Milan - The Fashion Capital of the World, is among the top 100 cities you must visit once in your life. When you arrive in Milan, your eyes will be drawn to the 14-foot golden statue of Mary, Madonnina; and following your gaze, you will spot the Milan Duomo. Towering over the cityscape, the Milanese have always been humbled, protected and guided by the statue, and because of this, the Cathedral has long stood as the perfect grounds to learn more about the city’s ancient culture, modern developments and affinity towards Christianity.
The focal point of the entire city, Duomo di Milano, is Italy’s largest church designed during the zenith of Gothic architecture. With more than 3,000 statues spread over the cathedral, its rooftop and baptistery; the Milan Duomo is a must-visit site on any trip to Milan. The Milan Duomo is also the seat of the Archbishop of Milan, and took over 600 years in construction. The much-loved symbol of the city dominates the Piazza del Duomo and from the top, offers views which stretch as far as the Italian Alps! In this guide, we will look at all you need to know about the cathedral before you visit and also help you get discounted tickets to the Milan Duomo.
Duomo Milan in a Nutshell
Know Before You Go
|⏰ Suggested Duration:||2 Hours|
|☀️ Best Time to Visit:||Early morning|
|💜 Must See:||Statue of Saint Bartholomew Flayed|
|🎟️ Duomo Milan All Access Ticket:||€20|
|🏃 Duomo Milan Fast Track Guided Tour:||€29|
|🎧 Duomo Milan All Access Audio Guided Ticket:||€24|
|🚇 Closest Subway:||Duomo M1 M3|
9 am to 7 pm, everyday (last admission is at 6:10 pm)
P.za del Duomo, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
Why Visit Duomo Milan
The Milan Cathedral is an iconic tourist attraction in all of Italy, which attracts more than 5 million visitors each year. Besides being the largest church in Italy, it is also the fifth largest in the world with a capacity of 40,000 people. Covering a massive 520 ft x 302 ft area, the church was designed by legends from across 9 generations, including Zeno da Campione, Pellegrino Pellegrini, Leopoldo Pollak, Simone da Orsenigo and Luca Beltrami.
Since the cathedral took over several hundred years to be built, there are a number of contrasting styles for you to see. With traces of Romanticism, Gothic, Gothic Revival, ‘Perpendicular with Flamboyant (yes, that’s an actual description of the style), the Cathedral is a proud display of a melange of art legends.
But what draws more fascination, and interest from any visitor is the collection of statues and artworks all over the site, and the museum. You can even see one of the nails from the Crucifixion of Christ placed in a dome! Other highlights in the Milan include the 225-rank pipe-organ, Saint Bartholomew Flayed statue, Archbishop Alberto da Intimiano’s sarcophagus and the ‘Medeghino’ monument by Leone Leoni.
Duomo Milan History
In 1386, construction work began on the Duomo of Milan, an expression of faith and art that spans six centuries. During the period, Milan was a hub for agriculture and manufacturing and a meeting point between Italian and northern European countries. Many archaeologists believe the location of the Duomo Milan holds paramount significance representing the sacred site of pilgrimage even before Christianity arrived. Duomo Milan was built where the ancient basilicas of Santa Maria Maggiore and Santa Tecla once stood, the remains of which lie in the same area as the Baptistery of San Giovanni alle Fonti. Architects built the new structure to celebrate the new ruler, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who replaced the former ruler and was the first to conceptualize the Duomo di Milano during the early Renaissance. The notion was to create an architectural design of the church to represent the city of gods and power. Since Milan was more connected with Rome after the war, architects adopted a local style similar to Gothic architecture. Due to the project's ambitious nature, architects and experts from all over Europe volunteered to work on the structure. Over the centuries, 78 different chief architects, artists, sculptors, and other specialized workers have contributed to the cathedral's building.
Duomo Milan Architecture
Duomo di Milano is Italy's largest church and the centerpiece of the entire city. It was designed at the height of Gothic architecture. On any visit to Milan, the Milan Duomo is a must-see site with its impressive collection of statues covering the cathedral, the roof, and the Baptistery. The Duomo Milan showcase its exquisite beauty with its French Gothic eastern apse, pinnacles, flying buttresses, and intricately traceried windows adorn the apse, along with octagonal Renaissance cupolas, 17th-century doorways, an 18th-century spire, and Neo-Classical façades. In addition to displaying the work of various generations of art legends from different generations, it is notable for its contrasting styles of Romanticism, Gothic Revival, and Gothic Flamboyant. With Duomo Milan Tickets stand a chance to witness a striking view of the city from the roof, detailed with spires, gargoyles, and marble statues. With the original terracotta stone planned to build the Duomo, the architects replaced it with Condoglian marble from Lake Maggiore in the north of Italy instead, which gives the cathedral its signature pink hue. The church altar surrounded by five aisles can accommodate 40,000 visitors inside the vast interior. Large stone pillars dominate the nave. In addition to statues, the walls and niches are covered with many statuary-3,159 images, including 2,245 exterior pieces.
