Sandwiched between two of Napoli’s most prestigious landmarks – The Duomo and Teatro Alla Scala – is a landmark that deserves and rightfully receives a lot of respect and admiration for the incredible 125 year old iron framed and glass covered dome and archways that you can see from afar.

The dome of Galleria Umberto I - The Glass Roofed Glory of Galleria Umberto I, Naples

Dedicated To The King

Named after the then reigning king of the Kingdom of Italy, Galleria Umberto I is a magnificent feat of architecture engineering that should be on the ‘must see‘ of every traveller to the city whether they’re weekend tourists or full-time backpackers.

Outside the Galleria Umberto I - The Glass Roofed Glory of Galleria Umberto I, Naples

Established and still operating as one of the world’s first shopping malls, the multi-story arcade is a wonder to walk through and without thinking about it you’ll soon be walking forwards with your eyes pointed above you to admire the glasswork above.

Inside Galleria Umberto I - The Glass Roofed Glory of Galleria Umberto I, Naples
Looking up at the dome - The Glass Roofed Glory of Galleria Umberto I, Naples
Details in the glass roof above - The Glass Roofed Glory of Galleria Umberto I, Naples
Another looDetails in the glass roof above - The Glass Roofed Glory of Galleria Umberto I, Naplesk at the dome above - The Glass Roofed Glory of Galleria Umberto I, Naples

Across the four floors of the shopping mall are several luxury brands and a small selection of places to eat, some of which have been in residence almost since the buildings construction was finished, but that is not the most appealing aspect of the structure. What really pulls in your interest is the detail of the sculptures, mosaics and paintwork that cover the building from the floor to the ceiling.

Looking down the arcade towards the exit - The Glass Roofed Glory of Galleria Umberto I, Naples
View of one of the boutiques inside - The Glass Roofed Glory of Galleria Umberto I, Naples
Close up of a detailed archway - The Glass Roofed Glory of Galleria Umberto I, Naples
Incredible detailed painted roof above - The Glass Roofed Glory of Galleria Umberto I, Naples
One of the floor mosaics - The Glass Roofed Glory of Galleria Umberto I, Naples
Another fantastic plasterwork on the ceiling - The Glass Roofed Glory of Galleria Umberto I, Naples

What I especially loved about the building was the symmetry that has clearly led most of the design, that no matter where you stand there’s almost bound to be something next to it in a mirror image of the original piece, something you really get a sense of when you stand in line with the buildings in the centre and slowly turn around 360 degrees.

Closer look at one of the buildings - The Glass Roofed Glory of Galleria Umberto I, Naples
Great example of the symmetry in the buildings - The Glass Roofed Glory of Galleria Umberto I, Naples

Location

Galleria Umberto I
Via San Carlo
80132 Napoli
Italy

More Than A Shelter From The Rain

Galleria Umberto I should be seen by all that pass through Naples, and if you join in one of the many guided tours of the city you’re bound to step underneath the iron and glass ceilings that we loved. Don’t miss it.

Does this galleria remind you of anywhere?