Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

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The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a landmark of Italy that is often named as the “guest-house” of Milan.

This mall is considered the oldest gallery in the world.

The Gallery connects two central places in Milan: Duomo Square and La Scala Square.

History of the Galleria

The project of the Galleria was trusted to a well-known Italian architect Giuseppe Mengoni. It took twelve years to build the arcade; the opening of the Galleria was on December 30, 1877. The king himself, Vittorio Emanuele II, was on the opening ceremony, so the gallery was named after him and consecrated. However, that joyous day was marred by a tragic event – the author of the project, Giuseppe Mengoni, died just a day before the grand opening of the Galleria. The accidental death happened due to falling off a scaffold. Today, the memorial plate in honor of the great architect is hanging at the entrance of the Duomo di Milano side.

Beautiful carved entrance to the Gallery of Victor Emmanuel II
Gallery of Victor Emmanuel II © Bondar Ann / Shutterstock

The Architecture of the Galleria

The Galleria is made is a shape of the Latin cross with an octagonal center that is decorated with mosaics. Each of them symbolizes the Continents: Europe, Asia, America, and Africa.

Above the arch of the gallery, you can see the mosaic panels at the end of every wing. They allegorically depict Agriculture, Art, Manufacturing, and Science. These panels are the genuine works of art as the best artists from all the provinces of Italy were working on them. Moreover, a famous Milan sculptor Pietro Magni himself made 24 statues of the outstanding Italians, among which are the monuments of Michelangelo di Buonarroti, Camillo Benso (Count of Cavour), and Galileo Galilei.

Furthermore, each of the entrances to the Galleria (there are four of them) has a special emblem of four Italian cities:

  • Milan – a white field with a red cross;
  • Rome – the Capitoline Wolf;
  • Turin – the bull;
  • Florence – the red lily.

At the crossing of the beams, there is a glass dome with a height of 47 meters. Under it, you can see a magnificent mosaic with the House of Savoy’s coat of arms: it is a white cross (of Saint George) on the red background.

A huge glass cupola made in cross shape covers the Galleria. This gallery represents the first Italian construction that combines metal and glass.

Galleria in Modern Life

Today the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is among the most favorite tourists’ landmarks in Milan. This mall houses such well-known stores as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, as well as reputed restaurants and cafés. Additionally, various exhibitions and concerts are held in the Galleria from time to time.

Having a rest in the mall, you can go to the museums of the Sforza Castle, where, among other things, the works of Giovanni Bellini, Filippino Lippi, and also the last artwork of Michelangelo are presented. By the way, it takes just 15 minutes by foot to get to the castle.

Find out which Milan Hotels are the best to stay.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II on the map

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - attractions nearby

Entrance tickets & Tours

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4 hours
Private 4-Hour Walking City Tour of Milan with private official tour guide
2 reviews
Milan is the second biggest city in Italy, and it is known as the financial center of Italy. The city is very well known for it’s cosmopolitan style.The tour will include Milan’s most important and emblematic sights, which you will discover next to your private official tour guide.In this private walking tour you will get to know some of the most representative places of Milan. Amongst other monuments and sights you can get to know: • Milan’s Cathedral - entrance included • Castle of Sforzesco • Brera • Gallery of Victor Manuel II • Pinacoteca of Brera • Santa Maria delle Grazie (with stunning frescoes) • Basilique of San Ambrosio • Piazza del Duomo • Parque Sempione • Much more! You will be able to enjoy and admire the great architecture and sights of Milan’s most important and well-known monuments.Your private official tour guide will be at your disposition during the whole tour to enjoy Milan to the fullest and to get to know the most out of your experience.
from 209
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from 209
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9 hours
Day Trip to Milan from Stresa
1 review
This is a 9hour live guided tour for from Stresa to Milan. The tour departs in the morning and you will have a chance to take in the sights with an official guide, including Milan's most famous building: the Duomo. In the afternoon, once the tour concludes, you will have time to roam and explore on your own before the transfer returns to your accommodation.
from 64
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from 64
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4 hours
A half day in Milan with a local: private & personalized
4 reviews
You’ll join one of our local Milan hosts for an exhilarating half-day experience of their city. From local food to must-see sites like, Duomo di Milano, you’ll discover the city’s unique charm and local culture. Customized to suit your taste, you’ll visit a creative neighborhood like the Navigli district, grab some lunch at a trendy market and discover hidden local gems like I Pesciolini. Within 24 hours after booking you'll receive a short questionnaire about your personality and interests. Based on your responses, you'll be assigned a like-minded host. Your host will communicate with you directly to suggest an itinerary to help you discover what makes the city unique. You will also agree on a meeting time and place. Your itinerary is flexible, so during the experience, you can always change your mind about what you want to do.
from 95
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from 95
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3 hours
Historic Milan Tour with Skip-the-Line Last Supper Ticket
136 reviews
Explore centuries of Italian history and discover some of Milan’s most iconic attractions on this 3-hour walking tour with skip-the-line ‘The Last Supper’ ticket. Follow a guide through Milan’s ancient streets and beat the queues to admire da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’. Take in key landmarks including the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan Cathedral, the medieval Piazza dei Mercanti, the UNESCO World Heritage–listed monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Scala Theater and 15th-century Sforza Castle. Along the way, gain insight into Milan’s rich European heritage.
from 74
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from 74
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Hotels near Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

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