There are five doors throughout the chapel, but the central door is the largest and depicts stories from the life of Mary. See how St. Bartholomew Flayed Alive Statue stands out because of its intricate details and creepy stares. Also, the bell tower is one of the most attractive features of the church. See some famous artworks in the Church of St. Gottardo by Puccio Capanna and Stefano.
Duomo Milan Tickets - Which One Should You Buy?
The Milan Cathedral is a favourite among tourists and locals alike, as it IS the perfect way to end a day with a beautiful sunset and some adventure. Hence, long waiting lines are natural. Here are the top rated Duomo Milano tickets you can buy, so you can save time and dime:
Types of tickets you can get for Duamo Milan:
- Guided tours: The best way to learn about this magestic landmark's history, architecture, and significance is through a tour guide. With these tickets, discover unique facts about the Duomo with your expert local guide.
- Access to rooftop terrace: Choose your ticket type easily. You can book standard tickets that offer entry into the cathedral, or get priority access to the rooftop and enjoy the spectacular views of the city.
- Combo tours: Since there's plenty to do in the city, why not club experiences with combo tours? Along with the Duomo Milan, visit other iconic attractions like The Last Supper painting, La Scala Museum & Theatre, and more.
Milan Pass - Can I Use It At Duomo Milan?
You can explore Milan, travel, and have all the fun you want with the Milan Pass! Ticket holders can purchase the Milan Pass online and exchange it for a physical pass at the Milan Visitor Center. With the Milan Pass, you can access ten of the city's most popular attractions for free and enjoy seven free exciting tour experiences. Moreover, it includes free public transportation and a hop-on hop-off bus tour. The pass is valid for 200 days, so you can plan ahead and take advantage of the city, especially the Duomo Milan church, while you are in Milan.
Milan Pass allows you free admission to the top attractions in Milan, including the Duomo terraces, museum, La Scala Museum, and more, saving you time and money by allowing you to purchase a single ticket rather than multiple ones. With the Milan pass, you can visit Milan's stunning Duomo Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture that reflects Milan's rich heritage. Marvel at the intricate details, stained-glass windows, and beautiful adornments that adorn the facade and museum of the cathedral, and tour the rooftops, museum, and terraces. Milano Card is your ticket to free tours, such as the one to AC Milan and the audioguide to Milan! You would have to pay a lot of money if you wanted these separately without the Milano Card.
Top things to do at Duomo Milan
1Admire the View from the Duomo Milan Rooftop
In most cities and churches, visiting the main cathedral is the highlight, but at the Duomo di Milano, the cathedral is just the beginning. If you’re visiting the Duomo, you absolutely have to see the Duomo Rooftop. Yes, there’s incredible statues inside the cathedral, stunning tombs and sarcophagi, and even a nail from the crucifiction cross. But these sights stand pale compared to what resides upstairs.
2Gawk over the museum
Hosting a large collection of historical and artistic treasures over its 26 exhibition rooms, the Duomo Museum is a noteworthy museum. A visit here is diving deep into the history of the cathedral and Milan itself. See an extensive display of sculptures, stained glasses, paintings, tapestries, terracotta objects and architectural models which span from the 15th century to the 20th century.
You can even see some ancient antiquities such as the ‘ivory diptychs’ from the 5th century and works of Ariberto d’Intiminao from the 11th century. The biggest highlight of the collection is the Veneranda Fabbrica, which chronologically illustrates the construction stages of the Cathedral from 1386 to the current day.
3The Statue of Saint Bartholomew Flayed Alive
One of the best artworks in all of Milan, the Statue of Saint Bartholomew Flayed Alive by Marco d’Agrate is a sight you cannot miss. Known for its creepy stare, overly-defined muscles and features, the statue is a depiction of St. Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles, who was flayed and beheaded. The statue, seems to capture this perfectly!
Towering 356ft in the sky, the Madonnina Spire also called ‘lantern spire’ is the centerpiece of Milan. The city’s most notable sight, is a golden statue of Virgin Mary designed and built by Giuseppe Pergeo in 1774. The huge statue is composed of embossed and gilded copper plates and serves as a reminder of the city’s heritage and culture.
