August 08th, 2016


1 Minute Read

The Galleria Vittorio is one of the world’s original and oldest shopping malls – and is the place to shop in Milan and, perhaps the whole of Italy.

Connecting two of Milan’s most famous locations – the Duomo and La Scala opera house – Milan’s Galleria is a destination in its own right. The Galleria, or to give it its full name – the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – dates back to 1861, when it was first designed. It took 12 years to build and was completed in 1877. It’s a four story double arcade that takes its name from the first King of Italy.

The Galleria, Milan is a visually stunning structure – which is just one of the reasons to visit it. Made up of two glass-vaulted arcades intersecting in an octagon, the arcade has two entrances – both equally grand archways at the Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Scala. The Duomo is Milan’s cathedral – a beautiful gothic building that was 600 years in the making, and La Scala opera house – the spiritual home of opera.

The Galleria Vittorio’s grand shops, bars and restaurants are a match for its stunning architecture and together are the answer to the question of ‘where to shop in Milan?’! Here you can browse couture fashion and jewellery, art and literature amongst family owned boutiques and designer stores. Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton all have a presence here. It’s also home to some of the oldest bars and restaurants in Milan – including the Biffi Café – which was founded in 1867.The Galleria’s floors are mosaic marble and in the central mosaic, there is a depiction of the four coats of arms of old kingdoms that make up present day Italy – namely, Milan, Florence, Rome and Turin. In the Turin coat of arms there is a bull and according to tradition, it is good fortune if one places their right heel on the bull’s genitals and turns around three times. It’s a piece of folklore that is clearly adhered to, as there is now a huge hole in the mosaic!

The Galleria is sometimes referred to as il salotto di Milano – which means Milan’s dining room because it was the place to be seen in Milan. And it still is.

Milan has much to offer the visitor during their Italian vacation. Be wowed by the Galleria Vittorio…as well as the Duomo, Milan’s Gothic Cathedral and La Scala opera house. And Milan also gives the opportunity to spend 15 minutes with the Last Supper painting – one of Da Vinci’s most famous works of art (although everyone wishing to contemplate this work of art, needs to book in advance as viewings are strictly controlled). So yes, the Galleria Vittorio and its neighbours – the Duomo and La Scala all combine to make Milan a great location to visit on your holidays to Italy.

You can cover all of these fabulous sights of the world capital of fashion and design - from the Galleria Vittorio to the Duomo and La Scala with Avventure Bellissime – the Italian tours expert – on our private walking tour of Milan. We even offer the option of adding on skip the line tickets to see the Last Supper.

If you are thinking of visiting Italy for a holiday, please do visit our website at to find out more about our tours of the Galleria and the other main sights of Milan – as well as other tours of Italy’s fabulous sights.

Also, if you are looking for some travel inspiration, be sure to check out our other blog posts at It’s a great read about all things to do with Italian holidays– like insights into Rome’s Colosseum and the Spanish Steps, how to save money when visiting Italy and the must see sights in Venice. It’s a great read about all things Italian and Italian holidays!