It was my dream to go to Italy. I studied it for four semesters at BYU, and was supposed to go on a study abroad that ended up being cancelled. I met Kevin that summer instead so I was cool with it, but I still dreamt about it, and started saving up for it since we got married. Kevin had his entire summer off and he spent most of the summer planning my dream trip for our third anniversary. We spent 9 days there, and already I'm dreaming about going back.

We started the trip off with 3 days in Rome. It was hot in August! We didn't expect it to be that hot. We started with the Colosseum, went to the Vatican, the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, etc. It was noisy and touristy and probably my least favorite city in Italy. Still, you can't go to Italy and not go to Rome.

 (P.s. my straightener blew up the first night there which was awesome. Please excuse my horrible hair in pretty much every picture.)

Next we went to Florence. Besides getting almost assaulted by a Gypsy woman for not giving her money (all Kevin had was a 20 euro bill) it was nice. We went to the Duomo which was way cooler from the outside than inside, and we toured the Academia. The David was so impressive - I couldn't believe how well-preserved it was. I'm not sure why, but we didn't take many pictures in Florence.

We spent our actual anniversary at Cinque Terre - a 2 hour bus ride from Florence through Tuscany. Cinque Terre was maybe my favorite day we had. It literally translates to 5 cities, all of which are built right on the sea, connected by trails. We hiked from town to town and took a couple of trains. It doesn't seem like an obvious thing to do, but if anyone is going to Italy - please do not miss Cinque Terre. It was dreamy. 

We went to Venice next. I asked a lot of people what to see in Venice, because it didn't seem like there was much to do there from everything we read in guidebooks. Everyone said, "You go to Venice to see Venice." They were right. The view was so gorgeous, we spent hours just sitting on a bench at the canal and looking. One of the days we were there, we took a boat to Murano and toured a glass blowing factory. It was so crazy. These guys spend 25 years training to become a "Master" glass blower. Their creations were stunning. I brought home a tiny whale, since we couldn't afford anything bigger. Someday I'd love to buy a chandelier or larger sculpture there. 

One night we were there, we ordered Spaghetti and Lasagna in a cafe with twinkly lights right on the water. I can't describe the feeling I had that night. It was like this floating joy. I never wanted to be anywhere else or do anything else for the rest of my life. I think heaven must be something like that night in Venice. 

We finished our stay in Italy in Milan. Kevin told the manager it was our anniversary (at every hotel we we stayed at :) but only our hotel in Milan upgraded us to a suite. It was hard to leave our room.  We went to the chapel that houses The Last Supper one day. Out of all of the museums we went to, it was my favorite art experience. Just 15 minutes, about 20 people, and one painting. Truly, less is more. I loved being able to just enjoy that masterpiece without worrying about what else I was missing, or being jostled by tourists.  We also stumbled into mass on Sunday morning at the Duomo and the vocalists were incredible.  I'd like to spend more time in Milan in the future. 2 days wasn't long enough.

Italy was everything. The pizza, the gelato, the charm, the gelato. Thanks Kev, for planning a trip I will never forget.