My favorite country in Europe (of those I've been to) is easily Italy. There is just something about it. The air there feels...different, magical almost. As if you can feel time slow down, just enough for to savor that last bite of pasta carbonara, that decadent mouthful of gelato. In addition it's architectural charm, buzzing piazzas, stellar people watching, it is one of the only places where everything you order tastes amazing. The last time I was there was 2009 and I dream of going back someday, mapping out imaginary itineraries in my head, perhaps taking in some of my favorites like Orvieto and Florence, and a few new gems, like San Gimingiano, Positano, and the Amalfi Coast.
In the meantime, we've been dabbling with bringing Rome into our kitchen, literally with this cookbook. While many cookbooks boasting to speak of Italian flavors don't live up to their namesake, this one stands alone. I read it several times and felt hungry after each successive read.