• Lifestyle
    • Art & Culture

Discovering the most beautiful arcades and galleries in Lombardy

Sheltered walkways for shopping, drinking a coffee or an aperitif in an elegant bar, arcades and galleries are the living rooms of many Lombardian historical centers.


To discover their origins, we must go back to Hellenistic Greek architecture that first inspired the Romans, then the peoples of Europe. Let's take a virtual tour of some of the most beautiful arcades and galleries in Lombardian cities and towns: from the nineteenth-century urban arcades, to the elegant arches of Renaissance palaces, to medieval covered passages transformed into open-air markets...


An exclusive café, under the arcades of Piazza del Duomo in Milan
The arcades of the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, which mark the boundary of the cathedral's large square, are the largest in Italy. A long corridor with a marble floor, where you can stroll, admire elegant shop windows, such as those from the Rinascente, stop for a coffee or an aperitif in historic places, such as the Caffè Camparino. We are in the “living room of Milan” where bourgeois and flâneur types spent leisurely afternoons, now dedicated to shopping. The late 19th century arcades are the work of the architect Giuseppe Mengoni, such as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - which connects the Duomo to the Scala - another magnificent example of passage architecture.


Brescia: walking along the arcades of Piazza della Loggia
Bordered by sixteenth-century buildings, the Piazza Loggia - in the heart of Brescia - is surrounded by sheltered arcades, perfect for a stroll dedicated to shopping and relaxation. The long Renaissance portico of Piazza Loggia, with single spans made of white Botticino stone, is the work of the architect Piero Maria Bagnadore and follows in the lower part of the building that incorporates the Clock Tower (1550), continuing along via Dieci Giornate and Corso Zanardelli. And if you are delayed in spending, the Macc de le ure, the two automata of the mechanical clocks by Paolo Gennari da Rezzato (1546), will take care of calling out the time.


The Renaissance arcade in the square-living room of Vigevano
In the center of Vigevano (Pavia), Piazza Ducale - a jewel of Renaissance architecture (1492) - is the "birthday present" to Ludovico il Moro, who was born there in 1452. The large space in front of the ducal residence of the ancient castle owes its beauty to Leonardo and Bramante. Piazza Ducale is surrounded on 3 sides by arcaded porticos, supported by 84 serizzo columns with worked capitals. On the main floor there are arched windows, oculi on the upper floor. The façades are painted with trompe l'oeil architectural motifs. Under the arcades, the ancient shops and inns have now become elegant shops and places to sit and admire the splendid Baroque facade of the Duomo.

Back in time, among the medieval arcades of the lower Bergamo area
The medieval arcades of Romano di Lombardia and Martinengo, extensive and well preserved, are perhaps the most beautiful of those found in the lower Bergamo area. In Romano di Lombardia, in the historic center, the Portici della Misericordia - commissioned by Bartolomeo Colleoni together with the palace of the same name (1475) - have round arches resting on capitals, massive columns and stone bases. Their name derives from the presence of lodgings for the poorest residents, right above the 16 shops on the ground floor (one for each span). The town's commercial activities have always taken place under these arcades, as evidenced by the Roman marble slab used in the Middle Ages as a fish counter, just below the Palazzo della Ragione.

Other fifteenth-century arcades in the medieval village of Martinengo testify to the activity of shopkeepers. With protected external extensions of the shops to display goods on the stalls, according to rigid divisions that are still visible on the pavement, these arcades enjoyed their moment of fame by appearing in Ermanno Olmi's film L’albero degli zoccoli.


Sabbioneta: the arcade of the Gallery of the Ancients
In the rooms of the Palazzo Giardino (1587) and in the Galleria degli Antichi di Sabbioneta (MN), the Duke Vespasiano Gonzaga Colonna kept his rich archaeological collection. The Galleria or Corridor Grande in the Piazza del Castello is a long and narrow building, in exposed stone, consisting of a 97 m long pedestrian arcade, with cross vaults and 26 spectacular round arches, separated by pillars. The external appearance is reminiscent of a Roman aqueduct and the great charm of this place survives, despite the fact that Vespasiano's collections now resides in Mantua, in the Palazzo Ducale and in the Palazzo di S. Sebastiano.

On the same topic

Lombardy, Action!

Lombardy’s breathtaking scenery has served as the backdrop for many international and independent films. Action!
  • Lifestyle
Villa del Balbianello on Lake Como

Design shopping. Mandatory stops in Milan

Vecchi artigiani e nuovi maker, supermarket del design, spazi industriali. Guida ai negozi dello shopping di design a Milano
  • Lifestyle
Design shopping. Mandatory stops in Milan

Bergamo Bassa

In Bergamo the visit starts from the bottom of the town, from its historic villages, and goes on by climbing slowly
  • Lifestyle
Historical places and green areas in Bergamo

Shop till you drop

Labels, brands and trends: useful tips for an awesome wardrobe
  • Lifestyle
Shop till you drop!

Shopping in Milan

Clothing, accessories, home design: fashion tips for every addicted
  • Lifestyle
Shopping in Milan: a stroll round the quadrilateral of fashion

Brera market sunday antiques in milan

Where once there were fields, today there is a lively district of art and antiquity
  • Lifestyle
Brera market: sunday antiques in Milan

Brera district

The artistic heart and the bohemian soul of the city
  • Lifestyle
Brera District

Lecco in a weekend

Discover Lecco in 48 hours, starting from the traces of a timeless novel, “The Betrothed”. A story within the story
  • Lifestyle
Lecco in a weekend

Terraces and breath-taking views in Lombardy

Scopri la lombardia attraverso i suoi meravigliosi panorami.
  • Lifestyle
Terrazze e panorami mozzafiato in Lombardia

Bergamo: włoskie arcydzieło

To miasto, które ma podwójną wartość a jego terytorium jest bogate w przyrodę, sztukę i kulturę
  • Lifestyle
Bergamo: włoskie arcydzieło

Brescia more than just shopping

The streets of the big names. The antiques market. The square for the aperitif. Choose how to spend your free time in Brescia
  • Lifestyle
Brescia more than just shopping

Porta nuova

Visit the most futuristic area of the city, with its glazed skyscrapers and elevated squares
  • Lifestyle
Porta Nuova

Varese in a weekend

From the gardens of Palazzo Estense to the infinite vistas of the Sacro Monte. 48 hours to discover a city on a human scale
  • Lifestyle
Varese in un weekend

Corso buenos aires

More than 1 km of shops along Milan's Fifth Avenue
  • Lifestyle
Corso Buenos Aires

Brescia and Lake Iseo itinerary

Nicknamed the "Lioness of Italy", it displays great tourist qualities thanks to its rich artistic and environmental heritage
  • Lifestyle
2 days in Brescia and Lake Iseo

Lake Garda and Brescia itinerary

Three days to make you fall in love with Brescia and its beautiful lakeside locations
  • Lifestyle
3 days in Lake Garda and Brescia

Via torino milano

The road to reach the port of Milan is lined with ancient pavè. Follow it and you will not get lost!
  • Lifestyle
Via Torino, Milano

Stylish places for your milan stopover

In the capital of fashion, the choice of the hotel is also a matter of style
  • Lifestyle
Stylish places for your Milan stopover

Spring in Milan

When the fog leaves ... the city lives. Initiatives, events, outdoor activities.
  • Lifestyle
Walking along the Navigli

Driving simulation at the Monza ENI Circuit

Race at 300 km/h on the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza racetrack.
  • Lifestyle
Simulazione di guida al Monza ENI Circuit