Part 1: Italia - Milano, Parma, Modena, Reggio Emilia, Genova & Firenze

I was lucky enough to visit Italy for my 30th Birthday earlier this year.  We started in Milan - once we arrived, we dropped off our luggage and found the Duomo.  Not only was I amazed by it's intricate detail, but it's shear size was also breathtaking!  We also saw Leonardo's Last Supper - unfortunately, no photos allowed!

The next day started early, so we had our first of many espressos.  We took a day trip to Italy's "Bread Basket" - Parma, Modena and Reggio Emilia where we had a private guide take us to small-scale Parmesan, Balsamic and Prosciutto producers.  Robert was quite ecstatic when our guide informed us that the area was also known as the birthplace of numerous super cars, so of course we took a detour to the Ferrari Museum before returning to Milan.  

The next day, we rented a car to drive to our next destination - Florence, but not without a detour to Genoa.  (We felt very Italian in our little Fiat 500!)  Genoa is a costal city filled with tons of character thanks in a large part to their maze-like narrow streets.  We had an amazing lunch at Zeffirino where we enjoyed the local specialty - PESTO!    

I cannot emphasize enough how amazing the food is in Italy.  Although it looks rather simple and rustic, the freshness and flavors of each ingredient shine! 

We arrived in Florence where we spent a few nights with an amazing view.  Some highlights included the Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore - it's intricately decorated dome and it's beautiful view of Florence's red rooftops, seeing The Gates of Paradise and Michelangelo's David, not to mention, the best gelato and pizza of our trip!

To be continued...