I’ve said it before and I’m sure I will one day say it again, but when in Europe, it’s easy to get church fatigue. After awhile, even the grandest of churches seem to bleed into each other, and after your 4735th church visit (give or take), you might wonder why you continually feel compelled to step inside those heavy front doors.
That’s why, when you find a European church experience that really stands out, it’s something to take note of. For me, Milan’s Duomo was one such experience. From the outside, you might not see what is so unusual about the cathedral. Sure, the facade is ornate and gorgeous, but the same could be said about Florence’s Duomo or Paris’s Notre Dame.
And stepping inside, you might have even less cause to think the Duomo di Milano is special, as the cavernous interior feels dark and somewhat grim (though all the tables for offerings, stacked with candles giving off a warm glow, were undeniably lovely).
But here’s the secret: you’ve got to go up to the roof to find the magic of the Duomo. And once you arrive? You’re treated to a jungle of spires and stones and intricate carvings. Wandering around amongst the spires is undeniably cool, particularly since the Duomo is topped with an abundance of them. In addition to this, you’ll find excellent views of Piazza del Duomo from your perch atop the cathedral.
On the day of my visit, a steady drizzle came down the entire morning, making my Duomo rooftop excursion a rather slippery and treacherous affair. Nonetheless, a little bit of terror was worth it for the chance to explore some truly amazing cathedral architecture up close. Bottom line: if you’re visiting Milan’s Duomo, don’t forget to check out the view from the top.