In the fashion capital of Italy, the soaring, glass-domed Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade never goes out of style. Started in 1877, Europe’s oldest shopping mall connects the Milan Duomo to Piazza di Marino and the La Scala Opera House (Teatro alla Scala) by way of a bright and airy, four-story center lined with busy restaurants and shops. Come for the Neoclassical architecture, stay for the brands and fresh baked panzerotti.The Basics
Inside the galleria, you’ll find boutiques from high-end retailers such as Prada, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton, as well as some of the most lauded and historic cafes in Milano, including Biffi and Zucca’s Bar. Many tours combine a visit to the arcade with stops at popular city landmarks such as the Milan Duomo, Castello Sforzesco, and Piazza Mercanti, while others include a skip-the-line ticket to view Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper.’ Explore the area on a walking tour or by bike, Segway, or historic tram—most city tours last about three hours. Nearby attractions include a monument to Leonardo da Vinci in Piazza della Scala, the Leonardo3 Museum with its working models of the Renaissance artist's designs, and the museum exhibit at the La Scala Theater, which displays costumes and set designs from throughout the years.
Things to Know Before You Go
If you’re in it for the fashion, book a shopping-centric tour to explore the city’s stylish fashion district.Hungry? You'll find Milanese fare at the fanciful Il Salotto restaurant inside the galleria and Grom gelateria around the corner on Santa Margherita.If you're staying in Florence, Rome, or Venice but want to visit Milan, book a full-day or multi-day trip to the city.It’s possible to pair a Milan city highlights tour with day trips in Turin or Lake Como.
How To Get to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
The southern entrance of the galleria is located off Piazza del Duomo, adjacent to the cathedral and its northern entrance off Piazza della Scala. Strolling through the galleria is a great way to get from the La Scala Opera House to Milan’s Duomo. The closest metro stop is for the Duomo, right in front of the galleria.
When to Get There
While most shops inside the galleria are open from 9am to 7:30pm, the galleria itself is open 24 hours. Check out all Piazza Duomo attractions after dark on an evening tour of Milan’s highlights that includes a beautiful view of the illuminated city from atop the Duomo.