Milan Fashion Week
is just around the corner and I can’t wait to see iconic Italian brands strut their stuff on the runway.
But nothing depicts the city in a more stylish representation other than the iconic Duomo di Milano
It’s the fifth largest church in the world and is definitely the most famous Gothic cathedral in Europe. Dare I say, it’s the most flamboyantly beautiful church I’ve seen as well.
I mean… there are more statues in the Duomo than any building in the world, with a count of over 3,100! Most are seen on the church’s exterior and atop the spires, including the the precious golden statue of the Madonnina
or Little Madonna, the symbol of Milan.
This magnificent cathedral took about six centuries to complete to look the way it does today. Restorations are still being done to make it even more spectacular but if you ask me, it’s already such a mindblowing sight.
One thing you MUST do when visiting Milan is to walk along the rooftop and terraces of the Duomo. We opted to go up the stairs (all 300+ feet of it to burn off all the gelato we’ve eaten) which is not for the faint hearted nor the claustrophobic. You can opt to go up by the lifts… but where’s the fun in that, non?
Up the roof, you can have a closer look at the intricate details of the cathedral including the bas relief statues, gargoyles, etc. But the highlight for me is seeing the amount of work and care put into the forest of spires, each mounted with a statue of important Milanese and biblical characters. The highest spire stands over 100 meters and holds the Madonnina. There is actually a law that states no building in Milan should go past this spire’s height.
In recent years, the rooftop terraces have housed art installations including Cracking Art Group‘s blue snails and British sculptor Tony Cragg’s Paradox.
The views are also amazing, you get to see Milan’s cityscape and skyline (can you spot the Unicredit needle?). On the clearest of days, you can even view the Alps from up there!
Inside the Duomo is a different story. Despite tourists roaming around, there is definitely something calming about the place. It’s breathtaking in its own right, with glass stained windows lit from the inside depicting Milan and Catholic history; Pellegrini’s altars
; mindblowing statues including Marco d’Agrate’s St Bartholomew
carrying his own skin; the Trivulzo candelabrum
; the #fwis
worthy marble flooring; and the red bulb atop the apse where one of the nails used in Jesus’s crucifixion was supposedly placed, the beautiful 52 pillars that represent each week of the year, etc.
Make sure you dress (relatively) conservatively when you decide to walk inside the church for whatever purpose. Shoulders need to be covered and cleavages must be kept safe under your jumpers!
The Duomo is truly an amazing sight. It’s rather captivating and intriguing in architecture and construction (especially when you consider they didn’t have it easy many centuries ago). You clearly can’t miss it when visiting Italy’s fashion, commercial and financial centre, but more than taking selfies in front of it to tick the tourist bucket list, do take some time to explore it and appreciate its beauty and be mindblown. You seriously won’t regret it.
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