Milan’s main squareis surrounded by some of the most significant buildings in the city, including oneof the world’s oldest shopping malls and the largest church in Italy.
Milan’s spacious city square, the Piazza del Duomo, is namedfor the huge church that overlooks it. Today, the piazza is a central meetingplace, home to many of the city’s significant buildings. As the most popularattraction in the city, the Piazza del Duomo is a great place to visit at thebeginning of your trip to Milan. Soak up the atmosphere at a café on the square,take in the architecture or do some shopping in the four-story arcade thatoverlooks the piazza.
The Duomo, or Cathedral of Milan, had been underconstruction for almost 500 years when the piazza was created in its currentdesign. Visit the piazza on a sunny morning to see the locals starting theirday. Cafés, restaurants and bars linethe square; most offer outdoor dining. Grab a table and a traditional Italiancoffee and do some people-watching. Other local delicacies on the squareinclude pizza and panettone, a rich cake particularly popular at Christmas. Getone of the best views of the square from the restaurants at the top of theadjacent department store.
As you look over the square you’ll notice the wide range ofarchitecture. While the Duomo is the star attraction, buildings like thePalazzo dei Portici Settentrionale and the Royal Palace of Milan arefascinating historical sites. In the center of the square a statue of Italy’sfirst king sits on a large platform. King Vittorio Emanuele II also has a glassarcade built in his honor and bearing his name. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele IIfeatures four stories of indoor shopping and is considered to be one of the oldest malls inthe world. This is a great place to find souvenirs or luxury items from thebiggest names in fashion.
The Piazza del Duomo is in the heart of downtown Milan. Thebest way to reach the piazza is by metro or on foot, but some street parkingcan be found in the area.