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|Milan - Vittorio Emanuele II Arcade|
The galleria, in contrast to the delicate lacy effect of the Cathedral, dominates the square with its weighty bulk and great triumphal archway cut into the long, northern arcade. Built between 1865 and 1877, it was designed by Giuseppe Mengoni who, just before the actual building was completed, fell from scaffolding and plunged to his death. The cross-shaped stucture is surmounted by an extraordinaty colored glass and iron dome. The modern tecnical skill and originality of the Milan Galleria have nothing to fear from a comparison with similar structures put up in London and Paris about the same time. Today this glassed-in street is a center for both cultural and mundane activities with its wellstocked book and record shops, giant cafés, and famous eating spots.
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