The Duomo di Milano (and all the crowds)

This weekend we took a day trip to Milan, a famously ritzy city, but I think we were able to find a surprising amount of charming, hidden corners of the fashion capital (after we hit up some of the must-see touristy spots, of course). We started our morning with the number one spot to see in Milan – the Duomo di Milano – a cathedral that has taken over six centuries to complete and still isn’t finished.

Milan was the first major tourist city we’ve visited since moving to Italy, so compared to little Ferrara and several overlooked towns in Greece, I was kind of taken aback by the sheer number of people in Milan. Nevertheless, the Domo is staggeringly gigantic and beautiful, and I could have spent all day gazing upon the overwhelming amount of intricate artwork (3,400 sculptures, 135 gargoyles, and 700 figures to be exact) present on just the outside of the cathedral.

After a much-needed cappuccino and cornetto al pistacchio, we walked over to Castello Sforzesco, which houses several museums including the final sculpture of Michelangelo that he was unable to finish when he died. We spent the rest of the morning looking at more than our fill of 15th-century oil paintings of Jesus, then made our way to the Brera neighborhood for some lunch. This was probably one of my favorite parts of our trip (not just because it involved seriously delicious spinach ravioli) since the Brera neighborhood is a refreshingly quaint part of Milan with restaurant tables lining winding alleyways much too narrow for both cars and petty cabs.

We attempted to walk off our lunch by wandering around a more quiet, suburban part of the city and stumbled upon both a secret art gallery, Spazio Rossana Orlandi, in which we had to ring a doorbell and get buzzed in, and a probably not needed but much-appreciated gelateria.

After a quick spin for good luck over the bull mosaic in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (the swankiest mall I’ve ever set foot in), we took our two-hour train ride back to Bologna.

Inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
The front gate leading into Castello Sforzesco

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