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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!

Candelaria Design Tour Italy 2014 - Day 11 - Drive to Lake Como

Today we wake up early Saturday morning and get ready to load up and head north to Lake Como. We have been in the countryside for a week and my travelers have totally lost touch with what day of the week it is and have now totally relinquished themselves from their cares back home. Sure we check the emails and do a few face times and skypes, but by now it has really tapered off and my travelers are in the moment of Italy.

We pack the bags, load up the cars, and dump the trash - mostly empty wine bottles! We say goodbye to our country homes and we get ready for a 5-1/2 hour drive across Italy. But first, coffee in Mercatale and a stop at the Bancomat and the gas station. We enjoy our last country cappuccino and pastry and strategize our routes and car order and we are off. Now my adventurous drivers usually set their pin on Google Maps and take off on their own - this year was no different. Four of my eight cars took off and three others stayed close and followed me.

The race was on to Lake Como. We pulled out of Mercatale at about 10 am - not bad for this large of a group. With several toll stops and stops at Autogrille's for snacks and restroom breaks we gradually make our way northward and flee Umbria. This year we drove through Florence and Bologna, made our way near Verona, swept around Milan and then got that first glimpse from the A9 Autostrado of our next paradise - Lake Como! WOW, WOW and WOW. This place is so beautiful and it was so nice to be back following last year's first trip here.

Slowly we all arrived at about 4pm and checked into the Villa d'Este Hotel. This hotel is as good as it gets, and what a sharp contrast from the Umbrian Country Houses. We pull into the porte cochere with our dusty cars from the countryside parked next to Ferrari's and Bugatti's, and we look like the Beverly Hillbillies! So fun!!!

We check in and my office manager, Evelyn Jung, who puts this whole amazing trip together each year, had arranged an arrival cocktail on the terrace bar for 6:30 pm. So now the transformation was on. From the casualness of Umbria to the chic style and elegance of Lake Como! Well we all pulled it off. Now we were sipping Belini's on the terrace and enjoying the sunset over the lake while the near full moon slowly rose over the majestic hills of Como! My travelers were now totally mesmerized and transported again to another setting and another adventure in this dream through Italy.

What was nice for Isabel and me, this was our final stop on last year's trip where we sprung on our travelers our surprise wedding here at the Villa. Candelaria Italian Wedding So now we could relax and relive this magical experience one more time.

With the welcome cocktails completed we were all off on our own destinations for the evening. Some had dinner at the hotel as did Isabel and I, others went up the hill the to Gato Negro for dinner, and some stayed on the terrace and enjoyed the evening. Our final leg of our Italian journey was underway.