This Wednesday, September 16th, we embark on our 12th Candelaria Design Tour Italy. Twelve tours and also my 15th trip to Italy and every time has been a totally different, unique and wonderful experience.
This year we have thirteen travelers which is a perfect size - really anywhere from 12 to 18 is my sweet zone and I have now limited my groups to 18 as it is too difficult for the restaurants we visit to handle any more. Our group this year consist of two repeat travelers and one of their aunts from the East Coast, two clients from Scottsdale who are making this their maiden trip to Europe, a couple from Delaware who are friends of clients who went on last year's trip, an artist/painter from Oklahoma, another Scottsdale client/photographer and her friend, and one of my Team Directors, Tim Mathewson and his girlfriend. That will be my family for the next two weeks.
We will start this year's trip from different locations. Two groups departing from Phoenix on different airlines and at different times, our traveler from Oklahoma, and one group will meet us on our connection in Philadelphia. We will all arrive in Florence, Italy within a few hours of each other - assuming the weather is good and we all make our connecting flights. Some are connecting in Philly, some Atlanta and some in DC. Then some of us stop in Paris, some in Amsterdam, and ur group will connect in Rome to our last leg to Florence. We leave Wednesday morning and arrive Thursday early afternoon in Florence. Needless to say, it's a long day/night....
Our itinerary is as follows:
September 17-19th Florence Italy
September 19th - 26th Umbria and Tuscany as we use our Farmhouse Compound in Umbria as our base with excursions to Assisi, Cortona, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, San Gimignano, and Siena.
September 27th - 29th Positano, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast.
Now, you never know how a Candelaria Design Tour Italy might end. Two years ago our group was finishing our Tour at Lake Como and while we were driving there, my Associate, Evelyn had the hotel place invitations on each of our traveler's pillows inviting them to Isabel and my wedding on the last day of the tour at the Villa d'Este! What a grand finale' that was.....of course we had to wait until singer/musician John Legend had his ceremony a couple days before us. I have to say it was pretty cool having him watch Isabel and I tie the knot. Needless to say it was the best day of my life and what a joy it was to share it with my travelers
So follow us right here on our blog and on the Candelaria Design Tour Italy Facebook Page and on Instagram. The office got me a GOPRO camera so let's see what I do with that! Two of my travelers are amazing photographers so the pictures will be amazing.
Next year we have two trips planned - one in September where we will enjoy Positano and the Amalfi Coast and one in June where we will go back to Lake Como for some mountain air! The September trip is sold out so sign up now for Lake Como in June!
With every trip its not about the architecture, or the food, or wine, its about the total experience that the Italian culture possesses. The time in the country really brings that into focus. I always find it fascinating how this trip brings everyone together and the stories that are shared, the memories that are made, and the friendships that will be created. Let's do Italy - Tour number 12! Here we go - Ciao!