Milan: A Big Italian Surprise
Milan's immense Duomo
Milan's immense Duomo was built to hold 40,000 worshippers, the entire population of Milan when construction began in 1386.
Many travelers come to
The importance of
The church boasts a soaring ceiling supported by sequoia-sized pillars, brilliantly colored stained glass dating from about 1500, and more than 2,000 statues. Even more impressive is the roof. Walking through its forest of spires and statues, visitors enjoy great views of the church's statuary and the city. Crowning the cathedral is a golden Virgin Mary named La Madonnina, an icon of
The cathedral sits on Piazza del Duomo,
The grand glass-domed arcade on the square marks the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Built around 1870, during the heady days of Italian unification, it was the first building in town to have electric lighting. Its art celebrates the establishment of
Behind the Galleria is one of the world's most prestigious opera houses,
At the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, the oldest museum in
Located on the outskirts of town, Leonardo's Horse is the largest equestrian monument in the world. Designed for the
Because of da Vinci's experimental fresco technique, the once-vivid work is now faded. To preserve it as much as possible, the humidity in the room is carefully regulated -- only 25 people are allowed in every 15 minutes, and visitors must dehumidify in a waiting chamber before entering. Visits are by reservation only and must be booked months in advance.
Even with all of this history, most of the locals seem oblivious to it. They just enjoy being who they are, living modern-day life to the fullest in this most vibrant of Italian cities.
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