Italy not only has the Wedding Cake and the Mouth of Truth in Rome, but also the Drawing Room in Milan.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the ornate iron and glass shopping arcade, known as the Salotto di Milano (drawing room of Milan) directly across from the Cathedral Church of Milan, the fifth largest church in the Christian world. This luxurious shopping and eating complex was designed by architect Giuseppe Mengoni (1865). Tragically, a year before inauguration, Mengoni fell to his death from the arcade’s roof (1877).
The stylish shops, cafes and prestigious restaurants are major attractions and favorite meeting places. A major conversational point is the floor plan which is in the shape of a Latin cross with an octagonal center adorned with mosaics representing the continents of Europe, America, Asia, and Africa, combined with others representing Art, Agriculture, Science, and Industry.
The floors are decorated with mosaics of the signs of the zodiac and the locals can hop, skip and jump on the eyeballs of Taurus the Bull hoping for good luck and fortune.
Accentuating this cultural, adventurous, complex mix of the old and the new is the huge barrel-shaped glass and metal dome. This was the first building in Italy to use metal and glass in a structural way rather than just decoratively.
This chic complex offers plenty of opportunities to take in gastronomic, fashion, and shopping escapades as well as a stroll along with the Milanese.