The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the oldest shopping mall in Italy, housed within a four-storey double arcade in central Milan.The Galleria is named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It was originally designed in 1861 and built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877.
Architecture and Tradition
The central octagonal space is topped with a glass dome. The Milanese Galleria was larger in scale than its predecessors and was an important step in the evolution of the modern glazed and enclosed shopping mall, of which it was the direct progenitor. It has inspired the use of the term galleria for many other shopping arcades and malls.
In the central mosaic there is a depiction of the bull from Turin Coat of Arms. The tradition tells that if a person put its right heel on the bull’s genitals and turn on himself three times, this will bring good luck. This practice causes damage to the mosaic: a hole developed on the place of the bull’s genitals.