A Visit to Italy

Duomo from the piazza

"If you have never done so, you must do all you can to visit Italy. Beauty is found in the people, their culture, the landscape and the architecture." -- Dave Jackson, World Traveler

One has said that a trip to Milan, Italy, is a trip that will change everything about the senses. How very true.

Every culture brings much to the table, but even more so Italy. Every town in America has ties to Italy. Restaurants, mainly, but other great gifts we owe to her. Cars, language, painting, engineering, drink, and much more, including it's people.

For the tourist, Milan is an eyeful. Architecture abounds, and not just old buildings - but structures that took years of thought and planning.

Take Duomo, the cathedral, for instance. There is probably no more ornamental building in Europe. The detail on the outside of Duomo is incredible. The work took five centuries to complete.

You can see fantastic detail in the stone work on the church, even from close up, things which are not commonplace in today's construction.

Duomo is watched over by the Madonnina, the cathedral's high rose marble spires represent the city's most famous artistic and religious monument.

The dimensions of the third biggest cathedral on earth are awe-inspiring, at 108m high (to the tip of the tallest spire) and 158m long. Doorways are 17th century.

he central balcony is from the late 18th and the three main upper windows early 19th-century pieces by Carlo Amati.

The cathedral's vast interior overwhelms: its impressive pillars, vaults and streamlined arches enhanced by light that floods through the splendid stained-glass windows and the wonderful statuary surrounding the naves.

It's free to enter, although now days you will probably be checked with a metal detector. Inside there are more impressive statues, and some very awesome paintings.

When you are there, try to find the staircase leading up to the roof. At the time our photos were taken, there was complete access via one of the spire mounts.

It is said you can see seven lakes around the Milan countryside from the top of Duomo on a clear day. We couldn't see anything as it was hazy all morning.

Also close to the Duomo is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. It was built much later than the Duomo, but is worth stopping by and seeing. Make sure you pack a camera.

The Duomo is located in central Milan. It can be reached by taxi, bus, rental car and the subway system. It is open from 6:45am-7pm daily.

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Italy... there is nothing like it. Through the eons of time man has built masterpieces. This one sits in the center of Milan. Duomo is awesome, it took centuries to complete. This view is take from the front of the church as it faces the plaza in front of the great Galleria.
From the roof of Duomo Milan Italy
This is a view through one of the many arches, framing a spire on the perimeter of the church. It amazes us how the statues stay on top of the spires and how they were delicately put there in the first place?
Inside Duomo Milan Italy
Once inside the Duomo, you can really sense the history around you. It's peaceful, but at the same time you feel the emotion of having been close to some ancient times in history. Many wars were fought during the life of this edifice, many causes argued, but the building stands the same as it did then. This picture was taken inside propped up against one of the many pillars. The camera was set to a minute and a half exposure and hoped for the best. The way the light washes inside the cathedral, for a moment you feel the presence of God.
From the roof of the Duomo looking at the Galleria
Here's shot from the roof of the church. There are two ways to get here. An elevator, for a small fee, and stairs. We chose the stairs because we wanted to know what it felt like walking to the top as they must have done centuries ago. It was impressive as there are little view ports along the way in the staircase. The steps are well worn and when you arrive at the top, the view is incredible.