Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral), Milan

Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral), Milan (must see)

The Milan Cathedral, otherwise known as the Duomo, is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan and the largest church in Italy (the third largest in Europe and the fourth largest in the world), covering an area of 12,000 sqm and weighing a staggering 325,000 tons!

The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Mary Nascent and has been the epicenter of the city's life since 1386. Its foundation was laid by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who died in 1402 when only half of the structure had been finished, upon which the construction came to a standstill for almost 80 years because of the lack of funds and ideas. It resumed only in 1500, and by 1510 the octagonal dome was completed – embellished with four series of 15 statues representing different characters from the Bible.

In 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte forced completion of the façade, which overall took another seven years of work. In honor of his efforts, a statue of Napoleon was erected at the top of one of the spires. Later, the Duomo also hosted his crowning ceremony. However, it wasn't until the 20th century, with the completion of the last gate, that the centuries-long construction of the cathedral was finally over, marked by inauguration on January 6, 1965.

A climb to the roof, much as a descend to the Paleo Christian baptistery beneath the west side of the Duomo are the highlights of a visit here. The rooftop offers a closer look at the intricate details of the spires and the gargoyles adorning it, plus a breathtaking view over of the city, some 70 meters above ground, replete with myriads of statues, pinnacles, tracery and flying buttresses. In order to get there, visitors have to traverse 201 stairs up through a winding narrow passageway, which is a bit tiring. Still, those who wish, can spare the effort and use an elevator.

Why You Should Visit:
Milan's one truly must-visit sight – a vast riot of ornate religious sculpture on the exterior, and the interior sublimely huge.

Tip:
Buy an online skip-the-line ticket that covers entry and access to the elevator.
The surrounding piazza comes at its finest at night when the cathedral's façade is lit by white lights.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Milan. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral) on Map

Sight Name: Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral)
Sight Location: Milan, Italy (See walking tours in Milan)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Milan, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Milan

Create Your Own Walk in Milan

Creating your own self-guided walk in Milan is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historic Center Walking Tour

Historic Center Walking Tour

Contained within the area once delimited by the medieval walls, the Centro Storico (historic center) of Milan encompasses the city's perhaps most famous landmarks and tourist attractions. Compact in size, the area is easily distinguishable on the map much as walkable. Here you can find almost everything Milan is famous for, in a close proximity to each other.

The best place to start is...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Milan Introduction Walking Tour

Milan Introduction Walking Tour

Recognized as one of the world's four fashion capitals, Milan is also a global hub of design and a key tourist destination. The etymology of the name Milan remains uncertain. One theory holds that the Latin name Mediolanum comes from the Latin words medio (in the middle) and planus (plain).

In 286 the Roman Emperor Diocletian moved the capital of the Western Roman Empire from Rome to...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Historical Churches Walking Tour

Historical Churches Walking Tour

Milan may well be a world fashion capital and one of the financial capitals of Europe, but religion, and particularly churches, are an inseparable part of the Milanese life. Indeed, steeped in history, this city has garnered over the centuries a wealth of iconic places of worship.

Among these, the Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano) stands as a symbol of grandeur and faith. This magnificent...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Best Shopping Streets and Malls

Best Shopping Streets and Malls

One of the world's four fashion capitals and, as of lately, that of industrial design as well, Milan is renowned internationally as a top shopping destination, where fashion is the second religion. In a city as rich as this one, dedicated to art and pleasure, there's no shortage of options for those accustomed to upscale shopping and favoring bargains.

Amid the plethora of places to...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Leonardo da Vinci's Masterpieces

Leonardo da Vinci's Masterpieces

Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest Renaissance artists and polymaths in history, left an indelible mark on Milan through several of his masterpieces created in this city over the nearly 20 years that he spent here.

One of the notable places where you can explore the maestro's work is the Ambrosian Library (Biblioteca Ambrosiana), which houses a vast collection of his drawings and...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles

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