Galleria Vittorio Emanuele restores upper walkways

Milanesi, tourists and Expo visitors will be able to view Milan’s iconic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele – leading off Piazza del Duomo – from the overhead walkways from early April.

With a bird’s-eye view down to the luxury shopping mall below, the walkways were installed right from the start of the 19th-century landmark for maintenance work and cleaning the vaulted glass ceiling.

Now Milan city hall has launched a €10 million restoration project, of which half will be provided by sponsors including fashion houses Prada and Versace, publishers Feltrinelli and the Seven Stars Hotel group, who operate a luxury hotel on the piano nobile of the Gallery. This last sponsor – putting €2 million into the kitty – will be allowed to rent the roof space until 2016, donating part of the proceeds back to the city administration and admitting visitors.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele from Piazza Duomo Galleria Vittorio Emanuele from Piazza Duomo

Tourists and residents who don’t suffer from vertigo will have an opportunity to see the gallery from a totally new angle, and perhaps recall with a thrill of horror the Michael Dibdin novel Cabal in the Inspector Aurelio Zen series and its acclaimed BBC TV adaptation starring Rufus Sewell.