Saturday, December 13, 2008

La Galleria di Milano: progenitor of the shopping mall

La Galleria di Milano
Originally uploaded by chiyo_no_saru
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a covered double arcade formed of two glass-vaulted arcades at right angles intersecting in an octagon; it is prominently sited on the northern side of the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, and connects to the Piazza della Scala. Built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877, says Wikipedia.

The street is covered over by an arching glass and cast iron roof, a popular design for nineteenth-century arcades, such as the Burlington Arcade, London.

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.

More than 120 years after its inauguration, the four-story arcade includes elegant shops selling most things from haute couture to books, as well as restaurants, cafés and bars.

The Galleria is the site for many luxury goods' shops, like Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton.

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