The Galleria Vittorio Emmanuale is that gorgeous building we all (who have visited Milan) stumbled upon while visiting Piazza Duomo. After years and years of visiting Milan, I never understood what the building was for. Even my dad, who lived in Milan, didn't know what the building was for. Until my last visit to Milan, January of 2009, the buiding always haunted my mind. But on one cold, damp Milanese winter night I finally found out what the building was for. See, it was late, and the day after Christmas, everything was closed, and my parents and I wanted something to drink. So we went to the place you never go to, the nuclear option, the retauruant in the main square. I always tell everyone who visits Europe never to eat in a restaurant in the main square, but it was late, I was thirsty, and my parents insisted. So we went to restaurant located right in the Galleria. We were seating by a young Serbian girl, who seemed nice and pleasant. We were seated right in the corner of the caffe' and right away we ordered our drinks (one limoncella, two coffees, one whiskey, and one small water) and we also got a very small piece of cake (which was kind of awlful, being that you are in Iatly). After a nice, calm conversation, we were handed the bill, a hand written bill. It said 93 Euros on it! I was baffled! There's NO way, I thought. My mom and dad were furious,and argued with the manager, but that did nothing. We had to pay. I also suddenly knew what the Galleria was, it is a tourist trap. A complete tourist trap. Istead of going there, go to the Brera district, much better food and people, for much less. I mean of course, this story is NOT suprising, but I just want to warn everyone, not to eat in the Galleria. Sure visit, but don't eat in there. Milan is a great city, and the food is great in the right places. So before you visit, research. Milan is a city in which you need to search for its heart and soul. This takes dedication, dedication to find the real thing. It is certainly worth it!
While walking around window shopping at the Galleria, I saw a group of Japanese in the middle of the walkway, just below the big dome. Of course, I checked it out. I asked some locals what were they doing and they told me that if you wanted to go back to Milan, you should go below the Dome and put your right heel on the hole and twirl around while making a wish.
The belief was you will definitely go back to Milan!
The dome of the galleria is to just stare at. The wonder and luxury of its ornate designs. But, a lot of people are here to shop and a person standing in the middle of walkway could be run over. It was built in 1870-98 to dedicate a time of elegance after the union of Italy. Milan was showing its other city brethern that it was on top for style and shopping high end. An inscription is dedicating the gallery to Victor Emmanuel, the father of the new independence in 1860's. The gallery connects the main street between the Duomo and Orsa castle. The castle, and the city was once surrounded by a wall for defense in 1500's. It is also the fashion shopping area extending form the gallery. It was designed by Giuseppe Mengo to emulate the famed gallerias in London and Paris.
The galleria has been a symbol of fashion peaking in 1920's and since has had designer labels introduce here first. There are scores of very expensive shops inside the gallery. The floors are thousands of tile squares, and even on the arches up on the top are mosaic tile scenes. Prada is one store that grew due to the relationship to this galleria. This connects to via Dante, a street that continues to shopping for expensive merchandise.
Vittorio Emanuele was the first king of the unified Italy. In Milan they celebrated this man by building a gallery uniting the two main squares of the city: Duomo and Scala. Built between 1861 and 1877 it is known for its monumental architecture, spacious streets and the glassed arcades and dome that protect the shoppers from the weather wishes. Inside you have from libraries, fancy restaurants, expensive clothing and a Macdonalds. Why can't all shopping centres be like this? Maybe slightly cheaper for cheapstakes such as myself.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II was constructed between 1865 - 1867 and has got a high arcade with a roof of glass and iron. It has got its name from king Vittorio Emanuele II, who inaugurated the galleria when it was finished.
If you walk through the galleria from Piazza del Duomo you will come to Piazza della Scala. On your way you will pass shops, cafés and restaurants, some of them quite expensive.
In the middle, where the four branches meet, there is a 47 metre high glass dome. By the vault there are mosaics of Europe, America, Asia and Africa. Under the dome, on the floor, you can see the coat-of-arm of some Italian cities and of the Savojens family.
A speciality of Milan is the 19th century belle époque-style Galeria Vittorio Emanuele being the oldest shopping mall in the world. The four-story arcade houses shops, cafes and luxury boutiques including Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci; the famous but a bit pricey Ristorante Savini is placed on the second floor.
You can find also a McDonalds that seemed a bit out of place here. There is a special atmosphere due to the glass ceiling and the mosaic floor.
The symbols on the mosaic floor represent the capitals of the Kingdom of Italy in various periods: Milan, Turin, Florence and Rome.
A superstition, reported in every guides, says, the emblem of Turin brings good luck by rotating on it. Just look the others and you will see how it should be done, and remember that the rotation has to be clockwise, because otherwise the good luck becomes bad. It is funny and interesting, but I had never seen any local milanesi rotating there. It seems not to be a local, rather a touristic custom!
