Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II epitomises the Italian flair for retail commerce. This glass-vaulted shopping arcade, which was built between 1865 and 1877 to link the Piazza del Duomo and the Piazza della Scala, is chockfull of luxury designer shops and white-tablecloth establishments. Even if you don’t fancy shopping, the arcade is worth visiting from an architectural standpoint. What makes the Galleria stand out from similar arcades around the world is its immense scale and audacious dome. The four lunettes beneath the central octagon feature mosaics representing the four continents (America, Europe, Asia and Africa). On the floor below there are splendid mosaics portraying the coat of arms of Turin, Florence, Rome and Milan. People crowd around the Turin coat of arms, waiting their turn to place a heel on the testicles of the bull and spin around three times, which many believe will bring them good luck.
Time Out tip: While there’s plenty to see on the ground, be sure to find your way to the top of the Galleria. There’s the Highline Galleria and the Fondazione Prada Observatory, both of which give you a better sense of the arcade’s massive proportions (plus, the latter has cutting-edge contemporary art on display). For a better view of the Duomo, visit Terrazza Aperol for an aperitif.