Situated in the centre of Milan, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is an extraordinary feat of architecture, an emblem of Milanese identity featuring a meld of beauty, art and luxury under an amazing glass roof.
To celebrate the Unification of Italy, between 1865 and 1867, Milan built the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, named after the first king of Italy. The architectural work of this stunning arcade, which serves as a passageway between piazza del Duomo and piazza della Scala, boasts a blaze of marble, stuccoes and mosaics and is dominated by an amazing iron and glass dome standing fifty metres high. Its centre – the socalled “Ottagono” – is surmounted by imposing mosaics representing different parts of the world (Africa, America, Asia and Europe) to celebrate the centrality of the city in the world’s global economic and cultural system. One of the oldest trade centres in the world, from the time that it was built the Galleria became a city favourite for evening strolls, a place of demonstrations and a meeting point for the Milanese bourgeoisie, artists, academics and musicians, including Giuseppe Verdi and the Futurists. Following its inauguration, dozens of elegant shops opened under its vaults. So much more than a shopping arcade, it exudes an air of luxury and is lined with boutiques, a seven-star hotel, landmark restaurants and cafés, including Savini, Camparino and Biffi.
From may 2015 it’s also possible to access the walkway of the Galleria named “Highline Galleria”. After ascending to the upper spaces via two lifts and crossing a terrace, it will be possible to access the walkway, admire the stunning rooftops, the Duomo spires and the city’s skyline.