la galleria (milan)

When I told people I was going to Milan for a few days, they immediately said, “oh yeah, Milan… La Scala, the opera, and the Galleria!” And of course I had heard of the Milan Galleria. The only things I had seen that were to prepare me for the grandeur of the Milan Galleria were, first, the “Passage,” in The Hague, which is a passageway of shops and cafes that opened in 1885.

And two, the almost “hidden” nineteenth-century arcades with glass roofs and tiled floors that hark back to shopping from a different era of Paris.

But nothing I have seen yet compares to the Galleria in Milan…

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a covered double arcade formed of two glass-vaulted arcades. You can walk through the Galleria from the the Piazza del Duomo, the northern side, to the Piazza della Scala. Named after Vittorio Emanuele the II, the first king of united Italy, it was originally designed in 1861 and built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877. Today, it is lined with expensive shops like Prada and Louis Vuitton, as well as expensive restaurants and cafes.

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