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Candelaria Design Tour Italy June 2016 - Day 1 - Arrival in Firenze

We are officially off and on our way to Italy as we begin our 13th Candelaria Design Tour Italy! I’m currently typing over the English Channel as we are beginning our descent into Brussels, Belgium. Yes, the very airport that was bombed just a few months ago. Our flight is full with people from all over the world off starting vacations, visiting friends and family, and/or conducting business. The world and life keeps moving despite those who choose to put their time and efforts towards fear and destruction.


I love this trip especially when I get to introduce some newbies to the experience of travel. I have a couple first timers to Europe and Italy which is the best. Watching their eyes and expressions as we arrive in Firenze and come upon the Duomo for the first time.


We have a wonderful group for our June trip. I have travelers from Baltimore on the East Coast to Santa Monica and Long Beach on the West Coast, clients and wonderful friends from Coeur d’Alene, a traveler from Minneapolis and of course a crew from Scottsdale. I have three repeat travelers and so 14 travelers in total. Some of my repeat travelers are enjoying their fifth and third trips!

Diane and John Whittaker joining us from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Diane and John Whittaker joining us from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Martha and Philip Weiner joining us from Baltimore

Martha and Philip Weiner joining us from Baltimore


So what adventures will we be embarking upon on this trip. Eleven women and three men….. geez, story of my life…. I guess that’s not a bad problem to have. What I love most though, is my time here with Isabel, especially with this year’s trip finishing at Lake Como and the spectacular five star, Villa d’Este – the spot where we said our vows three years ago. Isabel is my driver and I’m the navigator. So get ready for some fun and of course beauty as Italy is just spectacular.


Follow our journey right here on my blog as I will do my best to post every day. You can virtually, take a virtual tour. We will be posting a lot of pictures and videos here, on You Tube, Facebook and Instagram so you can enjoy. I am very excited to start another trip with this group. I’m sensing some good times ahead for sure.


Here is our basic itinerary so join us on our adventure:


June 1st Departure from Phoenix

June 2nd Arrival in Firenze with dinner at the picturesque Villa Ste Michele

June 3rd A day in Firenze with dinner in front of the Duomo

June 4th Drive to Umbria with a stop at the Prada Outlet then our welcome dinner at the Farmhouse.

June 5th Sunday Brunch at Villa Piazzano then off to the antique fair in Arezzo followed by dinner and the evening in Cortona.

June 6th Assisi

June 7th Wine tour of the Banfi Winery near Montalcino Tuscany followed by a seven course farm meal at Mimmi’s.

June 8th Farmer’s market in Umbertide followed by antiquing at Lacole then our cooking class at the farmhouse.

June 9th San Gimignano and Siena

June 10th our free day in Umbria and farewell dinner in the farmhouse

June 11th – Drive to Lake Como

June 12th – June 13th Lake Como

June 14th – time to come home......

Welcome to Firenze

Welcome to Firenze


Also – check out our Episode 3 of SKETCH – The Artist’s Villa - being released today on The Design Network at  

The Artist's Villa - Episode 3 of SKETCH

The Artist's Villa - Episode 3 of SKETCH

 Ok Here we go!