The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is world-famous as one of the world’s very first shopping centres built in 1877. This outstanding architectural wonder has been one of the busiest centres of shopping in Milan for over a century and currently houses some of the world’s most prestigious brands. The Galleria is also known for offering a passage between two of Milan’s finest attractions, the La Scala opera house and Milan Cathedral. Although many come to the Galleria to browse through the world-class shops, the architecture is a stunning sight to behold in itself.
Many of Milan’s most luxurious brands have stores in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II including Prada and Versace, while it is also a popular place for local and visitors to enjoy a coffee at cafés such as Biffi Café, first opened in 1867 and still going strong today. In addition to its excellent shopping opportunities, the walkways along the roof of the Galleria offer spectacular views of Milan.
The main airport in Milan is Milan-Malpensa Airport which is situated 49 kilometres from the centre of Milan. The airport has a train service running into Milan which takes under 40 minutes, or a bus service which takes a bit longer. Alternatively, Milan Linate Airport is only 11 kilometres from central Milan but operates as the city’s secondary airport. Milan benefits from an extensive public transportation network consisting of an underground and tram as well as public buses and trains. Many of Milan’s main attractions are within close proximity to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II so often walking is the ideal way to get around.
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II was conceived by Giuseppe Mengoni in 1861 before finally being completed and opened in 1877. The Galleria ranks as one of the world’s oldest shopping centres, and its architecture is cherished as one of the finest 19th century accomplishments. Although the famous iron-and-glass roof suffered significant damage during World War II, it has since undergone restorations to keep it in top condition.