10. People-watching on Rome's Spanish Steps and in the more neighborhood-y feeling Campo del Giacomo del Orio in Venice.
9. We splurged on two nights in a nicer hotel in the Italian Alps that share a border with France, and were astonished by the breakfast served there: hard-boiled eggs, fresh baked lemon pound cake, two kinds of jam, local yogurt, and some of the best granola we've ever had...a great breakfast to be sure no matter where we were, but particularly in contrast to the otherwise sad state of Italian breakfast-eating, which usually included dry white bread and butter.
8. I'm pretty sure I discovered the equivalent of a chorizo burrito in Italy in Bolzano, close to the Austrian border, in the form of heisse fleischkase, a magnificent combination of chewy delicious brown rye bread around a somewhat greasy slab of pork-beef loaf with mustard...it's crazy, crazy good, and like a chorizo burrito, should probably not be consumed more than a couple times a week. That same day, after taking a gondola up into the nearby mountains and hiking through cute Austrian-looking villages, we ordered a second apple strudel because the first tasted so good!!
7. Michelangelo's last Pieta, David, and his sculptures in the Medici Chapel, all in Florence.
6. Raphael's School of Athens and Liberation of St. Peter in the Vatican Museum, followed by the Sistine Chapel, then Michelangelo's first Pieta in St. Peter's, then mass at St. Peter's.
5. Our "best evers": salami, mint ice cream (gelato, of course), pasta (penne norciana, a pork cream sauce), apple strudel, rye bread, and cappuccino!
4. Resting against an old stone wall on a grassy field to eat a salami and cheese sandwich after a long hike in the Italian Alps while watching ibex graze nearby.
3. Walking to the top of the highest point over the town of Assisi to overlooking the surrounding valley while it lightly rained and the sun scattered its beams across the view between the patchy clouds as swallows dived and rose around us.
2. Watching Laurel see Venice's Grand Canal for the first time from a vaporetto boat. It's her dream city: only boats and feet are available to get around!
1. Sitting under a neon blue night sky next to a spinning bright yellow-lighted carousel in Florence's Piazza de la Repubblica listening to an opera singer belt out a beautifully romantic song.