Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
This luxury shopping mall is a destination for lovers of fashion and fine food. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II sits on the main square, the Piazza del Duomo. The building is an important historic site, as it is said to be the oldest shopping mall in the world. At the same time, the arcade is a monument to contemporary style; many of the most famous contemporary designers have flagship stores at the Galleria. Spend an afternoon shopping, drop by for a drink after a local concert or simply come to admire the 19th-century architecture.
The two arcades feature glass ceilings that are over four stories high and connect with an octagonal glass dome. While the design was a popular one for 19th-century arcades, the Galleria’s size made it stand apart. Walk through the arcade to admire the design and the light that floods through it. Underneath the dome are four mosaics depicting the coats of arms of Milan, Turin, Florence and Rome. For good luck, spin on your heel on top of Turin’s coat of arms, a bull. This local tradition is so popular that a small hole has developed on the mosaic.
Stroll through the arcades to discover labels like Prada and Gucci. Milan is considered the fashion capital of the world. Visit two of the most famous Italian labels in the historic context for a unique experience. For those on a smaller budget, a number of rising fashion designers sell their wares in the arcade, and there are plenty of bargains to be found during end-of-season sales.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is open daily and many of the stores and restaurants remain open late. If you are staying at one of the many downtown hotels you are just a short walk away from the Galleria. A metro station is located in the Piazza del Duomo if you are coming from farther away.