More from: Cathedral

New Lights For Milan

More than six centuries have passed since the first stone of Milan’s Cathedral was laid in 1386, yet its construction cannot be considered completed. That explains why the Milanese love to say “it’s taking as long as the building of the Duomo!” when referring to all those jobs that never seem to come to completion. […]


From Rice to Risotto

Perhaps you remember the film “Riso Amaro” (Bitter rice) – 1949, one of the landmark films of the postwar Italian neorealist movement. It starred Silvana Mangano acting as one the hundreds of women doing hard labour, weeding in the paddy barefoot and bent, in the Po Valley rice fields. For this reason the Italian title […]


When history leaves its sign

“What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of the plague as well. It helps men to rise above themselves.” – Albert Camus, The Plague. For centuries, the so called “Black Death” swept across the world, devastating towns and cities leaving millions dead in its wake. However, just like the characters in […]


Discovering a hidden treasure

If you’re ever in Milan and find yourself short of cash, you might try to get something “a ufo”. Nothing to do with objects of the unidentified flying kind, this old Milanese expression means to get something for free, inspired by the AUF stamps seen on board many boats which floated down the navigli a […]


The Nivola and the Holy Nail

On 13th of September just as on every 13th September for the last four hundred years, an ancient ceremony was reenacted inside the Duomo. The tradition began in 1576 during an epidemic of the bubonic plague when Archbishop Carlo Borromeo organized a procession from the Duomo cathedral to the church of San Celso to pray […]


Checking up the Duomo health

People travelling to Milan always visit the Cathedral and its hidden treasures; but what they don’t know is that this monument has a 600 year old history. The foundation stone was laid in 1386 whilst the last bronze portal on the right side of the façade was installed in 1965. Over the years, completing the […]


Oh Mia Bella Madonnina

Over the centuries, Milan’s Cathedral has had to survive all sorts of perils: air raids during the war, the incipient collapse of its columns, acid rain and so forth, but today, it’s an attack by giant blue snails. In actual fact, the snails are beneficial. The fifty gastropods will be on the Cathedral roof for […]