Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the most popular shopping centers in Milan. Located in central Milan this place is one of the most attracting corners of the city, especially for tourists. It is notable that many architects tried to copy the scale of this famous shopping mall but only a few could reach success.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the oldest shopping malls in the whole world. This Galleria is named after Vittorio Emanuele who was the first king of the Kingdom of Italy (a state back in 1861). The building was designed by Giuseppe Mengoni, who was a very famous Italian architect by then. The whole construction project was completed in 1877. So it’s one of the most valuable architectural works of the 19th century.
The Galleria consists of two huge arcades made of glass that form an octagon shape, which is designed in a way to cover the street linking Piazza Del Duomo to Piazza della Scala. The structure of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele has the shape of Latin cross. The center part of Galleria has the form of an octagon and it’s embellished with beautiful mosaics. Each of the corners of the octagon illustrates one of the continents, as well as allegorical images such as agriculture, science, art and industry. Also in the Galleria you’ll see 24 breathtaking statues that appear to be signature works of the best Italian masters of that time.
We would like to highlight the fact that the idea of the creation of such a building for shopping first appeared among the French constructors in 1798. It should be marked that this idea of housing different brand names under one roof was in favor of Europeans as shopping is a part of their lifestyle and due to such buildings they wouldn’t have to care about the weather condition while passing from one boutique to another.
Referring to the structure of the building, we would like to mention that each of the four “entries” of the Galleria is decorated with the emblems of the most important Italian cities. A very interesting legend is associated with the emblem of Turin, which features a bull illustrated on the blue background. According to the legend if you stand right on the groin of the bull with your right heel, make a wish and turn around your axis three times you’ll be lucky for your entire life. Because of this legend the mosaic on that part of the building is damaged as the legend has formed a tradition that even the visitors follow.
Shopping At Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele nowadays is very popular among locals and visitors as it’s filled with the best shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. Also the Galleria is very famous for offering the oldest shops and dining places on Milan such as the Biffi Caffè (1867), Savini restaurant and the Art Nouveau classic Camparino.
As we all know Italian culture has influenced the fashion industry giving birth to the most talented fashion designers. So when it comes to shopping it’s one of the best places to visit to get a step closer to the high fashion.
Undoubtedly Vittorio Emanuele is a fashion ”sanctuary” located in the heart of Italy as it’s a home for branches of the most beloved fashion labels such as Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Prada, Valentino, etc. According to reviews made by visitors Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the best places for shopping and window shopping.
In the Galleria haute couture fashion is in the center of attention. Aside from the above-mentioned fashion names you’ll also see boutiques and shops that have a historical significance for the mall. Among these are Cadè, well-known for producing shirts and ties since 1926, Viganò Alta Moda, Piumelli famous for its luxurious handmade gloves, Mejana offering fountain pens of high quality as well as historic bookstores such as Bocca and Libreria Poligrafico.
Do you know what makes it even more exciting? Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II also offers lines presented by labels that serve consumers who appear to be devoted followers of ”fast fashion” and always look for the ”affordable and fashionable” option. Hence in the Galleria you’ll also see brands of the mentioned category including Zara, H&M, Mango, Bershka and others. Moreover usually these brands make good deals offering sales with 20-30% off. Guess what! That’s not all! Many of the above-mentioned brands usually cooperate with famous fashion designers and come up with exclusive collections that aren’t haute couture but still are designed by the most beloved fashion designers. For example in 2014 H&M released its so-called ”capsule collection” designed by Alexander Wang. Isn’t that just too cool?
Last but not least, we would like to add that visiting Milan and not visiting Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a crime against fashion!