First, can I just say how thrilled I am that we have internet now? Thrilled actually doesn't even begin to describe it.
Just to add a little to Jon's description (which focused mainly on the beers and cars of Italy), Venice was awesome. It rivals NC for summer heat and humidity, though! Both Jon and I had to invest in some lighter clothing. We were staying on the Lido island, a small strip of land that separates the Venice Lagoon (and the main island, San Marco) from the Adriatic. If I ever return to Venice, I would definitely stay on Lido again. The hotels and restaurants were much less expensive, there were fewer tourists, and it was just a short water taxi away from the main attractions. And being steps away from the beach was fabulous. Even though I was there for work (a Schizophrenia conference) it felt like vacation. We took lots of pictures, so watch this space and we'll get around to uploading them sooner or later! People had warned us about a particular "smell" in Venice (think thousands of tourists, with varying standards of personal hygiene, marching around in 100 degree heat) in the summer, but I have to say I didn't notice it. Apparently (according to a fellow American tourist) August is when it gets really unbearable until the rainy season washes it all away in the fall. So if you're planning a trip any time soon, bear this in mind!
Back in Oxford, we're still getting settled in the house, with a furniture delivery from Ikea expected on the Fourth of July (this should help a lot). Then we'll be ready for visitors, so start planning your trip!