Next to the Duomo, we had to visit the Milanese Galleria (or Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II), which is a shopping area in the center of Milan. The structure is formed by two glass-vaulted arcades intersecting in an octagon covering the street connecting Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala. Built from 1865-1877, the arching glass and cast iron roof that covers the street was the prototype for larger glazed shopping areas. The central octagonal space is topped with a glass dome. The Milanese Galleria was larger in scale than its predecessors and was an important step in the evolution of the modern, enclosed shopping mall. It has inspired the use of the term galleria for many other shopping arcades and malls. While there, we said hello to Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada.
After our window shopping at the Galleria, we walked back to our hotel taking in numerous boutiques and galleries along the way. Our last stop before entering our hotel was Lipstick Vintage that was directly across the street from our hotel. We all went crazy for the amazing vintage finds from Chanel to Gucci to Versace to Pucci. This store has incredible things. Although we tried a few things on, we were exhausted from the day’s activities and went back to the hotel for a quick nap.
After Donna and I served as ‘chiefs’ for the entire trip, my mom and Katie demanded they be chiefs for one night, so Donna and I had to be Indians and follow them around. The decision on where to eat for our final Italian dinner together (Donna and Katie were leaving the next morning) was an important one. Fortunately, mom and Katie led us just around the block from our hotel to La Libera. This quaint restaurant served delicious traditional Italian specialties, seasonal, meat and fish. Plus we had the most amazing server ever! She was from Austria and had two young sons. She said she desperately needed and Girls Getaway and told us to contact her when we head to Australia. During dinner we all stated what our “high” of the trip was and what our “low” was. For me, the high point was every new memory we created and every time the four of us laughed and loved together. These moments and absolutely irreplaceable!
Because the four of us had such an amazing trip together, we had already started talking about where we wanted to travel to together in 2013. We all started to settle on Istanbul. To cement our decision, the first book I saw when I walked into La Libera was on Istanbul. It is fate, and we all had to take our final photo together in Italy with the book.