Above, the mosaics in the semicircular pedentives under the glass dome represent the "four corners of the earth": Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. They were originally frescoes, but were replaced in mosaic. The 24 statues in the Gallery represent Italian personalities, such as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Galilei, Volta etc.
This shopping "Mecca" has been imitated, but never duplicated. Grab yourself a strong Italian espresso coffee, enjoy the mosaic floor, the grand glass and iron dome and watch the elegantly dressed Italians pass by.
Galeria Vittorio Emanuele is one of the most beautiful covered galleries in Europe. Began in 1865, it was the first of it's kind to make use of an iron and glass structure. In 1867, Giuseppe Mengoni, the architect, fell to his death from the heights of the glass dome while scrutinizing decorative details two days before King Vittorio Emanuele led the opening ceremony. Here you´ll find the most luxury shops so get ready your credit card if you wanna do some shopping
La Galeria Vittorio Emanuele se construyó con el objetivo de comunicar dos de las plazas más bellas de Milán, el Duomo y la Scala, y en poco tiempo se convirtió en uno de los lugares más populares de la ciudad. Diseñada en el siglo XIX por Giuseppe Mangoni, es muy conocida en Italia y famosa por encontrar en ella las mejores tiendas de ropa, muchas de ellas de lujo, las mejores librerías y bares exquisitos.
This famous "gallery", connecting Piazza Duomo to Piazza della Scala, is the heart of the chic Milano. The most expensive and luxurious restaurants and shops can be found there.
Anyway, you will find it interesting even if you haven't got much money to spend (or don't wish to spend it). The architecture is very interesting: it was planned and built by Giuseppe Mengoni in 1864, before being achieved in 1878. Have a look at the iron-glass domes and at the paintings on the top of the buildings and on the pavement.
In this building, when you enter and turn to left wings (from Duomo), you can see there are small holes on the floor. I see many ppls will put their legs on this holes, and turn around 3 times, using another legs. They believed that this can be a good luck for them. \
In Duomo: you must enter one underground room at right corner of the entrance. I found one small room, which is used as a museum and they keep the things that used by leader of church likes clothes, crowns etc. Pay 1 euro to enter this glamourous room.Beside this room, there are another small room, contents dead body of somedoby. I dont really remember the name. Visitor always miss these two rooms. Then go upstairs, by LIFT!!! dont use stairs bcoz u will waste a time and get tired.
1861 designed, built 1865 to 1877 Galleria is a covered double arcade sited on the northern side of the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, connecting to the Piazza della Scala. It was named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of united Italy.
When you come to Duomo Square, you probably won't miss visiting this shopping arcade. There are few restaurants and some souvenir shops inside, but the architecture is impressive. As most tourists do, go to the center and find the bull mosaic on the floor, step on bull's testacles with one foot and make a full turn while you wish something. You will recognize how much worn off the floor is on bull's balls. There are two entrances to this arcade, one from Duomo and the other from Scala.
Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II
This is a shopping mall on a grand scale. You’ll find entrances off Piazza Del Doumo and Piazza della Scala. A beautiful building of glass and iron. It has four mosaics around the central octagon up high representing Europe, Africa, Asia and North America.
The mosaics on the floor represent signs of the zodiac and you’re supposed to be blessed with luck if you spin around on Taurus the Bull’s well worn testicles.
This place is situated on the left hand side of the entrance to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele from piazza del Duomo.
Get a stand up coffee and help yourself to the nibbles that the waiters put on the counter. These vary from huge olives, gherkins and pastries.
An excellent way to wake yourself up for the walking or shopping trip around Milan.
Construction of the "Galleria", a typically 19th-century public building now used for events, began in 1864 following a series of competitions for the design won by Giuseppe Mengoni. Large plaster eagles support its dome, 47m high and made of iron and corrugated glass. Note the telamons and caryatids on the interior façades and the Neo-Renaissance-style stuccowork and graffiti. The floor of the octagon was completely restored in 1966 in rare marble mosaic showing the emblems of Italian cities. The art nouveau Bar Zucca (once the historic Camparino) facing the Piazza Duomo is the traditional stop for an aperitif and neighbours the elegant restaurant Savini. Feature of interest: On the mosaic floor note the symbol of the city of Turin - the black bull with worn genitals. Legend has it that revolving three times on one leg placed exactly in that position brings good luck.
In the 19th century as Milan became the industrial centre of a unified Italy, the city increasingly looked to London and Paris as models for its urban development. Achievements in steel architecture in those two cities inspired the construction of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which was to become the symbol of modernity in the industrialised city of Milan. The result was this magnificent cross shaped Galleria linking Piazza della Scala with the city's centre, Piazza del Duomo. The entrance at Piazza del Duomo is in the form of a triumphal arch, clearly symbolic. The architectural details and the atmosphere of the interior are stunning. La Galleria continues to this day to be a showcase of luxury goods in this design-focused Italian city. For more photos, check out my travelogue Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.