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.

Opening Hours:
[Cathedral] Daily: 8am-7pm (last ticket: 6pm; last entry: 6:10pm)
[Rooftops] Daily: 9am-7pm (last ticket: 6pm; last entry: 6:10pm)

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 iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

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 historic center of Milan encompasses the city's perhaps most famous landmarks and tourist attractions, such as the Duomo (cathedral), Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle shopping arcade and the Teatro alla Scala opera house, to mention but a few. Compact in size and easily walkable, the Centro Storico is just as full of historic...  view more

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

Historical Churches Walking Tour

Milan may be a world fashion capital and a European financial capital, but religion, and "the church" in particular, remain a major part of Milanese life. The city boasts a number of world-class religious buildings that include Milan Cathedral, which is the third largest religious structure in Europe, San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, also known as "Sistine Chapel of Milan"...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 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
City Center Museums and Galleries

City Center Museums and Galleries

Milan is not only the business and fashion center of Italy, it also a cultural center. The city of Milan offers numerous cultural activities, as well as countless art galleries and museums that exhibit some of the world's most famous and imposing artworks and artifacts. Most of these cultural centers are located in the very heart of Milan and within a pleasant walk.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 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 design as well, Milan is renowned internationally as a top shopping destination, where fashion is the second religion. In a rich city such as this, dedicated to art and pleasure, there's no shortage of options for those accustomed to upscale shopping and those in favor of bargains. If you're a fashionista and/or...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Central Milan Souvenir Shopping

Central Milan Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Milan without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of shops selling unique gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Milan, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit. Take this self guided tour to find the right Milanese products to bring home.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


12 Cafes To Visit in Milan

12 Cafes To Visit in Milan

The industrial capital of Italy and one of the world's fashion and business centers, today's Milan is teeming with chaotic urban rush on a daily basis. Although it can't compete with Rome in terms of history, art and architecture, there are hidden gems in Milan well worth searching...
16 Best Pastry Shops in Milan Italy

16 Best Pastry Shops in Milan Italy

Are you looking to satisfy your sweet tooth with genuine, locally-made Italian pastries and drink real “espresso”? This guide covers the best pastry shops/cafes in Milan, the capital of fashion and excellent northern Italian food. Places where one can drink coffee or tea and eat some of the...
Sweet Shops of Milan

Sweet Shops of Milan

This guide will undoubtably make your trip to Milan a sweet one. Most locations are in the city centre, whilst others are set in older headquarters, that boast incredible landmarks and hidden beauties. Milan is habitually associated to fashion and business but has some exquisite examples of art...
Milan's Fashion Restaurants & Bars

Milan's Fashion Restaurants & Bars

Milan is a city well known for luxurious fashion and shopping. With this guide your designer experience doesn't have to end at the stores and boutiques. Almost every major Italian fashion house (as well as a few foreign ones) has entered the food, beverage, or hospitality businesses in Milan,...
Souvenir Shopping Guide: 16 Italian Goods Worth Buying in Milan

Souvenir Shopping Guide: 16 Italian Goods Worth Buying in Milan

Needless to say much about Milan and the things the city is famous for. From fashion and luxury to football and Berlusconi, the list is long. Still, some of the distinctively Milanese items may pass unnoticed to the eye of a stranger, if not caringly pointed in the right direction by a knowledgeable...
Milan's Best Aperitivo Venues

Milan's Best Aperitivo Venues

Apéritifs usually are alcoholic drinks that are normally served before a meal. But in Milan the Aperitivo can actually become a fun, cheap (but not unchic) dinner with friends or (in a romantic venue) with a date. The all-you-can-eat formula allows you to buy just one drink and serve yourself with...