Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

    The “Galleria” it is a beautiful covered street running from Piazza Duomo to Piazza della Scala. The architect Mengoni designed it as a sumptuous Arcade in a cruciform plan shape,  with a central octagon at the intersection.
    The Ottagono (namely the Octagon) has always been a traditional meeting-place
    for the people of the city.
    When it was built (1865-78), the use of iron and glass for the roof was innovative, even daring (the Eiffel tower would be built in 1889): the concept of a covered arcade with shops on the ground floor, offices and apartments on upper floors, was also new at the time, and would be copied, in many other cities all over the world, such as the Burlington Arcade in London.
    Considered a traditional Shopping Arcade it is rather like a public lounge, ideal for informal business discussions, socializing, or just watching the people go by.
     

    Curiosities

    On the ground of the central octagonal, there are four mosaics portraying the coat of arms of the three other Italian cities: Turin, Florence, Rome and obviously Milan.
    Tradition says that a person will get good luck if he spins around clockwise three times with his right heel on the testicles of the bull from Turin coat of arms (photo left). This practice causes a hole on the place of the bull’s genitals, which must be restored from time to time.
    Many are the famous restaurants with large outdoor areas in which the artists (such as Verdi, Puccini or contemporary musicians) have their dinner at the end of their performance at La Scala Opera House.