Hello everyone! I haven’t given up on my little blog…despite not having written anything for a while! I have just been super busy and so musings took a back seat – but I am back!
Last weekend I had some of my dear friends from home come and visit me and so of course I showed them all around the city and we took a little trip to Lake Como (more on this in another post)! The best thing about having people come and stay is that I get to be a tourist and fall in love with Milan all over again! I am a little obsessed with taking pictures at the moment and I honestly think I took more than my friends, despite having seen everything before – but that just means that now I can share them with you!
So, one of my absolute favourite things to do in Milan, is to visit the terraces of the Duomo! Milan’s cathedral, the symbol of the city, lies in Piazza Duomo and is a pivotal and central point of interest for anyone visiting. The Cathedral, commissioned in 1386, is the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world and took almost 500 years to complete! It features more than 3,500 statues and is a labyrinth of flying buttresses, pinnacles, 96 gargoyles and 135 spires.
Since 1837 Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo has been responsible for the preservation and restoration of the Cathedral and thanks to its’ founder, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the Cathedral even has its own quarry! All the marble used for building and restoration comes from The Candoglia Quarries and has done since 1387 when they were given quarrying and transport rights. Originally the marble was transported by the Naviglio Grande but the boatmen were exempt from paying the tolls, as they used a secret password ‘AUF’ – ‘Ad usum fabricae’, ‘for the use of the Fabbrica’.
Inside the Cathedral there are some stunning stain-glass windows, but for me the best thing are the terraces! You can either take a lift or walk up to the top, but me being slightly lazy and not a fan of spiral church staircases (I get too dizzy!) I took the lift, (it does cost slightly more)! Once at the top you are free to walk around as you please, although I will say that since Expo has started there seems to be a lot more people up there than ever before!
I have always been extremely lucky with the weather when I have been up to the terraces and on a very clear day you can see the Alps and Apennines! It is always nice to see things differently and being up high looking out over the city gives you a new perspective! You can see all the streets running off from Piazza Duomo and every time I visit, I always notice something different, either about the city or the Cathedral itself – usually a new gargoyle or statue!
If you haven’t visited yet go now (or put it on your list if you ever visit Milan)…and if you have, what did you think?! I would love to hear!