Chapter Three: Milano

Oh Milano, we adore you. From the rooftop of the Duomo to the Galleria, to the Sforza Castle, and the best Napolitano pizza outside of Napoli, and so so so much more.

Milano Centrale is beautiful from the outside as well.

When people travel to Italy they normally head south. When my husband lived in Italy he lived in the north so we made sure to start our trip in the northern cities. Milano is an amazing city.

Duomo di Milano

No visit to Milan is complete without visiting the Duomo. This cathedral is an absolute masterpiece. When last I saw it most of it was under scaffolding and I was still awed. This time, however, a lot of the restoration has been complete and we took the time to go up to the roof.

It’s one thing to know that the Duomo took over 400 years to build. But up on the roof – up close and personal with the intricate carving – I found myself wondering how they even got it completed in that time frame. And it’s humbling to think of the countless souls who devoted their lives to create this beautiful monument to God.

I’m not exagerating when I tell you I was moved by the beauty up there. I cried. Not out of exhaustion or despair as some of my tears the day before. That day, rested and nourished and eager, I stood upon the roof and I wept for the beauty of it all.

Roman baptistry

When we had finally walked the whole roof we descended to the inside of the cathedral which is beautiful in the way that all stained glass, big, old, European cathedrals are. And below that we explored the archaeological site. The ruins date back to the very early days of Roman Christianity. Above is a photo of a baptismal font, amazingly intact despite the centuries.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

You’ll find the Galleria a few steps from the Duomo. This shopping center is unlike anything you’ve seen. You don’t have to be into shopping to appreciate the Galleria, but if you are a shopper then you’re in luck. Our family is especially partial to Andrew’s Ties, (there are many locations at this point,) but there’s certainly something for everyone at the Galleria.

Castello Sforza

After a little more schlepping around this fair city we found we a little extra time before our train. So we decided to check out the Sforza Castle. We didn’t count the drawbridges and portcullises, but I wish I had. The Castle is such a fascinating thing surrounded by the modernity of the fashion capital. That contrast of old and new would be an ongoing theme throughout our trip. Each time I observed it I marveled at the way humans brought it together.

Milano Centrale

And before we knew it we were back in Milano Centrale heading west. We hadn’t even left before I began compiling my list of what I want to do next time. Maybe I should just move here. I could live a very happy life here. Perhaps I’m actually Italian and I just don’t know it.

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