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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: a walk in the heart of Milan

art & culture

Nicknamed ‘the salon of Milan',this pedestrian gallery cultivates the art of Milanese living.

It was built in 1867, six years after the reunification of Italy by Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy. Its dome is one of the first constructions made out ofglass and iron in Europe, and its perilous building process cost the life of its architect.

It is considered by the Milanese to be the ‘salon of Milan', connecting the Duomo to La Scala, and a place where all Milan meets or goes for a stroll. Lawyers and notaries get together there for their morning espressos; society ladies go there to enjoy their panettones in the afternoon. Like many places at one time in their history, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele IItemporarily lost its splendour and was taken over by cheap curio shops.

But, now that is over, and it has rediscovered its Milanese spirit. The chic shops are back, including Prada, for whom this is a homecoming. It was here that Mario Prada founded his luggage shop in 1913.

Galerie Victor Emmanuel II
Piazza del Duomo
20 123 Milan

+ 39 (02) 7740 4343

 See the Travel Guide to Milan