We have returned from Italy. It was a wonderful trip. We have seen enough art to satisfy us for the rest of our lives. I thoroughly enjoyed the Ancient Roman history stuff. I don't know why, but I am fascinated by the excesses of the Emperors, particularly Augustus and Nero. Nero built himself a massive palace in Rome that spanned 3 of its major hills. The exterior of the buildings were pure gold. You can see some of the ruins near the forum. The subsequent emperors were so embarrassed by him that they immediately dismantled his palace upon his death.
The powerful families in Florence were the same way. I was blown away by the Medici Chapel in Florence. The mausoleum inside is a massive structure partially designed by Michealangelo that took over 200 years to build. It is pure marble, all the way to the ceiling (it's several stories high). Whitney is concerned when I say I want to be buried that way.
It is amazing to see how high Rome is compared to the era of the Republic and the emperors. It now stands about 25 feet higher, because the city has been built on top of itself so many times.
Whitney's favorite part was eating at a tiny restaurant on a narrow side street in Venice (the food was amazing), and then escaping a downpour under a canopy in a little piazza.
Anyway, we had an amazing time. Here is a link to our entire picture album: