The Galleria Vittorio Emanuale II is an arcade in Milan. The architecture alone makes this place worth visiting. It was built between 1865 and 1877 by architect Giuseppe Mengoni who actually fell to his death from the structure during construction. It is still used a shopping center and houses high-end store like Gucci, Prada, and McDonalds (seriously). There are a number of arcades throughout the world that don’t quite get the respect they deserve. They’re the elders of the modern (ugly) shopping mall and should be used as a reference when designing shopping centers. The atmosphere they create is both interesting and conducive to shopping.
If you don’t live in Milan and wish that you could visit an arcade, fear not. You can find a list of notable arcades here, including the famous Cleveland Arcade, the first indoor shopping mall in the US.
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