The drive from Menaggio to the centre of Milan was straightforward, reasonably well signposted and took about an hour. The weather was sunny with a little nip in the air. A perfect Spring day! The streets were busy with visitors and natives all going about their business. There was something to see on every corner and whatever you do when walking around Milan, don’t forget to look up! The architecture and the detail is breathtaking. You would miss so much by keeping your eyes straight ahead.
I will focus on one place that we visited for now: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. At first sight it seems a bit daunting and pretentious. You know, the kind of shopping area that you feel uncomfortable in because it’s just so grand and affluent-looking. However, people from all walks of life were there admiring the shops, cafes, and I imagine, the beauty of the place. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II at Piazza del Duomo is one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. The arcade is four storeys and is named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It was built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877 and now houses a host of designer shops, as well as some beautiful cafes and restaurants. There are even hotels discretely built into the structure. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is widely known as “il salotto di Milano” (Milan’s drawing room) due to its popularity as a meeting place. I can only say that next time I plan to meet a friend in Milan, I will definitely suggest this beautiful place, and in particular the Gucci Café. I don’t mean to advertise, but the coffee, the Tiramasu and (please don’t be shocked!) the service, were all outstanding!
Don’t forget to look up!