Milan’s Duomo (duomo di Milano) is a much-loved symbol of the city. The most exuberant example of Northern Gothic architecture in Italy, the cathedral and its spiky spires and towers dominate Piazza del Duomo, the city's beating heart. One of the highlights of a visit to the cathedral is the view from the roof, where you can scope out Milan from the highest terrace surrounded by statues. On a clear day, it’s possible to see the Italian Alps.The Basics
There are a number of tour options that visit the Duomo, with most ranging from one and three hours in length. A comprehensive tour of the cathedral includes a visit to its spacious interior with its stained-glass windows, the rooftop terraces, and the church’s archaeological area, an underground crypt holding the 16th-century tomb of St. Charles Borromeo. Other tour options combine a visit to the Duomo with a tour of the adjacent and famously beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade or entrance to Milan’s famous La Scala Opera House. For art lovers, a Duomo tour can be combined with a viewing of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper
, or a tour of the artist’s former vineyard. Those interested in the history and architecture of the church should visit with an expert tour guide who can offer detailed insight into the construction. The adjacent Duomo Museum also provides insight into the cathedral's history, with chronologically-organized exhibits illustrating the structure's evolution from its foundation in 1386 through the 20th century.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Short on time? Skip the line with a priority-access ticket to the Duomo.
- If traveling with kids, book a family-friendly tour to keep them engaged.
- Bring a camera to capture the panoramic views of the city you’ll get from the rooftop terrace.
The Duomo is located in the historic center of the city, on pedestrianized Piazza del Duomo. Since it cannot be directly accessed by car, it is best to reach the cathedral on foot or by public transport; the closest metro station is right in front of the cathedral. You can also book a private tour with included transportation. If you’re visiting Rome, Venice, or Verona but want to see the cathedral of Milan, note that high-speed train tickets are a very effective means of travel.When to Get There
The largest church in Italy stays consistently busy throughout the day, but skip-the-line entry allows visitors to jump the queues no matter what the time. Evening tours are available for visitors who would prefer to spend their rooftop visit peering over an illuminated and breathtaking skyline.