Today I wanted to share with you a bit of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, in my opinion (and I am not even Italian!) one of the most beautiful shopping arcades in the world!
The Galleria is all covered up by a magnificient glass (and iron) roof, with a giant dome in the middle and mosaic floor. This is all very 19th spirit and hence would maybe remind you a bit of the Burlington Arcade in London, which was built roughly at the same time. The story of its creation is very sad because its architect, Giuseppe Mengoni, eventually fell to his death from the top of its creation while checking up some decorative details just 2 days before its opening!
But enough of sad stories. In the Galleria, you will find many luxury shops, like Gucci (which even has a bar there), Prada, Louis Vuitton and Borsalino (do you know this amazing Italian hat brand?) but also cheaper brands like Massimo Dutti and a great bookshop book. The Galleria is also directly connected to the Town House Galleria, Milan’s most luxurious and expensive hotel (more on this later).
The Galleria is famous for being home to some Milan’s oldest restaurants, like the Biffi Caffè, founded in 1867 and the first Milanese café to install electric lighting, and the Art Nouveau classic Zucca’s Bar.
But the most famous spot in the Galleria is the picture of the Bull on the mosaic floor in the center. The rumour is that if you step on bull’s testacles with one foot and make a full turn while you wish something, your wish will come true. Never happened to me obviously but you can try it as a joke. And you will be able to see how the floor is completely worn off on the bull’s balls!
The Galleria also connects two of Milan’s most famous landmarks: the Duomo and the Scala Opera house.. but more on this next time! Night night!