Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is sometimes nicknamed “il salotto di Milano” (Milan’s drawing room), is an elegant nineteenth-century shopping arcade. It houses some of the most luxurious boutiques in Milan.
The structure built between 1865 and 1877 is formed by two arcades shaped like a Latin cross covered by a glass and iron dome. The Galleria is located between two of the main monuments in Milan: il Duomo and the Teatro alla Scala. In our opinion, this magnificent shopping arcade is one of the most interesting sights in Milan.
Things to see
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II contains brands such as Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, as well as other high-end boutiques.
It also houses numerous well-decorated restaurants, including some of the oldest establishments of Milan such as Café Biffi, founded in 1867.
Surprisingly, visitors can also find a McDonald’s in the Gallery. This said, the fast-food restaurant is beautifully decorated with black columns and gold decoration to blend in with the other establishments. It has a comfortable terrace to sit in and have an inexpensive drink, while enjoying the atmosphere and elegance of this stunning building.
If you walk around the galleries, the central dome has a stunning mosaic that represents the continents of Asia, Africa, Europe and America.
Under the central dome is a mosaic with the Savoy coat of arms and various animals that represent some of Italy’s most important cities. According to a legend, visitors and locals will have good luck if they step with their right foot on the bull and turn 360° with their eyes closed. If you step on the bull on the 31 December at midnight, you will be lucky for a whole year.
Teatro alla Scala (143 m) Milan Cathedral (159 m) Piazza Mercanti (197 m) Museo Poldi Pezzoli (367 m) Pinacoteca Ambrosiana (377 m)