Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Piazza del Duomo, 20123 Milano, Italie

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Discover the Magnificence of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milano

Milano, the fashion capital of Italy, is known for its stunning architecture and rich history. One of the city's most iconic landmarks is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This historic shopping mall, named after Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy, is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Milano. Let's dive into the fascinating world of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and discover what makes it so special.

A Historical Landmark

Built between 1865 and 1877 by architect Giuseppe Mengoni, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is not only Italy's oldest active shopping gallery but also a significant historical landmark. It played a crucial role in the evolution of modern shopping malls, serving as a prototype for glazed shopping arcades around the world.

Architectural Marvels

As you step into the Galleria, you'll be greeted by the grandeur of its architectural design. The structure consists of two intersecting glass-vaulted arcades, forming an octagon that covers the street connecting Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala. The arching glass and cast iron roof, a popular design in the 19th century, adds to the charm of the Galleria.

The central octagonal space is crowned with a magnificent glass dome, allowing natural light to flood the area. The roof, consisting of four barrel vaults and topped with lanterns, is a testament to the architectural prowess of its time. The Milanese Galleria's monumental character and large spans of vaults make it stand out among its predecessors.

Shopping and Dining Delights

While the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a historical landmark, it is also a shopper's paradise. The arcade is home to a plethora of luxury boutiques, high-end fashion brands, and renowned Italian cafes and restaurants. From designer clothing and accessories to delectable Italian cuisine, you'll find it all within the Galleria's elegant confines.

Fun Facts and Traditions

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is not just a place for shopping and dining; it also holds some intriguing traditions and fun facts. One of the most famous traditions is the "bull's testicles" mosaic. In the central octagonal space, you'll find four mosaics depicting the coat of arms of the three capitals of the Kingdom of Italy (Turin, Florence, and Rome), along with Milan's coat of arms. Legend has it that spinning around three times with a heel on the bull's testicles brings good luck. However, this tradition has caused damage to the mosaic, resulting in a hole where the bull's genitals should be.

When to Visit

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a bustling attraction throughout the year, but to truly experience its charm, it's best to visit during the early morning or late evening when the crowds are thinner. The arcade is particularly enchanting during the holiday season when it is adorned with festive decorations and lights.


The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is not just a shopping mall; it's a historical and architectural masterpiece that showcases the grandeur of Milano. From its stunning design to its luxurious boutiques and delightful dining options, this iconic landmark offers a unique experience for visitors. So, make sure to add the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to your itinerary when exploring the vibrant city of Milano.

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