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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

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The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a double arcade
Arcade (architecture)
An arcade is a succession of arches, each counterthrusting the next, supported by columns or piers or a covered walk enclosed by a line of such arches on one or both sides. In warmer or wet climates, exterior arcades provide shelter for pedestrians....

 in the center of Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. The structure is formed by two glass-vaulted arcades intersecting in an octagon covering the street connecting Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala.

The Galleria is named after Vittorio Emanuele II
Victor Emmanuel II of Italy
Victor Emanuel II was king of Sardinia from 1849 and, on 17 March 1861, he assumed the title King of Italy to become the first king of a united Italy since the 6th century, a title he held until his death in 1878...

, the first king of united Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. It was originally designed in 1861 and built by Giuseppe Mengoni
Giuseppe Mengoni
Giuseppe Mengoni was an Italian architect. He designed the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. He died by accident, falling off the roof of the gallery he had built....

 between 1865 and 1877.

The street is covered by an arching glass and cast iron
Cast iron
Cast iron is derived from pig iron, and while it usually refers to gray iron, it also identifies a large group of ferrous alloys which solidify with a eutectic. The color of a fractured surface can be used to identify an alloy. White cast iron is named after its white surface when fractured, due...

 roof, a popular design for nineteenth-century arcades, such as the Burlington Arcade
Burlington Arcade
The Burlington Arcade is a covered shopping arcade in London that runs behind Bond Street from Piccadilly through to Burlington Gardens. It is one of the precursors of the mid-19th century European shopping gallery and the modern shopping centre...

 in London, which was the prototype for larger glazed shopping arcades, beginning with the Saint-Hubert Gallery
Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert or Koninklijke Sint-Hubertusgalerijen is a glazed shopping arcade in Brussels that preceded other famous 19th-century shopping arcades such as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan and The Passage in St Petersburg...

 in Brussels (opened in 1847), the Passazh in St Petersburg (opened in 1848), the Galleria Umberto I in Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 (opened in 1890) and the Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

 Galleria.

The central octagonal space is topped with a glass dome
Dome
A dome is a structural element of architecture that resembles the hollow upper half of a sphere. Dome structures made of various materials have a long architectural lineage extending into prehistory....

. The Milanese Galleria was larger in scale than its predecessors and was an important step in the evolution of the modern glazed and enclosed shopping mall
Shopping mall
A shopping mall, shopping centre, shopping arcade, shopping precinct or simply mall is one or more buildings forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to easily walk from unit to unit, along with a parking area — a modern, indoor version...

, of which it was the direct progenitor. It has inspired the use of the term galleria
Galleria
Galleria , or The Galleria, is a common name for a shopping mall, ultimately deriving from the 19th-century Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan.- Australia :*Centro Galleria - Morley, Western Australia...

for many other shopping arcades and malls. Below the dome is the centre mosaic shield[Cite] of the mall, and to the west of the design is a tradition that suggests that you have a spin with your right heel on the mosaic bulls “attributes”, one of the 102 glass designs that make up the pavement of the Galleria’s splendid central octagon. Once a gesture to ward off evil, it has become part of the Milanese tradition and has such a following that a deep hole has formed in the pavement.

The Galleria connects two of Milan's most famous landmarks: The Duomo and the Teatro Alla Scala
La Scala
La Scala , is a world renowned opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the New Royal-Ducal Theatre at La Scala...

, but the Galleria is a landmark on its own right.

Shops, restaurants and hotels


The Galleria is often nicknamed il salotto di Milano (Milan's drawing room), due to its numerous shops and importance as a common Milanese meeting and dining place.

More than 130 years after its inauguration, the four-story arcade includes elegant shops selling most things from haute couture
Haute couture
Haute couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses,...

 and jewelry to books and paintings, as well as restaurants, café
Café
A café , also spelled cafe, in most countries refers to an establishment which focuses on serving coffee, like an American coffeehouse. In the United States, it may refer to an informal restaurant, offering a range of hot meals and made-to-order sandwiches...

s, and bars. The Galleria is famous for being home to some of the oldest shops and restaurants in Milan, such as the historic Biffi Caffè, founded in 1867 by Pastry Chef to His Majesty Paolo Biffi and (in 1882) the first Milanese café to install electric lighting, the Savini restaurant, the silverware store Bernasconi and the Art Nouveau classic Zucca's Bar.

Today, the Galleria is the site for many luxury goods' shops, including Prada
Prada
Prada S.p.A. is an Italian fashion label specializing in luxury goods for men and women , founded by Mario Prada.-Foundations:...

, Massimo Dutti
Massimo Dutti
Massimo Dutti is a company belonging to the Spanish Inditex group dedicated to the manufacturing of clothing. It was created in 1985 and its product range was limited to men's clothing....

, Gucci
Gucci
The House of Gucci, better known simply as Gucci , is an Italian fashion and leather goods label, part of the Gucci Group, which is owned by French company PPR...

 and Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton Malletier – commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton , or shortened to LV – is a French fashion house founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. The label is well known for its LV monogram, which is featured on most products, ranging from luxury trunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear, shoes,...

, as well as fast food
Fast food
Fast food is the term given to food that can be prepared and served very quickly. While any meal with low preparation time can be considered to be fast food, typically the term refers to food sold in a restaurant or store with preheated or precooked ingredients, and served to the customer in a...

 outlets such as McDonald's
McDonald's
McDonald's Corporation is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 64 million customers daily in 119 countries. Headquartered in the United States, the company began in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant operated by the eponymous Richard and Maurice McDonald; in 1948...

.

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