Piove, Piove, Go Away!

Vespas line the streets of the trendy Brera neighborhood.

Vespas line the streets of the trendy Brera neighborhood.

Italy, Day 4

(Spoiler Alert! You might want to start with Day 1 to follow this trip from the beginning...)

On our last full day in Milan, we set out to visit some sights recommended by our host. Already at the Duomo by the time we realized we forgot our iPhone, we went ahead and officially toured the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II — Italy's oldest shopping mall. The mall was slammed with tourists trying to stay dry, but the structure was massive and still breathtaking.

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the oldest shopping mall in Italy.

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the oldest shopping mall in Italy.

After hitting our crowd quota (admittedly very low), we took the bus to visit the "Church of Bones" but instead ended up soaked and lost. We circled what we'd later realize was the correct area before heading back to throw ourselves at the feet of technology. Thank you Steve Jobs, thank you!

Our journey to the church proved fruitless as it was — sorpresa! — closed on Saturdays. We decided to wander around instead of hunting for more sites and accidentally came across a great architecture exhibit at the Università degli studi Milano. It kinda felt good to be around artsy folks but then again, it always does.

Università degli studi Milano

Università degli studi Milano

From the Università we traveled through the upscale Brera neighborhood, lined with high-end kitchen and bath shops (is it too soon to remodel?) as well as popular trattorias. My favorite was devoted entirely to the hamburger. Si.

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After a day in the rain, we returned to the apartment to warm ourselves and catch up on blogging before dinner. Richard made us — sorpresa due! — the best arancini I've ever tasted from the previous night's risotto. Can you say super host?

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We arrived at our dinner spot, Officiana 12, around 9:30pm and sat outside to enjoy the busy streets. Dinner was amazing from our fresh salad to the ratatouille (best dish so far!) to our first pizza of the trip.

Ratatouille with a baked Middle Easter noodle whose name we can't remember. Five bucks to anyone who can tell us what it's called — it was our best meal to date!

Ratatouille with a baked Middle Easter noodle whose name we can't remember. Five bucks to anyone who can tell us what it's called — it was our best meal to date!

Our waiter brought us a seriously strong limoncello, on the house, which warmed us from within before our walk / run through the drizzle. As it was our last night in the city, we had to pick up pastries for the train ride in the morning. (wink) The exuberant Italian woman wished us a "Buono Dolci!" as we departed.

Si, buono dolci... it would seem a fitting tribute to our stay in in Milan as well.