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Traveling to Milan, Italy - Duomo di Milano

Milan is a beautiful city in Northern Italy that is full of life and culture. Most people will only come for the day and leave the next. If you are planning on adding Milan to your Italy trip, we would recommend to plan at least 2 to 3 days to take in most of what Milan has to offer.


Milan Dome

Known to the locals as Duomo di Milano, the Milan Cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. Construction began in 1386 and the final details were completed in 1965. It is technically the largest church in the Italian Republic (St Peter's Basilica is in the State of Vatican City, a sovereign state.

Outside image of the Duomo di Milano or Milan Domo Catholic Church

The roof is open to tourists (for a fee) you have the option to climb the stairs for a lower price or there is an elevator that will take you all the way to the top. The view offers a unique view of Milan from the sky and you can truly see the intricate details in the statues at the top of each pillar.



Inside the Duomo there are a lot of treasures to discover. And warning, in Italy and in the historical Catholic culture, it is not uncommon to see crypts from Saints or Archbishops. Under the alter the Saint San Carlo Borromeo is in a glass coffin. His face is covered by a golden mask.


When you first enter the Duomo, you are greeted by a very famous statue of the Saint Bartholomew Flayed (1562), by Marco d'Agrate, the saint shows his flayed skin thrown over his shoulders like a stole.

Full length image of the statue of the Saint Bartholomew Flayed.

Another very notable and important aspect of this church is above the main alter you'll see a small red light. This marks the spot where one of the nails from the Crucifixion of Christ has been placed. The Holy Nail is retrieved and exposed to the public every year during a celebration known as the Rite of the Nivola.

One very interesting and often missed aspect of the Duomo is the "transalpine time" line in the back of the church. Here the meridian line is laid and there is a very small hole on the back side of the building. As the beam of light crosses the brass line, it indicates solar noon. The line was examined in 1976 by the architects of the Duomo and astronomers from Brera. The accuracy of the line still enables the fixing of solar noon to within 2 seconds.

There are a lot of other really unique treasures within the Duomo to discover, we do recommend to use a tour group to truly learn about everything this beautiful structure has to offer.


We used and recommend Viator - Here is the tour we took


If you have additional questions about this tour or touring Milan please feel free to email or message us. We do offer custom built trips with tours to Italy and other major countries. If you need help planning your next vacation, give us a call or email us.

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