On a day trip to Venice, postcard-perfect views were breathtaking around every corner.
But the kids were equally amazed by cats, birds, and lions (possibly setting a record for the most children gathered on a St Mark's Square lion).
And in Verona, we took in the grand wonders of the city, from castles to Juliet's "home".
Along the way, the kids appreciated the small wonders too: stone pathways containing embedded fossil shells, or grooves from Roman-era chariot traffic; 600 year-old graffiti etched into church frescoes (Mattea spotting a note from 1390); or even the simple pleasure of a Sicilian-style snack!
Heading home after this wonder-full trip is worthy of a Shakespeare quote: "parting is such sweet sorrow." Now, we have to decide where next month's adventure should take us...