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The Scottsdale architectural firm of Candelaria Design Associates is one of the premier luxury residential architecture firms in the country. Enjoy our blog which features our work, our travel, our recipes, wines, tips on design and decorating, and the lives of our clients and employees, etc.....its all the ingredients for the Candelaria Design Lifestyle. Contact Candelaria Design to start your dream residence 602-604-2001!

We begin the Candelaria Design Tour Italy 2012 trip this Wednesday! We have a fun group going with travelers coming from both ends of this country - LA to South Carolina and of course many from Arizona.

We leave early Wednesday morning and arrive in Florence, Italy this Thursday! I have three people who have been to Italy before but most have never been to Europe. So I am very exited to share this trip with them. This is our 9th Candelaria Design Tour and over that course of time we have really fine tuned this trip. Our travelers this year are in for a real treat and what a great way to experience something like this for the first time. There are no bad stops, no bad restaurants, and every day is planned out so nothing is wasted and your time in Italy is maximized.

People ask me all the time, why do you do this trip? That's a good question and I have thought about it from many different angles and reasons. Really, I love taking people on this journey because of the joy I receive in seeing how it has changed people's lives and most importantly how they go about living each day of their lives. I try and stress this on the trip to observe the Italian culture, their stress on wonderful meals with family and friends, beauty, singing, and their unique perspective on time and of course their unparalleled passion for everything - even the simplest things can evoke an amazing operatic production or expression. It's beautiful and this beauty is something I hope to infuse into my travelers and inspire them to act this out every day once back home. I am happy to say, I have heard back from so many of my travelers and repeat travelers - who I guess need a little refill - that this trip has changed their life and perspective on how to live each day and make the simplest things they do each day more beautiful and meaningful. That's it - plain and simple!

Every trip is truly an adventure and I have learned so much about myself over the course of these trips. What is nice about travel is it forces us out of our comfort zone. Add the visual and sensory stimulation a place like Italy, and especially Tuscany and Umbria provides, and you cannot help but realize the rut everyday life can put you in. This trip and this place in essence wakes me up and I love watching it awaken my travelers. The landscape and architecture, the language, the smells, and needless to say the tastes - every sense is stimulated and awakened. I find myself, upon return, trying to keep this awakened state of living life alive and ongoing and so this trip is also about doing just that.

 With all of the adventures, stories, photographs, and recipes I have collected over the last 8 tours over 12 years I am putting this all together in a new book I will be publishing this fall. Stay tuned for details! Meanwhile, follow our journey here on the blog and on our Candelaria Design Tour Italy Facebook page at  We look forward to a great trip and sharing it with you. Please join us in 2013 as we are tentatively set to depart Phoenix on September 4th and will return on September 17th. We are already filling spots so plan ahead and sign up now!