May 1, 2019
Not to be too original we caught a taxi to the Piazza di Duomo. I had been before, but there is always more to explore and the Gothic Duomo is one of the most magnificent cathedrals in Europe. One of the areas that I’d missed were the roof terraces. The photo below was taken by my travel companion, Suzanne. This shot is from the roof looking down to the Piazza and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II on the right. Must say my stomach flipped over everytime I looked down. Now I remember why I’d never gone to the roof before.
Lots and lots of stairs even with taking the lift up. Many places with only waist high railings and walking across roof tiles. Although they give you a lift up, it’s stairs all the way down.
Here is the spire with the gold Madonna that is the tip top the of cathedral. It was completed in 1762 at the dizzying height of 355.97 feet or 108.5 meters.
These two photos show just a bit of the incredibly detailed carving and sculptures on the roof terraces.
The cathedral took over 6 centuries to build and was started in 1386. The site was originally a Roman Forum and public basilica. There is an old octagonal Baptistery from 335 that we visited under the cathedral.
Napoleon Bonaparte about to be crowned King of Italy ordered the facade finished in 1805 and promised the cost would come from the French treasury. Although the funds never materialized the facade was finished and Napoleon was crowned king in the cathedral.
The intricate bronze front doors of the cathedral were designed by Italian sculptor Ludovico Pogliaghi.
Mussolini commanded the Mascioni organ building firm to construct the 5-manual, 225-rank pipe-organ. The organ is currently the largest in Italy*.
The red light above the apse is where a nail purportedly from the cross of Christ’s crucifixion resides. The archbishop comes once a year and retrieves the holy relic to display it to the public in the celebration, Rite of the Nivola (nail).
The are three great windows were made by Italian, French and German artists. The lower part of the windows are newer enameled glass with only the upper portions the original leaded stained glass.
The are 52 columns, one for every week of the year. All aspects of the cathedral marry religious symbolism and depictions with everyday life. There are 5 broad naves, the central nave is 148′ high. The highest Gothic vaults in a completed cathedral*.
Throughout the cathedral are these beautiful inlaid marble and stone floors that are still in amazing condition.
This window is over the front doors of the cathedral, depicts the Virgin Mary.
Whew, in serious need of an ATM and sustenance we decided to head for the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy’s oldest active shopping mall and a major land mark. The mall is named after Vittorio Emanuele the first King of the Kingdom of Italy. It was built between 1865 and 1867. The mall is built in the shape of a cross, is four stories high and enclosed with a glass and iron ceiling.
Love the African and American Indian in these murals at the intersection of arms of the mall.
We couldn’t resist the Marchesi bakery and confectionary. Everything was absolutely perfect and beautiful. Even the embroidered wall covering was amazing.
This is Milan, we were surrounded by luxury retailers selling haute couture, jewelry, books and paintings.
After a lunch of pizza with asparagus and truffle paste, we felt revived enough to continue on to the Duomo Museum. To be continued tomorrow……..