Saturday, December 06, 2014

Luxury Shopping Mall: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Italy

This is one of the oldest and luxurious shopping galleries in the world, but also one of the most beautiful and impressive.

The Galleria is on the Duomo Square and named after the first king of Italy. The building was designed and built by Guiseppe Mengoni during the mid to late 19th century.

Moi striking a pose =)

It took me awhile to visit Milan because I knew that it’s an industrial-business city (in other terms: grey and dull) and the only nice places to see are around the Duomo area, kind of similar to the Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa, only that this is a bit bigger in scale. And of course, there is Navigli as well for night life, but then again I prefer to eat out than party. There’s shopping of course but I’m not really into it.

Last May I finally made it there with Blondine for a long extended weekend and we managed to escape to Lake Como as well.

When in Milan, one just cannot ignore this ostentatious shopping mall that has become one of the important landmarks of the city. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It’s not just a place to shop for expensive items, but it’s a meeting place as well, and of course, a magnificent showcase of art and architecture. The grandeur of this building can really be felt when you are standing inside the shopping gallery.

To soak and prolong the grandeur moment, Blondine and I had lunch at Savini, one of the oldest restaurants in the Milanese Galleria. It was a very lovely and chic lunch where we also indulged in people watching. Perhaps the best past time there when hanging out.

On a different day we had coffee at Gucci, which was after we had the Cotoletta Milanese lunch, a Milan specialty that rivals the Austrian/German Schnitzel. We also bought our Italian Gelato at the ice cream bar of Savinni, again on a different day =)

Savini, where we had our lovely lunch of artichokes filled with ricotta cheese (starter) and risotto with truffles (main). Delicioso!

Trivia: Did you know that there used to be a McDonalds in the Galleria?

McDonalds was evicted in 2012 after 20 years of leasing the space. The company then sued the city of Milan for EUR 24 Million in damages. Not really a fan of burger fast food chains, I give my support to the city of Milan. I mean hello??? A McDonalds inside Galleria Vittorio Emanuele? Are you kidding me? It does not make sense and there is no theme continuity. Who gave the permission for McDonalds to lease it 20 years ago anyway?

Prada’s second store in the Galleria has since graced the space that McDonalds left. McDonalds found a space to lease though, just outside the Galleria. Ah, better there =)

BIFFI is also one of the oldest cafes in the Galleria.

The central dome is made of glass.


The Galleria is always a busy place, day or night.

The Italian Gelato at Savini. One just cannot miss the gelato when in Italy.

I, rather Blondine and I, always pick the combination of Pistachio and Citroen (Lemon). So good, and especially when it is hot and sunny outside.

 This is the Bull of Turin coat of arms. A lot of people go crazy dancing here, er I mean spinning the bull's genitals which is supposed to bring good luck. I did not take a picture of the genitals, but if you happen to be in Milan and in the Galleria, do have a look and you will see a hole on it. Too many have been spinning their heels on its balls, haha =)

The ubiquitous umbrella tour guide. They are all over Europe, in famous towns and cities =)

If shopping luxurious items and couture is not your thing, the Milan Galleria is also a great place to eat, or even just hang out. Come and have a drink, some coffee or wine whilst people watching. Well, aside from architecture gazing of course.

The outdoor arcades of the gallery.

 Quite busy still in the evening. Can you see the Middle Eastern young man selling replicas of Burberry shawls to a group of women? They come out at night.

Travel Period: April 2014
Destination: Milan (Lombardy), Italy

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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