Atop Milan’s Duomo

I fell in love with our July/August cover, which photographer Dave Yoder shot from the top of Milan’s magnificent Duomo. Commissioned in the 14th century, the towering cathedral—which dominates Milan’s city center—took nearly 500 years to complete. A few weeks ago, I found myself standing in the center of this fashion capital. Just of the plane, jet-lagged, and woefully underdressed (my comfy traveler attire was no match for the city’s unofficial haute couture dress code,) I found myself wanting to escape the flashy storefronts and Prada-toting tourists, so I headed to the Duomo.

Inside, hundreds of visitors gaped at the stained-glass windows, impressive tapestries, and marble statues depicting every imaginable saint. The cathedral’s interior is undoubtedly remarkable, but I really wanted to walk amid the spires and pinnacles.

There are two ways to get to the top of the Duomo—via elevator (8 euro) or stairs (5 euro)—both of which are actually accessible from the outside of the building. Fortunately for me, the elevator was closed that particular day, which meant the only visitors at the top were those willing (and able) to climb the 165 winding stairs. At three stairs at a time winding all the way to the top, you’re likely to get a slight sense of vertigo.

I’ve never been much of a religious person, but the views from the top are moving. One could spend hours watching bustling Milan from above.

My shots don’t compare to Dave Yoder’s Italy photos, so check out the Milan photo gallery for more images of this inspiring city.

[Italy Guide]

[Milan Photo Gallery]


  1. Susan Van Allen
    August 9, 2011, 7:04 pm

    A native gave me a great tip the last time I was in Milan: Go to the top floor food court of the Rinascente department store, across from the Duomo, where you can sit on the terrace of the Obika mozzarella bar, sip prosecco and be eye to eye with the rooftop of the Duomo. It is stunning at sunset!