Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Milan, Italy

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is Italy's oldest active shopping mall and a major landmark of Milan. Housed within a four-story double arcade in the center of town, the Galleria is named after Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It was designed in 1861 and built by architect Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877.

The structure consists of two glass-vaulted arcades intersecting in an octagon covering the street connecting Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala. The street is covered by an arching glass and cast iron roof, a popular design for 19th-century arcades.

The central octagonal space is topped with a glass dome. The Milanese Galleria was larger in scale than its predecessors and was an important step in the evolution of the modern glazed and enclosed shopping mall, of which it was the direct progenitor. It has inspired the use of the term galleria for many other shopping arcades and malls.

On the ground of the central octagonal, there are four mosaics portraying the coat of arms of the three capitals of the Kingdom of Italy (Turin, Florence and Rome) plus Milan's. Tradition says that if a person spins around three times with a heel on the testicles of the bull from Turin coat of arms this will bring good luck. This practice causes damage to the mosaic: a hole developed on the place of the bull's genitals.

The arcade principally contains luxury retailers selling haute couture, jewelry, books and paintings, as well as restaurants, cafés, bars, and a hotel, the Town House Galleria. The Galleria is famous for being home to some of the oldest shops and restaurants in Milan, such as Biffi Caffè (founded in 1867 by Paolo Biffi, pastry chef to the monarch), the Savini restaurant and the Art Nouveau classic Camparino.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1865-1877
Category:

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

AC (2 years ago)
Wow feeling as soon you enter this place. Beautiful and full of high end clothing brands under one roof. Marvelous architecture and look of this gallery. Really love the atmosphere of this place. Must visit place even window shopping is a breath taking experience.
Panayiotis Georgiou (2 years ago)
Breath taking !! Amazing architecture. Steeped in history. Beautiful, stunning!!! We went twice just in case we forgot how amazing it was the first time. Lots of lovely shops too. It is amazing that this mall was built such a long time ago and rebuilt after it was bombed in WWII. There are so many great shops and places to eat here. If the weather is not good outside, you could spend an entire day here, nice and warm and dry. This is another must see in Milan.
Chintan Raichura (2 years ago)
Good vibes. Luxurious place. Nothing much. Place outside this galleria is radiant and it gets better with sunset. Good and only place to hangout late night and enjoy some great performances by local artists and showmen.
Mehar Singh (2 years ago)
Beautiful building full of high end shops. Even great experience for window shoppers. Plenty of restaurants nearby. Step outside and you're facing the gigantic cathedral. Lots of movies are made in this area. If you haven't been here, worth visiting. Must try local street food too, especially in side streets.
Martin Tsanev (2 years ago)
It is the most stylish shopping centre I have ever seen! Just an unique atmosphere. The structure is masterpiece indeed. There is an option to go to the roof and see the nice view from there. You can find here all the top famous Italian fashion brands and amazing restaurants. I do recommend you to visit it if you are in Milan even for a day.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Angelokastro

Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.

Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.

Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.

The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.

During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.

The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.

From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.

The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.

Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.