// Afisha

04.01.2016 The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Gallerea Vittorio Emanuele II

On the left hand of the Duomo you will see a big triumphal arch of the entrance to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This is the most stylish promenade of Milan connecting the Duomo square to the La Scala square. A few historical facts: the Galleria was constructed as per the design developed by Bolognese architect, Giuseppe Mengoni, and opened in 1877. Opening of the Galleria was overshadowed by the bleak event: literally a day before the opening the architect fell to his death from the scaffolding. Nevertheless the apple of his eye made of glass and steel and provided with a colossal dome of 47 m in height (Parisian railway stations of that time inspired the architect) became a true visiting card of Milan, its ‘salotto buono’, so to say ‘drawing room’.


Essentially this is the first in the world shopping mall, because as early as 1913 the historical Prada boutique was opened here; since 1877 the immensely expensive Savini restaurant has offered its services to visitors, also since 1915 the Campari bar has settled in this place starting the tradition of Milanese happy hours.

What to do on one’s own: On the ground of the central part of the Galleria there are four mosaics portraying the coat of arms of the four Capitals of the Kingdom of Italy at different times: Milan, Turin, Florence and Rome. So, a bull with symbol of masculinity set forth for all to see is depicted on Turin coat of arms. The tradition tells that turning on the bull's genitals three times will bring you good luck.

To tell the truth the genitals are almost not seen any more there is a hole developed in the floor, but you should try your luck all the same. :-) 

And have a cup of coffee in the Gucci bar – quite expensive, but veeeery glamorous ))). Your coffee will be accompanied by small chocolate sweets embossed with the Gucci symbol and who knows you may look out a bag of your dream in the opposite window.

Amazing fact about the Galleria and Milanese in general: during World War II the Galleria dome was completely destroyed as a result of English and American bombardments, but within a very short period of time after the end of the War the dome was fully reinstated solely at donations of the Milan citizens. A distinctive feature of the true Milanese enrapturing personally me a lot: they spare neither trouble nor expense for their favorite city which is the page to be stolen from their book...


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