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Under the Dome

Another week of Monochrome Madness Challenge leads me back to the streets of Milano. I really enjoyed my time in this beautiful city, spent hours upon hours just walking the streets and taking photos. One particularly sunny afternoon drew me to this tourist attraction in the center of Milan.

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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the world’s oldest shopping malls, built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877. Housed within a four-story double arcade in central Milan, it is named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy.

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.

The arcade principally contains luxury retailers selling haute couture, jewelry, books and paintings, as well as restaurants, cafés, and bars. It is a very expensive part of Milan, one that doesn’t really attract me, save for the architecture.

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The structure consists of two glass-vaulted arcades intersecting in an octagon covering the street connecting Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala. Galleria connects two of Milan’s most famous landmarks: The Duomo and the Teatro Alla Scala, but the Galleria is a landmark in its own right.

The central octagonal space is topped with a glass dome.

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On the ground of the central octagonal, there are four mosaics portraying the Coat of Arms of the four Capitals of the Kingdom of Italy (Turin, Florence, Rome and Milan). The tradition says that if a person places hers/his right heel on the bull’s genitals depicted on the bull from Turin Coat of Arms and turn on herself/himself three times, this will bring good luck. Unfortunately, as with all popular turist attractions, it was so crowded that I couldn’t take a clear photo of floor mosaics.

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If you ever find yourself in Milan, especially on the sunny afternoon, don’t miss on this wonderful place where architecture ascends into the realms of art.

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Leanne Cole, a wonderful photographer from Australia, is hosting a weekly challenge on her blog Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY called Monochrome Madness Challenge, where she features some monochrome photos from other photographers.

Be sure to check other amazing photos on her blog. If you want to participate, head over there and read instructions at the bottom of the post. I would like to recommend her blog to any aspiring amateur photographer, you’ll find many helpful posts and tutorials, but above all she is very open and friendly person.