I know it's late, but I am finally giving you pictures of the trip to Italy.
Now that I've gotten over the initial depression of a less than stellar trip, I can tell you what was amazing about it, and what I learned.
The Italian pace of life is slow, and yet simultaneously very fast.
When you eat at a restaurant, they are super quick to get your order, bring your drinks, a basket of bread and your piping hot food.
But they take FOREVER to bring your check, offering you desert roughly 20-30 minutes after you've finished eating, and then even if you say no to dessert, bringing your check about 10-15 minutes after that.
Once you put money on it, it still sits a bit longer.
The point is for you to relax, digest your meal, have some coffee, maybe a real conversation where neither party is shoveling food into their pie hole, and then once you've digested a bit maybe you'll want some dessert.
At first, this bugged the crap out of me, and then after a couple days I loved it.
On the other hand, they drive very fast, swerving effortlessly in and out of lanes, cutting each other off without honking or yelling, coming right up on the ends and sides of other cars or even pedestrians, only stopping if they absolutely have to, to get everywhere as fast as possible. And they walk down the sidewalk or through the Metro tunnel the same way.
It's like the running of the bulls in the Metro tunnel during rush hour.
Cappuccino is amazing with 1 packet of sugar and 1 packet of Equal.
Espresso shots are bitter and very hard to get down.
Pizza in Rome is absolutely terrible.
Pizza is an Italian-American food, invented by Italian immigrants in Chicago.
It is NOT an Italian food FROM ITALY.
We do it better than they do.
The Sistine Chapel is kind of overrated.
However the Vatican was well worth seeing.
They really don't like taking credit cards or large Euro bills in Rome or Sicily.