Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan (must see)

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a fashionable five-storey mall covered in curved glass, topped with iron roof and lavishly decorated with patriotic mosaics and statues - legacy of the chaotic era of Italian unification, manifesting the country's newly-acquired self-confidence. It was built between 1865 and 1877 by architect Giuseppe Mengoni – also credited with the monumental design of the whole area between the Milan Cathedral and La Scala Opera – and is named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of unified Italy. Officially inaugurated on September 15, 1867, the Galleria's completion took another ten years of continuous work. Tragically, just a day before it was complete, in December 1877, Giuseppe Mengoni died in accident, falling down from the top of the triumphal arch. Formed like a Latin cross, the gallery comprises two glass-vaulted covered passages – with a longer one being 196 meters and the shorter - 105.5 meters long – crossing in an octagonal central piazza below an impressive 47 meter high, 36 meter wide glass dome. Incorporating iron and arching glass, the Galleria's architectural design proved ground breaking for the creation of enclosed shopping malls in the 19th century. The use of iron structure inspired the Eiffel Tower in Paris. An interesting feature of the gallery is the floor featuring rare marble mosaic depicting emblems of main Italian cities. Spinning on the picture of the bull with the heel of a right foot is supposed to bring good luck. Milanese duly observe this tradition thanks to which there's now a hole in the pavement.
This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour in the iOS app "Milan Map and Walks" on iTunes App Store or the Android app "Milan Map and Walks" on Google Play. Please download the app for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline (so no data plan is needed).

Download The GPSmyCity App

iOS City Maps and Walks app   Download Android App

Sight Map

Sight Name: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Sight Location: Milan, Italy
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) containing this sight: Core of Centro Storico Walking Tour   City Orientation Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Milan, Italy

West Centro Walking Tour

West Centro Walking Tour

Milan is a city steeped in history, but also a strategic economic center for Italy, as well as an international fashion hub. Thousands of tourists are attracted to the city's striking historic sites, as well as designer shops and other great places to explore. Take this tour and visit the main sites in Milan's Centro Storico.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.0 km
Centro Museums and Galleries

Centro Museums and Galleries

Milan is not only the business and fashion center of Italy, it also a cultural center. The city of Milan offers numerous cultural activities, as well as countless art galleries and museums that exhibit some of the world's most famous and imposing artworks and artifacts. Most of these cultural centers are located in the very heart of Milan and within a pleasant walk.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 km
Isola Nightlife

Isola Nightlife

Milan is a cosmopolitan city and a world fashion center, which is of course reflected in its nightlife scene. Every club in Milan has its own unique atmosphere and specialties. Anywhere you stop, you'll be surprised by something - be it the customers, the shows, the interior design, or the drink selection. Take this tour and experience some of the best clubs in the Isola district of Milan.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 km
City Orientation Walking Tour

City Orientation Walking Tour

Throughout its 2,000+ year-long history Milan has accumulated an impressive collection of architectural monuments, thanks to some of the best artists and architects this world had ever seen who blessed the city with their presence. Masterpieces like the Gothic Duomo di Milano cathedral and the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent, housing Leonardo da Vinci’s mural “The Last Supper,” vividly attest to that. Take this orientation walk to visit some of Milan's cultural marvels, and see what makes it a city of unparalleled artistic value.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 km
Central Milan Souvenir Shopping

Central Milan Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Milan without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Milan, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 km
Shopping Streets and Spots

Shopping Streets and Spots

Milan is a world-renown fashion and design capital. Here, you can find most of the world's top fashion brands, from Gucci, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana to Levi's and Diesel. Fashion is the second religion in Milan and this self-guided tour will take you to the worship places of the fashionistas and shopaholics.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Milan's Fashion Restaurants & Bars

Milan's Fashion Restaurants & Bars

Milan is a city well known for luxurious fashion and shopping. With this guide your designer experience doesn't have to end at the stores and boutiques. Almost every major Italian fashion house (as well as a few foreign ones) has entered the food, beverage, or hospitality businesses in Milan,...
Milan's Best Aperitivo Venues

Milan's Best Aperitivo Venues

Apéritifs usually are alcoholic drinks that are normally served before a meal. But in Milan the Aperitivo can actually become a fun, cheap (but not unchic) dinner with friends or (in a romantic venue) with a date. The all-you-can-eat formula allows you to buy just one drink and serve yourself with...
Sweet Shops of Milan

Sweet Shops of Milan

This guide will undoubtably make your trip to Milan a sweet one. Most locations are in the city centre, whilst others are set in older headquarters, that boast incredible landmarks and hidden beauties. Milan is habitually associated to fashion and business but has some exquisite examples of art...
12 Cafes To Visit in Milan

12 Cafes To Visit in Milan

The industrial capital of Italy and one of the world's fashion and business centers, today's Milan is teeming with chaotic urban rush on a daily basis. Although it can't compete with Rome in terms of history, art and architecture, there are hidden gems in Milan well worth searching...
Souvenir Shopping Guide: 16 Italian Goods Worth Buying in Milan

Souvenir Shopping Guide: 16 Italian Goods Worth Buying in Milan

Needless to say much about Milan and the things the city is famous for. From fashion and luxury to football and Berlusconi, the list is long. Still, some of the distinctively Milanese items may pass unnoticed to the eye of a stranger, if not caringly pointed in the right direction by a knowledgeable...
16 Best Pastry Shops in Milan Italy

16 Best Pastry Shops in Milan Italy

Are you looking to satisfy your sweet tooth with genuine, locally-made Italian pastries and drink real “espresso”? This guide covers the best pastry shops/cafes in Milan, the capital of fashion and excellent northern Italian food. Places where one can drink coffee or tea and eat some of the...