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Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery – Milan

Milan - Gallery - Exterior
Milan - Gallery - InteriorMilan - Gallery - Evening ViewMilan - Duomo - View from the roof

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the oldest and famous shopping centers in the world; it is considered the progenitor of the modern concept of enclosed shopping malls!

Built during the second half of the 19th century it was dedicated to the first King of the newly born Italian Reign: Vittorio Emanuele II. The Gallery is formed by two glass vaulted loggias that covered the street that joined two of the most important plazas in Milan: Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Scala.

The roof was built with glass and cast iron; this style was very popular and modern at the time. Right in the center of the roof there is the famous glass dome; today it is impossible to imagine Milan’s skyline without it!

Right under the dome are located four mosaics; each one of them represents the coat of arm of the three capitals of Italy, Turin, Florence and finally Rome, plus Milan’s one. Because of the popular myth that if you spin around with your foot on the Turin coat of arm you will have good luck, this mosaic is heavily damaged!

Things to see

The people of Milan call the Galleria “il salotto di Milano”, Milan’s drawing room, because since the beginning the Galleria had become the center of the vibrant Milan’s life. In the gallery are in fact located the oldest restaurants and shops of the modern Milan.

The gallery is well known around the world for its luxury shops; the most important haute couture and jewelry brands have there their dedicated stores. Also the first and only 7 stars certified hotel in the world is located at the noble floor of the Gallery.