Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, once called Corsia dei Servi, is one of the most important streets in Milan; it is a crowded commercial street connecting Duomo square to San Babila square. It is the heart of the city, a popular pedestrian area where Milanese people and tourists go for shopping or window shopping.
This area has a high concentration of label stores (above all shoes and clothing stores), offices, theatres, cinemas, pubs, restaurants and the famous department store Rinascente, the name given by Gabriele D’Annunzio in 1917 after the reconstruction that followed the famous fire. From that moment on Rinascente became a meeting place for artists.
Halfway through Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, under the north-side porticos, there is the Statue of the man of stone, a marble sculpture dating back to the Imperial period below which political satires and mottos were posted. Close to it, there are the ruins of Herculean baths dating back to roman imperial period and the church of San Carlo, a round plan neoclassic style church with an enormous copper-coated dome.