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Atlanta, Montreal and then Tuscany | Where will you be this Summer?

By 06/22/2015November 18th, 201639 Comments

Every year since I’ve started writing this blog, when I write my goals for each year, I’ve posted about one of them being to go to Italy.

Then two years ago when I told you Terreeia went to Italy with some friends without me, many of you thought I was nuts when I chose drapery over Italy.

However, making that decision and finishing my house got it on the cover of Style at Home the following April 2014 so that was a good decision in the end! And Terreeia was with 3 of her friends, travelling all over Italy, in a different town every couple days and frankly that would have been too much driving for me! But she loved it!

Here’s what our itinerary looks like this August.

First, August 17 – 19, I’m flying to the Withit Conference in Atlanta where I’ll be speaking.


View of Atlanta from a balcony. {via pinterest}

Then, Wednesday night on the 19th I’m going to Montreal where I’ll be at another mastermind meeting until Sunday, August 23rd, Terreeia will join me there.


Cirque du Soleil in Montreal {via pinterest}

I’ll have to ship some conference clothes home because Sunday evening we’ll be on a flight to Rome where we’ll be for 5 days.


Rome {via pinterest}

Then we are renting a car and driving to Tuscany where we will stay for 7 nights.


Tuscany {via pinterest}

Then we go to Florence for 3 nights. . .


Florence {via pinterest}

and then on the way to Venice we will stay in Verona for one night. . .


Verona {via Pinterest}

and then Venice for the last two nights before we fly home on September 12th.


Venice {via Pinterest}

I can’t wait to show you colour from Italy! Terreeia assures me there is no pink beige there ; ) ; )

This is the corner where I’ll be this summer before we go anywhere. It’s where I was yesterday afternoon.


Here’s what this spot looks like when styled.


It’s my favourite place to be in the summer. I love that my green cushions just melt into the surrounding landscape.

Here’s what the rest of the deck looks like along with the total transformation of our entire front and back yard.

We still haven’t booked Verona and Venice so any tips on places to stay would be great!

Really any advice on where we should go when we get to all these places from some of you world travellers would be awesome!!

Where will you be this summer?

If you would like to transform the way you see colour, become a True Colour Expert.

Related posts:

Maria Killam’s White Garden Transformation: Before & After

Italy or Drapery: Which Would you Choose?

Smile Sweetly and Ask Nicely, When You’re on Vacation

117 pins


  • Fran says:

    Your trip to Italy sounds wonderful, Maria! How exciting for you and Terreeia! Love your outdoor furniture. It looks very inviting. Hope to see you while you’re in Atlanta!

  • Wendy upton says:

    I lived near Venice for two years. It is magical but you have to stay away from San Marco as well as the cruisesship crowd. Lots of small hotels in the Dorsodoro. Get a junior suite if you can as you will walk all day and it’s nice to have a place to relax (looms are small throughout). Dorsodoro has many small restaurants and these small hotels will help with recommendations. You are just a short walk to everywhere A water view room is great but avoid the grand canal if you need quiet at night. The main canals are always busy. Also Venice can be HOT in August / early Sep. so if you need it, get a place with A/C.

  • You will LOVE Italy! My best advice is to build in a day or 2 of no sightseeing–just relaxing and enjoying everything as a local.
    Enjoy and safe travels!

  • Susan S says:

    Aaaaahhhh! Sounds whirlwind, but I’m envious. Don’t eat your way through these cities! Eh, just walk it off if you do. 🙂 Your porch looks so inviting. Is that pretty shade of green on the cushions an actual offered choice or did you have them custom made?

    Enjoy your travels!

  • eileen says:

    You will love Italy. Teeria is correct, no pinky beige. You have to stop in the little towns and enjoy the procuto and fresh bread from the market. Have fun.

  • JoyceBinAtlanta says:

    Wonderful news, Maria. You’ll enjoy this calmer and more ‘in depth’ vacation with just your true love beside you. The fabulous photos in this post vibrate with color. The temptation is to keep clicking away with your camera while on vacation. Though I’d love to see the pictures, I really hope you put the camera away and just fully enjoy the entire experience in the moment!! I hope you have a great vacation.

  • Erin says:

    I just got back from Tuscany. My advice would be to be prepared that it will be HOT. It was in the 90s when I was just there.

  • Oh Maria! Your trip to Italy sounds JUST like what I want to do, but we’re hesitant about renting and driving a car in Italy. I can’t wait to hear all about your travels!

