Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – Milan – Aperitifs, Dinner, Shopping

After the visit to the Duomo and on the way to the Scala, just around the corner, the quickest route is through the Galleria. This is not just a path from one place to another instead a beautiful work of art. For the Milanese it is also a favorite meeting point for aperitifs or dinner, shielded from the outside elements, cool in the summer and a bit warmer in the winter. Located just off of Piazza del Duomo, between the Duomo and the Scala the Galleria is a central location of city life in Milan.

The Galleria was built between 1864 and 1878. Initially it was to carry the name of the Austrian ruler but following the entrance of the Savoia family as the monarchs the Galleria took the name of Vittorio Emanuele II. The Galleria is constructed as a cross, connecting Piazza del Duomo with Piazza della Scala, covered entirely in glass. The floor is granite with mosaic inlays representing the four great cities of Florence with a Giglio, Rome with a wolf, Turin with a bull, and Milan by a white background with a red cross. Further into the center is another mosaic of the world to represent unity and Milan’s place in the world’s economy.

Immediately following its construction the Galleria became a favorite meeting point for the people of Milan. Bookstores, café, restaurants, prestigious offices, and boutiques now populate the Galleria. It was the favorite place of Giuseppe Verdi and Arturo Toscanini, who used to stop there after performance at la Scala. Dudovich and Carrà often stayed until the wee hours, and King Umberto the First loved to go there because it served the best coffee in Milan. Boccioni eden portrayed in the famous painting " The Brawl in the Galleria ".

Many of the establishments have been there since the Galleria was completed. One of these is “Zucca in Galleria”. Whether a brief pause to sip tea or coffee or for a full meal, the “Zucca di Galleria” is a great place to take a breather and enjoy this marvelous structure.


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Blogger Doll Face said...

OH MY GOD! That is where I had lunch! Pizza and the waiter gave me a free coffee!

Have I ever mentioned how much i LOVE your blog?!?!?

7:42 PM

Blogger a.c.t. said...

Not forgetting the famous 'palle del toro' which apparently brings you luck if you spin on it. The poor bull has none left, they've been worn down..

4:02 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Natalie - Thanks for the compliment. My ego wants to think that it is because I write so well but my mind tells me that the subject matter is the real star!

ACT - I am impressed...

1:12 PM

Blogger a.c.t. said...

Travel, next time you're there you should have a go. You can't miss the bull, it's opposite Bify, just a bit furthr past and it has a big dent in the floor...it'll also be surrounded by Japanese tourists

3:56 PM


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