Wednesday, March 9, 2016

La Dolce Debbie - Debbie Travis
Debbie Evans

Debbie Evans reflects on her first visit to Italy with Debbie Travis 

I have been following Debbie Travis as she had finally purchased a home in Tuscany and was renovating it to prepare for more woman's retreats.

I attended the first retreat in 2009 with an amazing group of women and it was my first time in Italy. It was an amazing experience and I then returned 4 times to Italy with the Italian Chamber of Commerce with a group of architects and designers to tour Italy and learn more about the craftsmen, artists, trades and people who  supply the most amazing Italian products all over the world. I fell in love with Italy and hope to return again soon.

When I attended Debbie Travis first women\s retreat she was renting a Villa and had hoped to buy a place and continue her dream of inspiring women and giving them a sanctuary to learn, grown, and escape from our hectic schedules.

I keep in touch with some of the woman through facebook and we get email updates from Debbie Travis as she continues on her Journey.

I also found an article from the Cape Breton Post  and the Whistler Question Cape Breton success story I was interviewed by the papers after they found out I had been invites to Italy with Debbie Travis.

Cape Breton success story Sept 12, 2009

There are many success stories about Cape Bretoners doing well off this wonderful island. Earlier this summer, Cape Breton native Debbie Evans, president of Whistler Interior Design in B.C., joined home decorating icon Debbie Travis and 11 other like-minded women for a Tuscan getaway. Travis, a world-renowned interior designer, is the host of the popular television series Debbie Travis' The Painted House, which has aired in more than 80 countries. Evans, born and raised in Ashby, is a graduate of Sydney Academy, the daughter of Paul and Ann Evans, who still reside in Sydney. Evans, who is off to Italy on Sept. 17 with the Italian Chamber of Commerce for a design tour, is a respected designer.

Debbie Evans of Whistler Interior Design will soon join famed home decorator Debbie Travis in a Tuscan villa in Italy for some R&R. Next month the award-winning designer, along with a select group of 12 other women, will be hosted by Travis for a retreat that is sure to be both exciting and relaxing.
Evans says she is thrilled to have been chosen for the trip. The host of three highly successful television series and author eight bestselling books, Travis has organized the trip for professionals who come from various locations across the Canada. All will enjoy the villa that was built around the 11th century clock tower south of Siena and west of Cortona. Travis's guests will also enjoy a tour of Italy including Montepulciano, Montefollonico and Pienza. Various winery tours, spa retreats, yoga and relaxing by the pool will also be on the schedule for the eight-day trip.
It has been a successful time for Whistler Interior Design. Two of the company's projects will be featured in this year's Spectacular Homes of Western Canada, a hard-cover coffee table book that serves as an exclusive showcase of Western Canada's finest designers.
Evans' career will be featured along with these properties that will be highlighted with breathtaking photography. The book is scheduled to hit the shelves on July 1. Also due to hit the shelves is Canadian Home Trends Magazine, a bi-monthly magazine that will showcase some of Whistler Interior Design's work in either its June or July issue. For more information about Whistler Interior Design, visit their website at
Debbie Evans has returned from an amazing trip in Tuscany. In July, she spent time at a Tuscan retreat with world-renowned interior designer Debbie Travis, host of the popular television series Debbie Travis' The Painted House (which has aired in more than 80 countries around the world), Debbie Travis' Facelift and From the Ground Up. She is also the author of eight bestselling books and an internationally syndicated newspaper column.
Debbie Evans described the trip as an unforgettable experience and came back relaxed and inspired. Upon her return, Evans was able to enjoy the June/July issue of Canadian Home Trends Magazine, which featured her work. More work from Evans' Whistler Interior Design will be featured in the September/October issue also.
Another highlight of Evans' spring/summer was the release of the new book, Spectacular Homes of Western Canada, which features the work of some of the top designers in Western Canada. The upscale coffee-table book displays two of WID's design projects. Insight Photography has showcased a Whistler property on Blueberry Hill and a rustic log home in the book with fine photographs.
For more information about Whistler Interior Design visit

I also wrote about my trip back to Italy and I have included it below - I really enjoyed reading my past posts as all the trips brought back great memories. 

It is important to live your Dreams no matter what they are!!

The photo's are of an aerial Photo of Luca, Walls Walk, and Bologna in the upper right corner
I have included a few photos and a sample of the design tour agenda to share with you the places we will be travelling. I am really looking forward to my return to Italy.
Villa Amista Verona, Italy

The hotel we are staying in is avilla is situated in a magnificent park covering an area of 20,000 square meters where picturesque paths evoke the atmosphere of the past. The astonishing variety of flowers, ancient trees, sculptures and 16th century fountains make a walk in the gardens an unforgettable experience for the guest.