    The deck! Your deck is perfect for this fabulous weather we’ve been experiencing!

  • Gloria Woolsey says:

    I have followed you blog for a long time and truly love it.
    I am going to share a tip on going to Italy as my husband took me there on my 60th birthday and we spent 21 days there. We were all over the country including the places you are going, to me it was the most beautiful place we have ever visited. Loved the history and the people and also how they only repaired and only beautified the old buildings.
    We had a home base on an organic wine farm in Arezzo (the hart of Tuscany)- lovely people, so many wonderful stories. I honestly believe there must be some Italian roots in my blood because I felt I had come home.

    The point of this e-mail is to share the name of a small town which you may miss because there is so much to see, if you are in the area I would highly recommend it. CORTINA TUSCANY

    My most favourite place in all the Italian travels was a small city up in the mountains of CORTINA PIAZZA DE REPUBLICA – we had my birthday dinner at a restaurant looking down into the valley while tons of swallows were flying below us.

    I envy you in going and know you will love it, but don’t forget to come home.


  • Loribeth says:

    You need to go to Scuola del Cuoio in Florence. I have a vintage handbag that they made there, and the artistry is absolutely stunning. I got my purse on etsy, so I’ve never been there, but someday… My dream is to go to Italy, too. So jealous!!!

  • Lucy Haines says:

    Maria, What a wonderful itinerary!! Italy is so beautiful. I have only been to Rome and down but want to go back and see Northern Italy. We were on a cruise so did not have to worry about a place to stay. Can’t wait to see all your pic’s when you get back so I can live vicariously through your journey. I know you will have a wonderful time and will build many memories.

    Love what you have done to your home. Such a transformation!! I am sure you will look forward to coming back to it after all of your exciting travels.

    Travel safe!

  • Nicola says:

    If you are going to Venice 2 little known secret places to go

    1. Restaurant Ciprani on the island of Torcello. Same group but cheaper and in my opinion better. Boat to Murano (which is free if go on glass tour that all hotels offer) then boat to Torcello
    2. Secret tour of the Doges Palace – in the roof etc absolutely fab BUT BOOK in advance

    Both of these are memory making. Enjoy!

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    Wow! Busy girl! How exciting!
    Curious about the fur throw on your outdoor couch. Isn’t it a little hot for one of those?

    • Maria Killam says:

      Haha, it’s true but in the morning when it’s cold or at night it’s perfect! It does look odd in the middle of summer to have it sitting on the sofa but I just happen to have this throw and it’s brown so it coordinates! Maria

  • So excited for you! The trip sounds magical! Italy is a bucket list item for me for sure. Can’t wait to read about your favorite spots!

  • Monica says:

    Your trip to Italy sounds wonderful. I lived for several years in northern Italy and still miss it. San Gimignano is my favorite small town in Tuscany and it’s just an hour drive from Florence. The hotels are affordable with real Italian flair.

    Venice is amazing and absolutely unique. Unlike another commentator, I recommend staying right in town. Good hotels are (very) expensive but it’s especially lovely at night after all the day tourists have left.

    If the coast of Amalfi is on this or a future itinerary you need to include Ravello which is another little gem.

  • Natalie says:

    Cannaregio is a wonderful sestiere to stay. That’s were venetians live. We enjoyed the stay in Carnival Palace Hotel and AC is a must in August. You won’t be able open the windows as there are no screens to keep away unwanted mosquitos. Venice is walkable. Airbnb can be of great help in accommodation and the book by Peter Ackroyd Venice Pure City will set you to understand and love Venice even more. Enjoy your fabulous trip to the fullest. Can’t wait to open your Italian posts. Buon viaggio!

  • April says:

    Oh Maria, You are so cruel, you’ve triggered my envy! Seriously though, I hope you and Terreeia have a lovely time in your travels this summer. I hope you both enjoy a break from all your hard work!

  • Well, I would never say Italy over drapes, so I’m glad you got your gorgeous draperies. And now you’re going to Italy, so now it’s the best of both worlds!

    Debbie Travis has a lovely home in Tuscany, that she’s opened up to women only, it’s right in the middle of olive and grape fields, it looks gorgeous!
    Arrive Derci!

  • Deb Bruna says:


    My husband and I are going to Italy Sept 3rd- 13th, but we are staring in Venice and ending in Rome! I am so excited about this trip. I will email the itinerary from out tour so you have a wonderful list of things to do. Who knows, we might bump into each other in Florence, Firenza. Bon voyage!