5The door of the cathedral
Carved in 1906 by Lodovico Pogliaghi, the central door is themed around stories from the life of Mary and is decorated with floral Gothic reliefs. Descent from the Cross, the Crucifixion, the Nativity of Jesus, the Visitation, Christ carrying the Cross and the Flagellation of Christ, Jesus taking his farewell of his Mother, the Annunciation, the Marriage of the Virgin and the Nativity of the Virgin Mary are depicted in the bas relieves from left to right and from top to bottom.
6The Church of St. Gottardo
Located within walking distance from Piazza Duomo, the Church of San Gottardo has been active since 1336. Featuring a combination of Lombard Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassical style, the church and its bell tower are very quaint and charming. The church also has notable artworks and frescoes including the works of Puccio Capanna or Stefano, one of Giotto’s pupils.
7Duomo Archaeological Complex
The Duomo Archaeological Complex is home to several antique churches and sites which hark back to early Christianity in Milan. The prominent sites within the Duomo complex include the ancient centre of Christian religion, Basilica Vetus and the Baptistery of Santo Stefano alle fonti, Basilica di Santa Tecla, Baptistery of San Giovanni alle fonti and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.
Duomo Milan Opening Hours
The Duomo Milan cathedral, Archaeological Area, and the Duomo rooftops are open daily from 9 am to 7 pm, while the Duomo Museum remains closed on Mondays.
Best Time To Visit Duomo Milan
While there is no perfect time to visit Duomo Milano - it's an established fact that the views are best during sunset. Ideally, it’s also the perfect time to bump into a plethora of people. If you're someone who loves beating the crowd, sometime early afternoon, or late evening should be the best time to visit.
Timings you should know before you visit the Cathedral:
- Milan Cathedral is open daily from 09:00 AM to 07:00 PM. Last admission at 6:10 PM.
- Milan Cathedral terraces are open daily from 09:00 AM to 07:00 PM. Last admission is an hour before closing 6:10 PM.
- Santa Maria Annunciata in Camposanto Church is open from Monday to Friday from 12:30 PM - 2 PM.
- Duomo Museum and San Gottardo Church is open from 10 AM - 6 PM on all days except Wednesdays. Last admission at 5:10 PM.
- St.Stefano Baptistery is open daily from 9 AM - 6 PM. Entrance through north elevator.
- The archaeological area is open daily from 9 AM - 7 PM. Last admission at 6:10 PM.
- The Crypt of Saint Charles is open from Monday to Friday from 11 AM - 5:30 PM, on Saturdays between 11 AM - 5 PM and on Sundays between 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM. Last admission is 30 minutes before closing.
Duomo Milan - Getting There
The Duomo Complex is well connected by Metro.
- From Central Station, take the Yellow Underground M3 line to Duomo
- From Cadorna Station, take the Red Underground M1 line to Duomo
- From Garibaldi Station, take the Green Underground M2 to Cadorna. From here you’ll have to take the Red Underground M1 to the Duomo
Milan Duomo can be reached via the following trams.
- In Tram 15, you can get-off at Piazza Via Fontana Stop
- In Tram 2 and Tram 14, you can get-off at the Via Torino Stop
- In Tram 16, Tram 24 and Tram 27, you can get-off at the Via Mazzini Stop
Duomo Milan Map
Things to Know before you visit Duomo Milan
1. Since the Cathedral is well, a Cathedral and a religious attraction - there obviously is a dress code. Modest clothing is a compulsion. And what do we mean by modest? Knees and shoulders must be covered by both, men and women at all points during your visit to Duomo.
2. If you wish to visit the Museo del Duomo - you should be aware that the Museo is not located within the Duomo. It is in fact only a 2-minute walk away in a building facing the Duomo, right next to the Palazzo Reale.
3. Like the Museo, the Church of St. Gottardo is a 5-minute walk away, in Corte.
Insider tips to Skip the Line at Duomo Milan
1. Buying Online Tickets in Advance
Arguably the best way to save time during your Duomo visit, is by booking your tickets online well in advance. We recommend booking your tickets at least 2 days prior as tickets will be available for this duration. The biggest advantage of buying your tickets prior is that this will allow you to skip the long queue lines at the monument, by allowing you access to a special fast-moving queue. This is a must-have!
2. Go On a Guided Tour If you’re looking for an immersive experience at the Duomo di Milano, then a guided tour is the way to go. Not only will your guide provide narration about the landmark monument and its exhibits, but he/she will assist you in entering the Duomo. With these tickets you really don’t have to worry about long queues, or missing out on any of the important works which is very easy to do without a guide. Peace of mind is guaranteed!
3. Choose The Right Time Milan Cathedral is open nearly all days of the year, apart from some religious holidays. However, depending on the season, there are different times of the day you’d want to explore the site. During spring and fall ie, April - October, early morning/early evenings are the best time with the least footfall. During months between November and March, we recommend touring in the afternoon as there will be less fog, and the season doesn’t have many tourists.
