See how happy she is, wearing her new dress?
We’ve all been told you have to dress appropriately if you want to tour the Duomo. That isn’t entirely true. If you happen to be wearing something a bit too revealing, no worries. The Duomo staff will give you a lovely, suitable outfit to wear. Best of all, you get to keep it when you leave. Take a look.
If you have been following this blog, you’ll recall that I toured the Duomo a few days ago, while in Milan on my own. I am now on the OAT trip, which started with a walking tour of Milan, including a guided tour of the Duomo. I’m glad I did both, because different tour guides emphasize different things, so YOU, dear reader, get the benefit of both, without having to endure an overnight flight.
Both guides cited identical facts and figures: when construction started (1386), how long it was under construction (centuries), and on and on. The main fact I retained was the Duomo has 52 columns. Bet you can figure out why.
As you can see, each column is topped with statues of saints, but I have no idea who is who, and neither guide (quite wisely) bothered to tell us.
Only one called our attention to the beautiful marble floor’s embedded sun dial, with figures of the zodiac appropriately placed. Check out Aries the Ram.
As usual, the Duomo showcases art representing saints that died horrific deaths. Catholics seem to have a deep appreciation for pain and suffering.
I missed the portrait of St Agatha on the first tour. We had seen many portraits of her in Sicily, in the process of having her breasts chopped off. In Milan, the painting isn’t quite so graphic. St Agatha is shown being healed by St. Peter, who visited her in prison. As you can see from her bloody garment, he is just starting to work his miracle.
BOTH guides made sure we saw the statue of St. Bartholomew. HE was skinned alive and HIS statue leaves little to the imagination.
In case you’re wondering, that’s his skin draped over his shoulder. Look to the right of his elbow. His face managed to stay intact, and every hair on his head and beard is still in place. Pretty terrifying for young Catholic children, wouldn’t you say. No wonder we grew up so twisted.
Those Romans certainly dreamed up creative ways to launch Christians into the afterlife!
While touring the Duomo terraces a few days ago, I noticed what looked like a rooftop restaurant. I figured it was probably super expensive and rather exclusive.
What a nice surprise when our OAT guide brought us over there for a drink and cookies. We enjoyed yet another view of the Duomo, while sipping our cappuccinos. Here’s Elisa, our guide, explaining where we are going next. Check out the chocolate shoes for sale at gourmet chocolate shop inside.
Time to stop blogging and start experiencing…so I leave you with some Milan highlights.