Did you know that Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the oldest shopping malls in the world? Here 5 Facts about one of the main attraction in Milan:


Italian Unity

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele Milano History

The Galleria gets its name from Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy.

The Galleria is considered to be a living symbol of Italian unity as it was built during the period of Italian unification which was characterized by a lot of trauma and suffering. However, unification managed to bring together all of Italy and laid the foundation of its future progress.  The entire place was constructed between 1865 and 1877.



Symbols and Good Luck

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele Milan Bull Mosaic City Turin Good Luck

The 4 symbols in every part of the floor represent the capitals of the Kingdom of Italy:

  • The wolf represents Rome
  • The lily represents Florence
  • The bull represents Turin
  • The white flag with red cross represents Milan

Tradition claims that turning 3 times on themselves with the right foot heel planted at the genitals of the bull mosaic brings luck.

The original gesture would be executed as a mockery to Turin and then simply spread as a ranting rite. This ritual, repeated hundreds of times a day by tourists, is wearing out the image of the bull, that needs to be restored frequently.


Café and Luxury

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele Shops Night Milan Italy Shopping Mall

Credits to Fidelity House

The Galleria is a direct progenitor of the modern enclosed and glazed malls. The mere construction and designing of this magnificent place was an important step in the evolution of architecture during that era.

The Gallery gained the nickname of Milan’s lounge room, becoming a meeting place with elegant shops, restaurants and cafés: some, such as Caffè Campari and Caffè Biffi, are still open today.

According to the municipal regulations, all the activities within the Gallery must have a gold-colored sign on a black background; even McDonald’s changed its sign in the years while was open in the Gallery.



The Rooftop

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele Rooftop Milan Italy Architecture

Until October 31st, come to discover the first vineyard with a wine shop on the rooftop of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, where you can:

  • Access the Highline Gallery and the Vineyard path
  • Enjoy a fantastic tasting with a selection of wines and cheeses in the first vineyard on the roofs of Milan
  • Possibility to buy the official wine of the Gallery
  • Listen to great music

The tastings will be held every night (Tuesday to Sunday) from 7.20 to 8.30 p.m.




InGalleria Tales

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele Bike Private Tour Milan Italy

Emilio explains the Galleria during a Bike Private Tour

If you want to know more about the history and direct experience in Galleria, you can read InGalleria Tales: an archive of stories about brands, people and facts connected to one of the main attractions of the city.




If you are planning to come in Milan for few days, check our Themed Private Tours and Discover Milan with us: we can show you Navigli District, Leonardo Da Vinci Experience, Milan brand new Skyscrapers and many more.

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See you at the shop!