up with renowned photographer (and avid traveler) Gray Malin on an exciting upcoming project. Read on to find out more about Gray, his top travel tips and his favorite destinations in Italy.
When was your first trip to Italy and how did it capture your attention?
I began shooting my La Dolce Vita series in Italy 6 years ago. I was captivated by the natural beauty of the Amalfi Coast and Positano as well as the vibrant colors of the umbrellas and sunbathers along the beaches.
What is it about the Amalfi Coast that you love?
There are so many things to love about the Amalfi Coast since it is made up of tons of diverse areas. The colorful, retro umbrellas that dot the beaches are an iconic sight, but I’m also drawn to the laid-back lifestyle (and food) embraced by visitors and locals. From the sweeping views at the top of Ravello to the colorful boats in Praiano, I love looking out at the sparkling blue waters of the sea.
With overtourism currently a hot topic, what’s your top tip for escaping the crowds on the ever-popular Amalfi Coast?
When I feel like I need a break from all the tourists, one of my go-to plans is to charter a boat with a captain for the day. It’s nice to get off the beach and have some quiet time, but doing this also lets you have the unique perspective of looking back at the coast from the water. It’s so special. If you want to avoid a lot of other visitors altogether, I’d recommend visiting in May or September/October when the weather is still beautiful but there are not as many crowds.
Where else in Italy do you highly recommend and is there anywhere you haven’t been?
Aside from the Amalfi Coast, I absolutely love Lake Como and Puglia. They offer very different Italian experiences but are equally as spectacular in their own ways. Although I’ve been to Sicily before, I feel like there is so much more for me to explore there. Sardinia seems to be on the rise in the Italian travel scene and I’d love to get to visit there one day as well. I also would like to visit the island of Ischia one day.
Looking beyond Italy, what makes your ideal destination for a vacation?
Whenever I travel, I like to make sure there is a good mix of adventure and relaxation. I also look for naturally beautiful landscapes that can provide inspiration for my work. Lastly, it’s not a real vacation if you don’t get to experience amazing local food, right?
Do you have a favorite hotel?
In Los Angeles, I love The Beverly Hills Hotel. It was the backdrop to my series Gray Malin at The Beverly Hills Hotel and it’s just so beautiful. Palm Springs is a frequent destination for me since it’s easy to get to from LA and when I go there I love staying at The Parker Palm Springs. In Lake Como, I love the Grand Hotel Tremezzo. It’s such a stunning property with amazing views of the beauty of Lake Como. The Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is one of the most stunning hotels I’ve ever been to and is a must if you ever find yourself in the South of France.
How do you get under the skin of a destination?
Whenever I’m heading to a new destination, I always love to get recommendations from friends and family who have visited before. This is the easiest way to get suggestions that will be tailored to your interests and will save you some effort to go beyond the usual tourist attractions. It’s also a great idea to hire a local guide for a day or two. They can show you around and you also get to ask them any questions that may pop up. Guides usually have the best restaurant recommendations too.
Aside from your camera, what’s always packed in your suitcase?
When I pack, I try to travel as lightly as possible. That means making sure my wardrobe is versatile. I try to always pack at least one or two dress shirts that can be mixed and matched with shorts or pants to create multiple different outfits. I also always try to bring versatile, but comfortable shoes like loafers or Sperrys that can be dressed up or down.
Why collaborate with Scott Dunn?
I love the Scott Dunn brand because they satisfy the category of attainable luxury when it comes to travel. They bring some of the most incredible travel experiences to their clients and make the entire travel process as simple as possible. It truly feels like a natural connection between our two brands.
Gray Malin is an internationally renowned fine art photographer whose work combines the spirit of travel, adventure, luxury, and artistry. He has shot collections around the world in locations as remote as Antarctica, Namibia, and Bhutan, while also receiving commercial recognition for inventive aerial beach, ski, and park scenes of the world’s most iconic destinations. Forging his art into a larger lifestyle brand with his brand philosophy to Make Every Day a Getaway™, Gray’s photography has expanded into a line of luxury products for home and travel.
Call one of our Europe Experts on (858) 523-9000 to find out more or see the full itinerary here.