The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (Italian: [ɡalleˈriːa vitˈtɔːrjo emanuˈɛːle seˈkondo]) is one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. Housed within a four-story double arcade in central Milan, the Galleria is named after Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It was designed in 1861 and built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877.
The Galleria is often nicknamed il salotto di Milano (Milan’s drawing room), due to its numerous shops and importance as a common Milanese meeting and dining place.
As of 2013, the arcade principally contains luxury retailers selling haute couture, jewelry, books and paintings, as well as restaurants, cafés, and bars. The Galleria is famous for being home to some of the oldest shops and restaurants in Milan, such as Biffi Caffè (founded in 1867 by Paolo Biffi, pastry chef to the monarch), the Savini restaurant and the Art Nouveau classic Camparino in Galleria.
In 2012, a McDonald’s restaurant was prevented from renewing its tenancy, after 20 years of occupancy.
The restaurant contended that it was the only tenant to be denied the right of first refusal on its new lease, and that the public tender to replace it was “unfair”.
McDonald’s sued the landlord—the city of Milan—for €24 million in damages, alleging that the loss of the lease will deprive McDonald’s of €6 million per year in sales. During its last few hours of operation, the restaurant offered free food and drink to over 5000 customers.The McDonald’s restaurant was replaced with the gallery’s second Prada store.McDonald’s renounced its suit against the City of Milan after receiving the opportunity to open a new restaurant in a nearby area.