Europe's many marvels of human achievement are wondrous and all. But don't forget to try the ice cream.
A gelato in Florence.

It could be the title of a novel. A timeless tale, it would be about two lovers who meet while ordering the same flavor of Italian ice cream (this would also work as an opera).

The smitten couple would return each week to "their" gelato shop and let the one order for the other. Shy in the beginning, they would start out only sharing licks of each other's treat. As their romance progressed, they would move on to nibbles. In the throes of a passion, they'd tumble into the ultimate expression of devotion - letting the other take the first bite of their cone.

Everything would be glorious until one day he orders pistachio. She's aghast. "I thought you knew me!" she cries. "But, but, but …" he stammers. She turns on her heel. He stands there, a thin stream of pale green ice cream running down the two cones, one in each hand.

Like all great love stories, this one would not only cause rivers of tears and heaves of snuffles, it would make no sense whatsoever. That's because, at its core, a love story is like love itself. Which is to say, it makes no sense whatsoever.

But a gelato in Florence isn't the title of a novel. It is one of the most indelible memories I have of visiting Europe. In going there over the years, I've gawked at countless works of art, traipsed through tons of ruins, and toured a bazillion historic sites.