The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan is a covered walkway and cruciform with a large octagonal space at the intersection of the arms that connects piazza del Duomo and piazza della Scala and via the two short arms perpendicular to the main axis, the two lateral ones via Silvio Pellico and via Ugo Foscolo. It was designed by architect Giuseppe Mengoni and built from 1865 in an eclectic style, marked by grotesque, caryatids, lunettes and pilasters, in a typical architectural form the second half of the 19th century. The statues that decorate the indoor part of the milanese sculptor Pietro Magni. Heavily damaged in the bombing in August 1943 English, the gallery was rebuilt after the war.
In the gallery are now the seat griffe shops and brands, as well as famous cafes, restaurants and a luxury hotel. Is considered, with via Montenapoleone and via della Spiga, a luxury shopping in Milan.
The Central Octagon is considered living in the city. On her floor, the Center, is done in mosaic the coat of arms of the House of Savoy. At its sides, always in mosaics, are represented the crests of the four cities that at different times were capitals of the Kingdom of Italy: in order Milan (with Napoleon), Turin, Florence and finally Rome (with Savoia).
In the lunettes around the time, depicts the allegories of the four continents: Africa, Asia, Europe and America.
The tradition States that turn on themselves for being 3 times with the heel of the right foot planted at the genitals of the bull mosaic portrait within the coat of arms of the city of Turin on the floor of the galleria, brings good luck. This superstitious ritual, repeated hundreds of times a day by passers-by, mostly tourists, quickly wear the image of Taurus (creating a hole in the floor mosaic) which must be repaired frequently. In fact the milanese tradition was to swipe your foot on the coat of arms only on the night of December 31 at midnight.
Any businesses with the Windows open onto the gallery must be strictly the insignia of uniforms, with gold lettering on a black background. This rule also had to make the McDonald's fast-food restaurant opened in the Octagon (closed in October 2012 and re-opened in a new location in November 2013).