All About Italy (USA)


- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Piazza del Duomo, 21, 20121 Milan

This caffè opened in 1867 at the same time as the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery, right in the heart of Milan, for which it became the emblem. With its Art Nouveau furniture, it is a meeting place for artists, writers and politician­s and it used to be the favorite haunt of Verdi and Toscanini after they came out of La Scala Theater. King Umberto I also often stopped by with his retinue. It is still a fascinatin­g place where one can breathe in the rich cultural and historical atmosphere. During the 1960s the Miani family took over, preserving its characteri­stic atmosphere and style. At the ‘Zucca in Galleria’, to lean against the bar inlaid by Eugenio Quarti, a famous cabinet-maker in the early 1900s, and sip an aperitif has always been a ritual. It’s worth a visit just to admire the chandelier­s by Mazzucotel­li, the only ‘blacksmith’ working in wrought-iron to produce genuine works-of-art, or to be enchanted by Angelo d’andrea’s highly detailed Art Nouveau mosaics whose cascades of flowers and multi-colored birds invoke the flavor of an epoch that survives, full of charm, in this most Milanese corner of Milan.

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