Milan, Italy - July 16, 2016: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the most popular shopping areas in Milan.
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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Duomo & San Babila

So much more than a shopping arcade, the neoclassical Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a soaring structure of iron and glass. Nicknamed 'il salotto di Milano', the city's drawing room, it’s been at the centre of city life since 1877. Its known for its high-end boutiques (the original Prada store is located here) and equally lofty dining. While it’s packed by day, a stroll during the late evening gives you a chance to experience its beauty without distraction.

Take part in the curious local tradition of spinning with your heel on the balls of the mosaic bull found in the middle of the arcade. Said to bring good luck, it's so popular a hole has been worn in the mosaic where the balls of the (poor) bull used to be.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Duomo & San Babila attractions

1. Museo Teatrale alla Scala

0.11 MILES

Giuseppe Piermarini's 2800-seat theatre was inaugurated in 1778, replacing the previous theatre, which burnt down in a fire after a carnival gala. Costs…

2. Duomo

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A vision in pink Candoglia marble, Milan's extravagant Gothic cathedral, 600 years in the making, aptly reflects the city's creativity and ambition. Its…

3. Palazzo della Ragione

0.12 MILES

Erected between 1228 and 1251, Milan's 'Palace of Reason' is one of the few remaining medieval constructions to survive. Its Romanesque arcade served as a…

4. Gallerie d'Italia

0.12 MILES

This fabulously decorated palazzo (mansion) is home to part of the enormous collection of Fondazione Cariplo and Intesa Sanpaolo bank, which pays homage…

5. Museo del Novecento

0.15 MILES

Overlooking Piazza del Duomo, with fabulous views of the cathedral, is Mussolini's Arengario, from where he would harangue huge crowds in his heyday. Now…

6. Palazzo Clerici

0.16 MILES

The blank façade of this 18th-century palace disguises the most extravagant interiors in Milan, including a golden hall frescoed by Tiepolo. It was owned…

7. Il Grande Museo del Duomo

0.19 MILES

Stepping through Guido Canali’s glowing spaces in the Duomo's museum is like coming upon the sets for a Game of Thrones episode. Gargoyles leer down…

8. Palazzo Reale


Empress Maria Theresa’s favourite architect, Giuseppe Piermarini, gave this town hall and Visconti palace a neoclassical overhaul in the late 18th century…