Know More about the Bustling Piazza del Duomo Near the Cathedral

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Piazza del Duomo | The Cathedral Square in Milan

The Milan Cathedral Square, officially called the Piazza del Duomo, is the beating heart of Milan and the perfect meeting point in the city. It's home to the magnificent Milan Cathedral, an impressive Gothic-style structure that dominates the square. The Piazza is a bustling hub of activity, surrounded by elegant historic buildings, trendy cafes, and high-end shops. A stroll through the Piazza and its surrounding streets is an essential experience for any visitor to Milan, offering a vibrant atmosphere and an abundance of things to see and do. It's a must-visit destination that showcases the best of this cosmopolitan Italian city.

Why Visit the Milan Cathedral Square?

Piazza del Duomo

Plan Your Visit to the Milan Cathedral Square

Piazza del Duomo morning

Highlights of the Milan Cathedral Square

Monument to King Victor Emmanuel II

Monument to King Victor Emmanuel II

The statue of King Victor Emmanuel II located in Piazza del Duomo is a striking equestrian statue made of bronze. The statue depicts the first king of Italy in full military uniform, mounted on a horse that is rearing up on its hind legs. King Victor Emmanuel II is shown with a determined expression on his face as if leading his troops into battle. The statue is set on a pedestal made of white marble and features decorative reliefs and inscriptions honoring the king's legacy.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

This grand structure was brought about by a competition to develop the historic area connecting the cathedral and the Scala Opera house. Architect Guiseppe Mengoni won the rights to design the area by proposing a glass-covered arcade that connected the Piazza dell Scala and the Piazza dell Duomo, based on shopping arcades in Paris. Today, the arcade is one of Milan’s largest shopping complexes with boutique stores, cafes, and prestigious restaurants. It is your ideal destination for shopping and meeting up with friends. 

Architecture and Design

Architecture and Design

The Piazza del Duomo as it stands today was the creation of Guiseppe Megnoni who began its modern renovation in 1865. It features a completely flat surface that covers an area of 17,000 square meters. The design of the square is characterized by its geometric symmetry and its mix of architectural styles, ranging from medieval to modern. It is adorned with geometrical designs and flanked by grand buildings. 

Events at the Piazza del Duomo

Events at the Piazza del Duomo

The Piazza del Duomo is a landmark for events and fun activities throughout the year. The best time to visit the square is during Christmas when the square is lit up and a beautiful Christmas tree is set up. The square is also the starting point of the Parade of the Magi, a 14th-century tradition commemorating the three kings that visited Christ at his birth. You might also want to catch the Ambrosian carnival parades that happen in early March with cute costumes, concerts, street performances, music, and dances that take place in the square. The Milano Food week also makes a stop here if you are interested in authentic Italian cuisine. 

Around the Piazza del Duomo
Cathedral Square's History, Milan

The Cathedral Square's History In a Nutshell

The planning of Piazza del Duomo began in the 14th century. The Lord of Milan Azzone Visconti ordered the demolition of the taverns surrounding the ancient churches of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and the Basilica of Santa Tecla to create a market square called ‘Piazza dell’Arengo’, the first version of the Piazza del Duomo. The Duomo Milan was already under construction. In 1458, Pope Pius II allowed the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo to demolish the Santa Tecla Basilica to create a larger square for the cathedral. 

A major renovation to the Piazza took place in 1859 to celebrate the ascension of King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, the first king of united Italy. The renovation began in 1865 under the architect Giuseppe Mengoni. Around this time, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II was added to the square. The inauguration of the King Victor Emmanuel II statue in 1896 marked the completion of the work that started in 1865.

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Visitor's Tips for the Milan Cathedral Square

  • The square is located near the Milan Cathedral which is a religious site, so dress appropriately, covering your shoulders and knees especially if you want to visit the church later on.
  • Watch out for pickpockets, who operate in crowded areas. Keep your belongings safe and secure.
  • The Piazza is a popular tourist destination, so plan your visit accordingly to avoid large crowds.
  • Remember to be respectful of the religious and cultural significance of the Piazza and the Milan Cathedral, avoiding loud noise, littering, or disrespectful behavior.

All Your Questions About Milan Cathedral Square Answered

What is the Milan Cathedral Square?

Piazza del Duomo is a bustling square in Milan, home to the iconic Milan Cathedral.

Where is the Milan Cathedral Square?

The Piazza del Duomo is located in the center of Milan, Italy. It is near the Duomo Milan Cathedral and the Palazzo Reale of Milan.

What are the timings of the Milan Cathedral Square?

The Square is open 24/7, but the cathedral and nearby shops have specific operating hours.

When was the Milan Cathedral Square built?

Construction of the Piazza del Duomo began as early as the 14th century. However, its modern renovation took place only in 1865.

Do I have to follow a dress code at the Milan Cathedral Square?

There is no strict dress code here, however, you are advised to dress modestly due to the square's proximity to the Duomo Milan cathedral.

How can I get to the Milan Cathedral Square?

The Piazza del Duomo is easily accessible by public transportation, including metro, bus, and tram.

What can I see in the Milan Cathedral Square?

Visitors can see the Duomo Milan cathedral, historic buildings, trendy cafes, high-end shops, and enjoy a lively atmosphere.

Can I shop at the Milan Cathedral Square?

Yes, the Piazza del Duomo of Milan is a every shopper's paradise. Be sure to check out the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a shopping complex with the best brands and restaurants.

Who built the Milan Square Cathedral?

The Milan Square Cathedral has undergone several reiterations and renovations the centuries. However its modern design is attributed to the architect Giuseppe Mengoni.

What is special about the Milan Square Cathedral?

The Milan Square Cathedral is one of Milan's most popular public squares which tourists and locals alike frequent. It's a common meeting point for people with several interesting attractions and buildings nearby. You can shop, eat, and explore at this piazza.

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