The place to go shopping in the fashion capital of Italy.
"The living room of Milan" is one way of describing this cast-iron, glass and mosaic monument to Milanese "dolce vita." Constructed between 1865 and 1877, this Belle Epoque mall is the work of architect Giuseppe Mengoni. Designed in the form of a cross, the arms of the galleria meet at its octagonal core, above which rises an immense cupola. This astounding arcade links the Piazza della Scala to the north with the Piazza Duomo to the south and houses the elegant Savini restaurant, recently-opened with the addition of a café, a number of bars suited to people-watching, and some of the top names in designer fashion.
The original (1913) Prada boutique, has been joined by Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Tod's. Located on the corner of Piazza del Duomo with its fine mosaics and elegant wrought-iron detailing, Zucca in Galleria, also known as the Camparino bar, is a perfect location for sipping a cappuccino (or cappuccio, as it is called in Milan), or a glass of sparkling prosecco wine. For a meal in the Galleria, if Savini is too formal, try Biffi. Risotto, veal Milanese and tiramisu for dessert are sure bets in this simply sophisticated spot, perfect for dining alone while watching the well-heeled world walk by.
Photo courtesy of Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele