Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a shopping arcade with Crystal Palace- like splendour: a 19th-century cross- shaped mall with four glass-covered halls that meet under a grand glass dome at a height of 47m. Fittingly for a fashion capital, it shares geographical status alongside the Duomo. But while it pays host to the likes of Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, blocks of fast- food outlets and hordes of pedestrian traffic are less alluring: fashionistas should head directly for quadrilatero d’oro. It was built in 1867 by architect Giuseppe Mengoni, who later fell to his death from the top of his creation. Named after the king of the newly united Italy; it is affectionately called il salotto di Milan (‘the drawing room of Milan’). Superstitious tourists can be found spinning around on the nether regions of the central bull mosaic for good luck. Insatiable tourists should cross the square to Palazzo Reale (Piazza Duomo 12; tel: 02 860 165), the neoclassical royal palace built under the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria in the 1770s. Important international exhibitions, as well as the old imperial dwellings, can be seen here.