cortona was all bougainvillea-kissed shopfronts and bewitching cobblestone streets, alleyways for getting lost in and staircases so steep they rose and they rose until they disappeared from view. cats lazed in the sunshine and on windowsills while artists draped in white linen perched in shade and painted the view. we lingered long over lunches and longer over dinners, and each of the little cousins tasted a lick of gelato for the first time. ella made friends with uncountable local pups and francis smiled his way through an inaugural taste of pasta. heart-happy memories were carved between these fourteenth century walls.