I visited Italy for the first time a couple of months ago. I was only there a week, but somehow, two months later, I am still daydreaming about the rolling green hills, picturesque city streets and one very memorable plate of asparagus risotto.
The scenery was stunning. The Italians were warm and welcoming. I took to saying "grazie mille" like a fish to water. And the food was so. darn. good. So good that I have no photographs of it. It was all eaten too fast. So good that I began to wonder whether fresh mozzarella might have been the key to the Renaissance.
And the gelato. Pardon me while I swoon at the memory.
Quick, somebody remind me again why I live here and not there?
From ancient Roman civilization to the churches, frescos and fountains of the Renaissance, we all know that the richness of Italy's history is staggering.
So rich, in fact, that artifacts which would be priceless ancient treasures anywhere else in the world are left lying by the railroad tracks. In Italy they're just the extras.
But the most memorable aspects of the trip remain the little details. Geraniums in a window in Verona. A bulldog sunning himself on a balcony over a small piazza in Venice. A tiny white Fiat 500 sandwiched into a parking spot about the size of my coffee table.
An elderly gentleman boarding a tram in Rome with his briefcase and fedora. Giant wheels of cheese and mountains of salami pouring out of the stalls in the Florence central market. Ornate doorknobs, rain-slicked cobblestones, and lines of laundry hanging against a blue sky.