Monday, May 8, 2017

Duomo di Milano, A Guide for the Wanderers

No one is to leave Milan without ever visiting Duomo di Milano.  It's always the priority on the list of tourists, as it is iconic as the majestic history of Italy.

Hence, it was the first landmark my sister had us visit on our first day.  Together with my two kids, my sister, Wilma, who lived here for almost 20 years, brought us to Piazza del Duomo and we rode the tram on the 16th.  From Via Venosa, where they live, it's only 10 stops which took only 15 minutes.

You will be amazed at the abundance of adornment which is impressive, it has spires, pinnacles and an immense patrimony of statues (approximately 3,400, of which 1,100 on the inside and 2,300 outside), plus, sculptures in the frames and windows and decorations on the facade.

The complexity of the build was such that the final part completed was the façade in 1813. Before this date the Santa Maria Maggiore façade was the provisional front of the cathedral.

It wasn't my first time to visit the plaza, my husband and I, and our two older kids have been here quite a few times before, when we were here twelve years ago.  It is said to be the largest and most complex Gothic building in Italy.

I just noticed the pink shade of the structure this time, since it was sunny when we visitied, it was said to be made of pink-veined white marble from the Candoglia quarries, in the Val d'Ossola, it's a valley found also in the Lombardia region, where Milan is the capital. It is 157 metres in length and covers an area of 11,700 m2. The highest spire measures 108.5 and, in October 1774, the golden 4,16 metre-high statue of the Madonna by the sculptor Giuseppe Perego was placed on its pinnacle. 

There are so many interesting things to do in the plaza/piazza and tourist flock the venue every single day of the year.  So to make the most of your visit here, I took the liberty of  listing them all to you.


1.  Take an obligatory photo with the pigeons.

These birds got used to being fed by the tourists thus they had migrated here and nestled on the nooks and crannies of the buildings.
So, yes, not only tourists flock the grounds, these birds too.

2.  Don't forget to have your pictures taken with the cathedral as your backdrop.

It's going to be a huge challenge, let me tell you, as the Italians don't care, they just pass by.

3. Window shop or better yet shop till you drop at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - Ottagono.

Considered one of the sites of Milanese luxury shopping, along with Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga, it hosts many prestigious labels and brand shops, famous cafés and restaurants, as well as Feltrinelli Records, one of the largest megastores in Italy.

4. Adore the marvelous structural buildings.

Walking around the Duomo is such a spectacle.  The buildings alone are such a sight to behold, it's a mix of art, architecture and history.

I don't mind getting lost, even if the temperature had lowered down to 13 degrees, you can actually spend a day lazying around and just stopping at a cafe for a shot of espresso. 

This one was taken at the Fendi House shop.

I'm amazed at the houses even, look how gorgeous this archway is, btw, I don't know who lives there...

5. Visit Lush and buy some Bath Bombs.

According to my sister, Lush, a famous international brand of hand-crafted soaps just came in and tourists and locals alike have frenzied over the stores.

My daughter had been meaning to buy the soap that bubbles up when thrown in the tub, so we bought some for us and their cousins.

6. Make sure to stop, breathe and eat gelato!

Italians have their way of making their own ice cream and they love it that way, compared to the American's way.  Their gelato is less creamier and much more denser but full packed with flavor.

My parents took us to La Gelateria for coffee breaks and of course gelatos.  Ours costs a little bit expensive as we had it at a cafe which serves most tourists which is priced for tourists too!

You can opt to have a scoop on a wafer cone or on a cup topped with seasoned fruits.  This one is Pistachio and my girls had vanilla.


  1. I have been there three months ago for second time, and it was amazing, as always, I love this city! :)

  2. Yes! It's so easy to fall in love with Milan and Italy. Thanks for dropping by


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