  • Barb says:

    Glad to hear that you are planning to so many different stops in Italy. I went on my dream trip to Italy in 2012. It was hot even in in October. My best advice is to pick up a copy of Rick Steve’s travel guide. He suggests great ways to see Italy and other European countries. In Venice, we stayed right behind San Mark’s Basilica at in Locanda Casa Querini, a family owned inn with about 6 rooms which included breakfast. It was close to eateries and you can easily walk to San Mark’s Square at night (a magical time of day) where many of the gondola rides are as well as Doge’s Palace. See Saint Mark’s Basilica early. They turn on the lights at 11am which allows you to best see light reflected off gold mosaics. In every city, buy tickets to most attractions ahead of time to avoid wasting time in ticket lines.

  • Marianne says:

    Venice is so beautiful and romantic! We stayed at a lovely small hotel on one of the small canals….owners always at front desk to answer questions. The wife took my arm and guided me along the alleys to her hairdresser! My hair never looked more stylish! My husband still talks how good my hair looked. It was my “souvenir “! Another nice memory was walking along the grand canal….but keep going away from the hotels etc …you ll get to darling neighborhoods where u can see how the real venetians live! Have a lovely trip!

  • Beth says:

    Hope you have a great trip! We will be there in Oct visiting for 2 weeks. All the same cities plus Milan and Lake Garda. Super excited!

  • Hazel says:

    I’m just back from a midweek break in Verona (from England) and can thoroughly recommend Hotel Milano in the centre of Verona. It has the very best of views of the famous Roman Arena – especially good from the rooftop bar! It was perfect with very friendly staff.

  • Diane says:

    Your outdoor areas are so beautiful!!!! I love the a Restoration Hardware outdoor furniture! A “stay cation” would even been great!
    Did you ever complete your master bathroom?
    Thx for your inspiration!

  • Mia says:

    I lived in Italy for several years and I envy you now. 🙂 As a colour expert, one place you will want to visit while in Venice is the island of Burano. 😉

  • When you are in Atlanta, if you want great fried chicken, try JCT Kitchen it’s in the Westside area. You could also try the Optimist, which is in the Westside as well. It has an amazing oyster bar.

  • Sara says:

    I don’t see a difference in the two pictures of your “home corner”…the one with you vs. the styled one. 😉

    • Maria Killam says:

      Ha, you’re sweet. My friend Barbara did come over and had a laugh at my overly styled patio. . . I can’t help it. . . I’m accessory obsessed. Thanks for your comment!

  • sandyc says:

    I was one of the supporters of choosing drapery over an unplanned whirlwind trip to Italy a couple of years ago and I’m so happy we were proven right. The trip you and Terreeia have planned sounds heavenly. Makes me want to pop in my DVDs of Enchanted April and Under the Tuscan Sun and live vicariously.

    Wish I lived closer to you ’cause I’d volunteer to patio sit for you while you’re gone. Someone needs to be there to soak in that beauty.

  • Thandi says:

    Now that’s my kind of trip! Swallow life whole. Don’t see one place see all the places. And don’t worry about moving too much because when you get home you’ll feel like the whole country is yours. Besides there’s always next time, and next time, and next time…

  • Mary says:

    Your vacation sounds divine, I’d love to know where you purchased your orange dress, so cute on you!

  • Theresa Sheldon-Meyers says:

    Hi Maria,
    My husband & I did a wonderful cycling tour thru Tuscany 5-6 years ago… is absolutely beautiful…you will love it. Be sure to save a day for shopping and site seeing in Sienna. One of our favourite places that we stayed at was Relais Alla Corte del Sole in Petrignano del Lago on the Tuscany Umbria border…near Cortona (where under the Tuscan Sun was filmed). It’s a restored farm (outbuildings turned into quaint hotel accommodations) and the food in the restaurant was incredible! We also stayed in Pienza…designed by famed architect Rossellini to be the “perfect Renaissance City” and worthy of a visit! Have a wonderful trip!

  • Ellen Rush says:

    Wow, I love the sounds of your trip to Italy, it will be life changing! Your covered patio is simply the best and you do an excellent job of lounging! Happy Summer to you both!

  • mrsben says:

    Maria, you are going to love Italy! Only recommendation I have is; invest in some Canadian lapel pins and wear them where they will be visible as the Italians on the whole love us …. ☺. Sounds trivial I know, but trust me you will not regret it. Wishing you and Terreeia a fun and safe holiday. -Brenda-

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