We will also be going to Novara and Viareggio
Novara (Nuara in Western Lombard) is the capital city of the province of Novara in thePiedmont region in northwest Italy, to the west of Milan. With c. 103.602 inhabitants, it is the second most populous city in Piedmont after Turin and it is the second urban area of the Region Piedmont with 190,000 inhabitants.

Viareggio is a city located in northern TuscanyItaly, on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. With a population of over 63,000 it is the main centre of the northern Tuscan Riviera known as Versilia, and the second largest city within the Province of Lucca.

Staying in the Hotel Astor
The Hotel Astor is situated along the famous promenade of Viareggio.


My trip to Italy with the Italian Chamber of Commerce was very different from the Tuscan Trip with Debbie Travis and was even better!! 

I spent two weeks in Northern Italy and Tuscany and stayed in very luxurious hotels travelling with an amazing group of architects and designers. 

When I was on the Debbie Travis trip we stayed in the Villa she rents for 8 days and it was wonderful but I enjoyed travelling to various areas allowing us to truly experience the lifestyle of each place. I also preferred the mix of men and woman because it adds a different flavour to the trip. We had one gentleman that was so funny and entertaining he had us laughing the whole trip. It was so much fun and I havn't laughed like that in years. 

Both trips offered very different experiences and I enjoyed both. I am looking forward to my return to enjoy more of the Italian Lifestyle. 


Thursday 17th - Departure from Vancouver/Calgary 

Friday 18th - Arrival at Verona - check in at Hotel Villa Amista 

Verona was amazing and we were in walking distance to the main downtown area. We had a cocktail party and Romeo and Juliet's home and we stood on the famous balcony. 

Visit to Abitare il tempo in the late afternoon. VIP Party hosted at Villa Morellato (Original Palladian Villa) 

Our first night was magical. We attended the VIP party at Villa Morellato and dined outside with wood burning fire pits burning all around us, a live orchestra, amazing food and wines, and a disco under tents on the estate. We ate, drank, and danced all night. 
Sat 19th - Visit to Abitare il Tempo (VIP Delegation Pass) – debriefing with Fair Organizers Gala Dinner with local authorities 

Sun 20th - Visit to Abitare il Tempo – B2B Meetings with exhibitors 

Monday 21st – Visit to Abitare il Tempo – B2B Meetings with exhibitors 

Tuesday 22nd – Leaving Verona in the morning and transfer to Novara. 
In the afternoon: Presentation with Novara Chamber of Commerce and visit to 2 local companies. 

Wednesday 23rd - B2B meetings in Piemonte and Novara Area 

Thursday 24th - In the morning transfer to Viareggio (Lucca Area) and check in at Hotel Astor. 
Lunch with the delegation 
B2B meetings arranged by Lucca Promos 

Viareggio is so beautiful and we stayed across the street from the beach. The sunsets were breath taking and we walked the beaches every evening before bed. 

We went to the marble quarries on the very tip of the mountain and we were able to overlook the town and see the Italian coast line. It was sunny and warm and we were able to tour the marble quarries with the owner who shared his experiences working in the quarry. 
My room had a living room, kitchenette, hallway, bathroom adn a bedroom. It was like having my own apartment. My balcony over looked the court yard.
Friday 25th – Visit to Campolonghi quarries in the morning 
B2B workshop meetings in the afternoon. 
Guided tour of Lucca, Antique labs and dinner with the delegation in the City 

We had a great time in Lucca and enjoyed roaming around taking in the sites. The architecture is stunning and we climbed a tower that allowed us to overlook the entire city. The hotel was new and was tastefully decorated. My room had a four poster bed and was very comfortable and welcoming. 
Saturday 26th - A day in the countryside of Tuscany. 

Sunday 27th – Transfer to Bologna and check in at Hotel I Portici (

Monday 28th – B2B meetings in Emilia Romagna and Bologna Area 

Bologna was so much fun. The hotel was in the heart of the city and our rooms were huge. Two of the rooms had balconies over looking the downtown and we had a few after hour gatherings where we drank wine and laughed until we cried. I had so much fun here and I have never laughed so hard. It was Great. 

0;">We had the pleasure of meeting one of the architects friends who lived just down from our hotel. her Villa was in the family for 500 years and the original art on the walls looked familiar as I had seen a few pieces in art history books. She shared stories of her past and a donation to a local museum that included original letters from Galileo Her daughter is now married to a Count and another daughter is living on the west coast. She was fascinating and charming and we enjoyed our visit with her. 
Tuesday 29th – Meetings organized in Bologna

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