Magnificent Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano)
I spent a day in Milan before traveling by train through the scenic Italian alps to beautiful Lake Como. In Milan the first sighting of the Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano in Italian) took my breath away; it is magnificent. There is no other way to describe this amazing Gothic Cathedral. Inside the Cathedral was dark and subdued but wonderful treasures lie within. There are three beautiful alters, many sculptures, wonderful paintings and stained glass windows, not to mention the sheer height and size of the interior of the cathedral.
The Cathedral treasury, housed within a crypt inside the Duomo-di Milano has much to offer in historical value and content. Early Christian and Romanesque artworks including reliquaries, richly embroidered vestments, a panel in gold and silver of the ‘Pax of Ariberto” created around 1035, and much more. There is a small fee to view the Cathedral treasures but well worth it.
Views from Cathedral rooftop
Take the lift (or 200 steps) to the roof of the Duomo di Milano, this is a must. Apart from a great view over the city, the cathedral roof allows a closer look at the intricate detail of the Gothic spires and statues. This beautiful cathedral or Duomo di Milano took nearly six hundred years to complete and stands as the fourth largest cathedral in the world. Wonderful architecture.
Piazza Del Duomo or Cathedral Square
Enjoying the views from the rooftop of the cathedral, the Piazza Del Duomo or Cathedral Square lies below, alive with people and pigeons. The Piazza marks the centre of the city. To right of the Duomo di Milano stands the renowned arcade, Galleria Vittoria, on the left La Scala the famous opera house of Milano. In the centre of the piazza stands an equestrian statue of King Vittoria Emmanuel II, the first King of the Kindom of Italy.
The Galleria Vittorio – a four-story double arcade in city centre of Milano
The Galleria Vittoria is a wonderful building being a forerunner of our modern shopping arcades. Designed by Italian architect, Guiseppe Mengone in 1861, building commenced between 1865 and 1877. The arcade named Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II after King Vittorio Emanuele II the first King of Italy (formerly King of Sardinia).
The Galleria Vittorio is the oldest shopping mall in Italy, housed within a four-story double arcade in the city centre of Milano. The interior architecture is quite something to look at. The structure, formed by two glass-vaulted arcades intersected in an octagon, covering the streets connecting Piazza del Duomo to Piazza Della Scalar. The streets covered by an arching glass and cast iron roof. Look for the beautiful paintings under the dome and the wonderful mosaic floors. The Galleria connects these two famous landmarks, Milan Cathedral and La scala Milano in the city centre.
The Arcade is home to high fashion houses and luxury items, as it was then and now, names such as Louis Vuitton and Prada, jewellery and silver shops are prominent today, as well as restaurants, cafe’s and bars. One particularly famous coffee shop, the Art Nouveau classic, Caffè Zucca, established in the Galleria for nearly 150 years, is a must for great coffee and atmosphere. Very expensive, but as a one-off experience worth it.
Tragically the architect of this wonderful arcade, Guiseppe Mengone, died when he fell from the central dome of the Galleria on December 30,1877. This was just prior to the inauguration of the Galleria Vittorio. Guiseppe Mengone was just shy of his 48th birthday when he died.
A trip to Italy would not be complete without a visit to the wonderful Gothic Cathedral and the Galleria Vittorio Arcade in Milano.
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