If you’ve learned to love Italy, you hate to leave Italy.
The place is unusually human—despite its spiritual obsession. And the country seems so enlightened—despite governmental disorder that makes America’s look minor. We awoke to blue skies the day we left, naturally. We slurped one last cappuccino, raced for Rome’s airport, and used our sunglasses for the first time in a month. It was also the first time we were able to take off nearly every layer we’d brought. A cruel joke? Yes, and no one laughed. But in our minds, we saw God winking as he touched our fingertips like he does in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel—as if to say, “Come back soon; but next time, not in November.”