This spectacular, late-19th-century glass-topped, Belle Époque, barrel-vaulted tunnel is essentially one of the planet's earliest and most select shopping malls, with upscale tenants that include Gucci, Tod's, and Louis Vuitton. This is the city's heart, midway between the Duomo and La Scala. It teems with life, inviting people-watching from the tables that spill from the bars and restaurants, where you can enjoy an overpriced coffee. Books, records, clothing, food, pens,
pipes, hats, and jewelry are all for sale. Known as Milan's "parlor," the Galleria is often viewed as a barometer of the city's well-being. The historic, if somewhat overpriced and inconsistent, Savini restaurant hosts the beautiful and powerful of the city, just across from McDonald's. Even in poor weather the great glass dome above the octagonal center is a splendid sight. The paintings at the base of the dome represent Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. Those at the entrance arch are devoted to science, industry, art, and agriculture. And the floor mosaics are a vastly underrated source of pleasure, even if they are not to be taken too seriously. Be sure to follow tradition and spin your heels once or twice on the more-"delicate" parts of the bull beneath your feet in the northern apse; the Milanese believe it brings good luck.
Piazza del Duomo, Milan, 20121, Italy