I visited Milan – the city of fashion in Italy twice. Once during the Christmas of 2010 as a part of our Italy tour and once in April 2011, for a couple of hours (Milan was our stopover) while visiting Nice in France. We experienced a rainy day during our first visit and a sunny day during the second visit. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, located next to the famous Milan Cathedral, was glistening and glittering bright on both the days.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele – a shopping arcade in Milan
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is a shopping arcade designed in the 19th century, covered with an arching glass and cast iron roof, a direct progenitor of modern shopping malls and arcades. The magnificent gallery connects the piazza Del Duomo with piazza Della Scala (famous theatre) in grand style.
Architecture of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
The glass and iron roof structure of the shopping street, creating a closed space was a new innovation in the 19th century. The central Octagonal space is topped with a glass dome. The gorgeous glass roof that lets in light is beautiful to look at. The ceiling vaults are decorated with mosaics representing Asia, Africa, Europe and America. At ground level are mosaics of more local concerns: the coats of arms of Vittorio Emanuele’s Savoia family, and the symbols of Milan (a red cross on a white field), Rome (a she-wolf), Florence (an iris) and Turin (a bull). One of the interesting traditions of the Milan galleria is spinning on the testicles of the bull on the mosaic. It is believed, spinning on it brings a year of good luck.
Shops inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
The gallery is filled with shops representing some of the most famous brands like Prada, Gucci, Stefanel, Louis Vuitton, Chanel etc to name a few. From 2012, McDonalds was prevented in renewing its tenancy inside the gallery. Since I went before 2012, I do have a picture in front of McDonalds!
Milan the city of fashion hardly spares anybody without joining the fashion fiesta or at least giving a shot at it. While walking through this gallery, I was in a completely different mood, enjoying the window shopping and the atmosphere. The stuff inside the shops are really expensive though. We inquired about a beautiful cigarette lighter and pat came the reply – 250 Euros! Needless to say, we politely returned it to the guy in the shop.
Hope you enjoyed the sights. Comments on the pictures are most welcome!