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The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: a shopping paradise

This astonishing building was officially inaugurated in 1867 by the King of Italy,Vittorio Emanuele the II and to the King it was dedicated as written above the main entrance.  The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is 105 meters wide and 196 meters long and connects Piazza del Duomo with Piazza della Scala. The roof and the cupola are entirely made of iron and glass while the ceiling vaults are decorated with mosaics representing the four continents: Africa, America, Asia and Europe.

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The floor features the representation of the coat of arms of the three capitals of Italy: Florence (the iris), Rome (the she-wolf), Turin (the bull) and the one of Milan (the red cross).  In the centre of the octagon right underneath the cupola there is the coat of arms of the Savoia family (the former royal family of Italy) and several blue tiles. That particular shade of blue is the official color of the Savoia family and this is why the jersey of the Italian soccer team is blue. The Galleria hosts several stores and restaurants and this is the reason why it is known as the Salotto di Milano (the Milan’s living room).

 

Shopping in the Galleria

It used to be called the dining room of Milan beacuse at the very beginning there were a lot of bars and restaurants in the Galleria. The Milanese people and tourists used to sit here to sip their coffees while enjoying some people watching. Nowadays only a few historical cafes have survived, among them the Camparino. The most of the shops are now occupied by the most known Italian and international brands: from Prada to Versace, Louis Vuitton and Moncler.

Spinning on the bull’s balls

Did you know that spinning on the bull’s balls is for good luck? Once in the Galleria make sure to go in front of the Tod’s store. There you will see a bunch of people spinning with their right foot on a specific tile of a bull mosaic. Do the same and will have good luck forever!

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