Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

    Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is part of our Major City Sights walking tour in Milan. It is a remarkable building, one of the first monumental shopping arcades in the world.
    Galleria Vittorio Emanuele milan walking tour The area under the Dome of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, also known as the Ottagono, has always been a traditional meeting-place for the people of Milan. It is a classic part of any Milan guided tour.
    Designed by Giuseppe Mengoni in 1861, it was later copied in cities such as Naples and Moscow. Its monumental character, with its gigantic glass dome, set it apart from preceding shopping malls such as Burlington Arcade in London. The Galleria was built in the first years of Italian unity, and so the mosaic decorations on the floor and walls celebrate the nation and its cities.
    Galleria Vittorio Emanuele milan tour
    Book a tour with A Friend in Milan

    How to have a lucky day in Milan

    Under the central octagon, there are four mosaic coats of arms, of Milan, Turin, Florence and Rome, chosen because the latter three cities were all, at least for a time, the capital of the new nation.
    Galleria Vittorio Emanuele milan walking tour bull toro good luck The emblem of Turin is naturally the bull (“toro” in Italian), and by placing your right heel on the bull’s privates and making one clockwise revolution, you get your share of good luck. This naturally causes wear and tear, and that part of the mosaic floor has to be regularly replaced.
    Your personal tour guide to Milan’s major monuments will show you around the Galleria and introduce you to this and other details, such as one of the city’s most famous and historic bars. If you like, we can accompany you up to the walkways on the roof of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, providing fascinating views of the magnificent dome, and of the nearby Cathedral in addition to other monuments of Milan.