Things to do around Duomo Milan
Located around 8 minutes away from Duomo di Milano, the Sforza Castle was built in the second half of the 14th century by the Visconti family. In the castle you can admire the Rondanini Pietà Museum, one of Michelangelo's last works, as well as the Sala delle Asse.
Distance from Duomo di Milano: 1 km
Pinacoteca di Brera
Located in the centre of old Rome, the Pinacoteca di Brera is known for its magnificent collection of ancient and modern Italian art. Its religious-themed collection begins in the 14th century and extends into the 16th century. The Pinacoteca di Brera is just 6 minutes away from the church.
Distance from Duomo di Milano: 1 km
Cathedral Square Historic District, which is located in the center of Sacramento's historic central business district, is at the heart of the original 1848 street grid. The square is 1 minute away from the Duomo di Milano.The Cathedral Square, completed in 1889, anchors the district both visually and symbolically.
Distance from Duomo di Milano: 10 m
Indro Montanelli Garden
Located near the northwest section of town, Indro Montanelli Garden is one of the largest city parks in the world. It is slightly smaller than Parco Sempione, but it makes the most of its refreshing and charming historical atmosphere.
Distance from Duomo di Milano: 1 km
Santa Maria delle Grazie
Santa Maria delle Grazie is a powerful symbol of the Renaissance. It is a symbol of the basilica and shrine of the Dominican Order, in the parish of San Vittore al Corpo. Its breathtaking architecture and Leonardo's artwork preserve the creations of the Italian master.
Distance from Duomo di Milano: 3 Kms
Restaurants Near Duomo Milan
With good views, good food is primary. Here are the restaurants where you can find the best meals to unwind with after an adventurous day at the Cathedral:
After you've spent all of your time admiring the beauty that is the Duomo Milano, a food break is a must! We don't make the rules 😛
If you're the kind who loves gorging on fast food and everything nice in this world, Cesarino is the place to be! With sparkling reviews all around, you know you're in for a good time at this restaurant.
Did you really have a good time in Milan if you didn't end up having the best pizza in town? We think not! Head to Ristorante Galleria for an absolutely mind-blowing meal of all things Italian, Mediterranean and European cuisine. You know what it's perfect for? BRUNCH!
Often dubbed as the 'best place in town' this cafe/bar is exactly what you need to let go of your worries and relax after a long day out of sightseeing and touristy things. If you need recommendations, this restaurant comes very well-recommended for it's alcohol collection (obviously) and sandwiches! Who would've thought.
Gelato is the solution to all of life's problems. Or just life if you have no problems. Vanilla Gelati Italiani has admittedly the BEST gelato in Milan - and no matter what you do, you shouldn't be missing out on this.
What goes best with good food, you ask? Good views, of course! A place you shouldn't go to without booking in advance, Maio Restaurant has to be on your list of go-tos when in Milan.
FAQs about Duomo Milan
Is it safe to visit the Duomo Milan post-COVID-19?
To ensure the safety of its visitors, Duomo Milan has enforced several safety measures and guidelines such as making mask-wearing and social distancing mandatory, making it a safe attraction for visitors.
What parts of the Duomo Milan are open to the public post-COVID-19?
The cathedral and rooftops are open to the public, with strict safety measures in place. The crypt of St. Charles will remain closed until further notice.
Can I visit the Duomo Milan rooftops post-COVID-19?
Yes, you can, keeping all safety measures in mind. However, the use of lifts has been limited to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
How many visitors are allowed into the Duomo di Milan post-COVID-19?
To ensure social distancing, the number of visitors allowed into the Historical Complex at a time has been limited to 15. Visitors are expected to strictly stick to their booked time slots.
Is photography allowed inside Duomo di Milan?
Yes, photography is allowed inside the cathedral.
Is Duomo di Milan wheelchair accessible?
Yes, Duomo di Milan is wheelchair accessible. Although, certain cobblestone pathways may need harder navigation.
What are Duomo di Milan opening hours?
The cathedral and archaeological area are open from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM (final entry at 05:10 PM) between Monday to Sunday; the rooftop is open from 09:00 AM to 07:00 PM from Monday to Thursday, and from 09:00 AM to 08:00 PM from Friday to Sunday; the museum is open from 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM (final entry at 05:10 PM) from Monday to Sunday. Summary
More Recommended Experiences in Milan
While Duomo di Milano is a must-see in Milan, here are some other attractions that are now open to the public that cannot be missed! Check out more top things to do in Milan. Don't forget to read and bookmark our Milan Travel Guide packed with itineraries, tips for first timers, local recommendations, restaurants, hotels & more.