Rome absolutely stole my heart...
The Romans are a special lot. They are warm and friendly, super-smart dressers, crazy about coffee, hardworking yet chilled-out, and generous to a fault. Basically, they treat everyone pretty much like family. Absolutely amazing.
The sights had to be seen. Walk into any random little church (and there are loads everywhere), and be gobsmacked by the art and architecture. The exteriors are deceptively non-descript. And inside, although the awesome beauty renders you speechless, it still is really hard to be quiet. Every one had heart-stopping ceiling murals, where it's a real challenge to decipher where the actual ceiling ends and where the illustrated heaven starts.
The Colosseum, The Roman Forum (and the ruins in between), the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and the Obelisk at St. Peter's Basilica... I found it hard to wrap my mind around all that history. Cardiac-arrest inducing, I tell you. On top of all that, we got to see the new Pope, His Holiness Pope Francis, at Vatican City! It wasn't a formal thing. He just popped out of his apartment window at midday, said a few words in Italian (probably something sweet like "Now go and have a good lunch!"), and waved. It was exhilarating to see the sea of people just wave back. What a rock star!
(Our slice of heaven in Rome, at Maison Giulia)