Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – Milan’s Living Room

Il Salotto di Milano is Milan’s most Luxurious Shopping Arcade:

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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan

Milan’s most luxurious shopping arcade is often referred to as “Il Salotto di Milano” or Milan’s Living Room … and wouldn’t we all love to live here.

Designed by Giuseppe Mengoni in 1861 and completed in 1877, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is in Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan’s number one shopping street.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is home to Milan’s famous restaurants and historic cafès such as the Zucca and Biffi Caffè, and is a popular meeting place for the Milanese. Prices for a cup of espresso could set you back €10, but this is nothing to the well-heeled and business types who frequent this place. We were told that Pavarotti used to lunch here quite a fair bit when he was alive. With the Galleria linked to the Teatro Alla Scala, I’m sure this is the place  for pre- and post-opera drinks and dinner for opera-goers and the opera stars as well.


If money’s not an object, the elegant shops in the Galleria sell anything from haute couture, jewelry, expensive silverware, paintings, books, souvenirs etc.  Luxury brands like Prada and Louis Vuitton have their flagship stores in the Galleria and you’ll also find the likes of Gucci, Fendi and others as well as high street brand names here.

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is next to the Duomo and even if you’re not intending to buy anything, it is worth a visit as the architecture, elegance and shear size of the building are impressive.

This is a good place to have a drink and watch the chic Milanese go about their day.  And if you decide to have your cup of coffee in one of the famous bars and cafès, just be aware that it’ll cost you more than a few Euros. This is a known expensive arcade so if people go in with your eyes wide open,  they shouldn’t complain about being ripped off.  There’s always the option of having a drink at McDonald’s, but this kind of spoils the experience of this grand building.

Spinning on the Bull

If you see people spinning on the bull mosaic on the ground floor, it’s not the high price tag of this place that’s got these people spinning. It is believed that if you place one foot on the bull’s genitals (this caused a lot of giggles amongst the ladies in the group) and spin around three times, this will bring good luck to you. Seeing the groove in that part of the floor, it seems many people have been spinning on the bull’s nether region.

And if you’re blessed with good luck during the day, you may even be able to afford a room at the Town House Galleria, the first seven-star hotel in the world!

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Hopefully these tips have been helpful. What do you think?

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