Milan Duomo - Duomo di Milano

Posted by Laney Sachs on January 12, 2012 0 Comments

Cue Barbara Streisand singing "On a Clear Day" Italian...and that's what pops into my head while gazing out from the roof of the magnificent Duomo in Milan (although I seem to relate many things in life to a Broadway show tune but that's a whole other story).  Every major Italian city and many smaller ones all have the obligatory Duomo or cathedral which are always ancient, historical, majestic and awe-inspiring.  I'm generalizing here, but they all seem to be at least 400 years old; and I continually find it hard to believe that such beauty was constructed without power tools, dump trucks or union labor. 

 Milan Duomo from Piazza

Walking through the front doors of the gothic Duomo into the serenity of the magnificent church, roaming while looking up at the spectacular ceiling brings an extraordinary sense of peace but also makes one feel a part of yesteryear, knowing that millions of people have passed over the trodden but elegant marble floors.  And realizing that many were famous men and women who not only existed in history, they created it.

.Milan Duomo

As the 4th largest cathedral in the world, the Milan Duomo is even more special because visitors are allowed up on the roof (okay another song, not Broadway, but still...)  You can either walk up the steps or pay a higher fee and take the elevator (I'll confess the elevator was our form of transportation; it was a long day!). Flying buttresses, scary gargoyles and impressive spires are just a few feet away as the city of Milan spreads out below.

From the roof of the Milan DuomoGargoyle and friendSpires on roof of the DuomoFrom the roof of the Duomo

From the rooftops and the open air to the damp and darkness of down below, the Babtistery is another must see.  Lying beneath the Duomo and piazza are the ruins of the 4th century Battisero Paleocristiano.  The excavation, remains of mosaic, frescoes and ancient artifacts surround you while wandering underground.  Spend a little time here and you can't help but realize how all the hustle and bustle going on outside is just a spec in the timeline of history.

A wall in the BabtisteryAncient pool in the Babtistery

The Duomo on its own is amazing, but to be able to follow in the footsteps of millions of people over hundreds of years hoofing it put to the top and creeping your way down below is truly sensational and not to be missed.

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