After a two hour train ride to Milan from Spiez, we immediately got ourselves a 2-day pass for the public transport that cost €5.50. The Milan Centrale Station is one complex and confusing train station because its multi-level design, which is made worse by its misleading signs that led us in rounds for the metro. Unlike other Italian cities like Rome, Florence and Venice that are richer in history and arts, Milan is a cosmopolitan city that seem more rushed and lavish more well known for its stylish fashion boutiques.
But its facade is majestic for a train station at 200 meters wide and 72 meters high. It even held a record high for a building when it was first built.
Then we literally dragged ourselves to our hotel (Hotel Arno) and made our way to Milan’s main attraction – Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral) located conveniently above the duomo metro stop.
The cathedral is the best sight in the city for me and we actually returned here for a few times because of its close proximity to the other attractions. Besides, it is also a great spot for photography.
Piazza del Duomo in front of the Milan Cathedral is the main piazza in Milan. Obviously the square got its name from the dominating cathedral. You will find three things in plentiful here: pigeons, tourists and friendship bracelet scammers.
If anyone comes forward offering you a “friendship bracelet” for free, do not take it. Because eventually they will ask you for a “voluntary” donation. They can be very persisting. So just say no and ignore them.
There are a few famous monuments as well which of course includes the Duomo itself, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the Royal Palace of Milan and the monument to King Victor Emmanuel II.
Entering the Duomo is free and I highly recommend anyone visiting Milan to do so. Besides being the fourth-largest church (largest Gothic cathedral) in the world, it is one of the earliest to employ Gothic architecture during the medieval period.
You can actually see that from the church’s building style that features a lot pointed arch and ribbed vault in the interior and flying buttresses at the exterior. Similarly, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is also a Gothic cathedral, you can see they share a lot of similarities in the architecture style.
Any photography enthusiast will find the church an absolute delight. I can spend a full day here just taking photos of the intricate design and unique architecture. The construction of this beautiful cathedral took five centuries to complete, from 1386 to 1965. If you think about it, it was only fully completed about 45 years ago.
A huge number of monuments and artworks can be found in the church interior as well. Do keep in mind modest dress is required to enter the church.