Duomo stained glass windows

On the way to downtown when I get out of the subway I am always thrilled by the sight of our majestic cathedral, the Duomo.  The facade is superb with huge entrance doors richly decorated and carved . Our  cathedral Mariae Nascenti was built in 1386 on the initiative of the Duke of Milan Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who even bought the marble quarries of Candoglia close to Lake Maggiore. The marble was trasported along the Navigli canals.

vetrata sinistra abside

Several artists worked for Duomo, not only from the north of Italy  but also from all parts of Europe. For this reason art historians use the term the  international Gothic.
While I ‘am passing near the pillars, it seems to me to walk in a forest. The pillars they are like old high trees, majestic, impressive, really high.
On each side of the aisle, stand rich stained glass windows, some are original, but most has been replaced with a copy of the original. Each stained glass window has a particular history linked to the historical moment and to the artist who created it. The windows were made by germans, french and italian artists ; few names: Stephen Pandino,  Nicolo Varallo, Nicholas de bonaventuris, Biagio Arcimboldi.
The larger windows are located in the oldest part of the cathedral, the baptistery. Nicholas de bonaventuris helped to realize the design of them .
The central window depicts the scenes of the Apocalypse,while the side windows the Stories of the Old and New Testament. After having admired behind the choir banister, when you come back in the middle aisle turn around and marvel at the central window in all its glory with a sparkling sun that seems to illuminate the nave.

abside vetrate 2
Now I propose a personal selection of stained glass windows, it’s not a detailed guide to all the Duomo windows but please consider  it as my personal selection.
1) the windows on the story of Catherine of Alexandria made by Arcimboldo family (the windows are placed at the bottom).

vetrate s.caterina arcimboldo
2) the windows of the two bishops of recent construction (the windows are positioned in the middle of the aisle). Very modern with vibrant colors.

vetrata cardinali schuster e ferrari
3) Sixteenth century stained glass (close to mausoleo Visconti at the bottom).

-the first on the left depicts the Stories of King David made by the artist Aldo Carpi in 1934.

navata sinistra vetrata storie del re david

-Stained glass windows of the Four-crowned saints, note architectural structures typical of the Renaissance, very well-defined stand on the bottom of the blue sky.


-Stained glass windows of the Archangel Michael: they represent the eternal struggle between good and evil, a tangle of angels and devils pitchforks between quivering wings, heads, jerky movements, bold strokes, punches, strong colors . It’s one of my favourite !

s.michele arcangelo 2                       s.michele arcangelo


The Duomo has a rich and complex history, its buiding was begun in 1386 and finished in ‘800 but still it is never finished. Today there is always some scaffolding for renovation and landscaping jobs. For an good to visit you might schedule 3 -4 hours. In the aisles there are marble altars, richs tombs of archbishops and princes ..most are men of power and richness, both religious and political power. All mens.The Cathedral is a masculine noun .. but indicates the cathedral and the essence of the cathedral is female, the cathedral in fact is dedicated to the Mother of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, in particular, to the nascent Marie, whose feast is the nativity of Mary on the 8th of September.

There are many details that make this cathedral dedicated to the worship of Mary. Inside the central door a beautiful stained glass window depicting the Virgin Mary, on the right aisle at the bottom of the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple by sculptor Bambaia, almost looks like a painting, the virgin is represented as a small girl in the act of climbing the grand staircase, a delicate image with high visual impact.

I end my visit and go outdoors and this time and right on the highest spire admire the Madonnina with its 4, 16 meters of golden glow observed the frenetic movement of passers-by every day for work, leisure and study through the square .

Here some informations to visit the cathedral.

TIME :  everyday  7.00  A.M – 6.30 P.M

Admission fee  applies for Duomo terraces, the baptisteries Battistero S.Giovanni , Battistero S.Stefano and the Tesoro del Duomo.



5 things i like in Milan

A  friend asked me to point out five things that I like in Milan. Is not a easy  choice you know ? it’s not easy because I like so many things in my city ..

I admit , I am a true lover of Milan since long time ago  even when many people didn’t understand it’s real soul, now  behaviors are  changing and the  attitude  towards Milan city is  different , we can risk and declare that people start loving Milan.

But let’s start to give a look at my list :

1 ) I LIKE MILAN for the risotto alla milanese or yellow rice but also the kebab and  Luini ‘s panzerotti


If I have to choose , i will not choose the usual aperitivo but   I elect my favorite foods : the legendary kebab, the risotto and panzerotto. Kebab in Milan are really good  , my favorites kebab points are in Baggio and in circonvallazione esterna near  Piazza Napoli but in the city if they are so many. Surely ff you’re downtown  at lunch time you must try the delicious Luini panzerotto, a shorts fried stuffed with melted mozzarella and tomato.Unfortunately there is always a lot of line but worth it !!! After a a busy work week here is a dish that needs time to be cooked but also of calm to be tasted , the traditional risotto alla milanese or yellow rice. Really I find it delicious, if you cook well of course! The texture is somewhat creamy because of the starch in the grain of rice but will have to remain a bit  crunchy … Then I will write my personal recipe , I promise.
2 ) I LIKE MILAN for the Navigli : By day, by night the Navigli are always beautiful ! If you are looking for  a bit of nightlife  in the evening , Navigli are the right place . Instead if you want to enjoy them with peace of mind it is better to go there on a sunday morning or afternoon a week.

Navigli by Virginia Fiume

Navigli by Virginia Fiume

There are magnificent views and if you happen during spring time or summer  you can go also for a a boat trip on the water.. you will come back at a time when the city was all navigable . The tour starts from the shortest Naviglio Grande , and particularly in Alzaia  Naviglio Grande 4 . There are  different water routes . If you prefer you can also ride the bike and take the road that starts from the magnificent Church of St. Christopher on the Naviglio if you are fit and able to get  Corsico and Trezzano .
Do not miss always on the Navigli , the last Sunday of the month, the antiques market .


3 ) I LIKE MILAN because there is always something to do .

Since my life has changed because I got a baby  we stay very often at Milan on the weekend and there is always something to do .. The Triennale is my favorite museum , and I recently rediscovered the civic collections of Castello Sforzesco . I would like one time to go back on the terraces of the Duomo , our beautiful cathedral that when you exit the subway gets into your heart .

If it rains it’s the moment to discover our museums , usually i go to the exhibitions of the Palazzo Reale .

Sometimes i go for a simple ride to Feltrinelli bookshop where there is nice babycorner with cutes games and smalls books or also  another idea is visit MUBA Children’s Museum recently opened at the Rotonda della Besana ( attention only for children from 2 years to 11 years). It’s not a normal museum but is’ a children museum and there are various workshop on different themes, the current workshop is on boxes every type of box..

Duomo by alice

Duomo by alice

4) I LIKE MILAN for its universities , beautiful not only to study but also to walk in the magnificent cloisters of the Catholic University and of the State University . But did you know that the buildings of the State University in via festa del perdono have been built , in 1456 at the behest of Francesco Sforza, the first public hospital called Cà Granda ? I have recently discovered . A walk is a must, be careful because not cloisters are not open every Saturday morning .

Cà granda by alice a.

Cà granda by alice a.

5 ) I LIKE MILAN because there  are beautiful shops , I like the neighborhood stores and when I can I walk around looking in the windows shops .. In particular I love the windows of shoes, clothes as well as books ! I ‘am not necessarily interested in buying it just to look around .. My favorite neighborhood is Corso VercelliVia Marghera ( Buonarotti Metro ) and then Piazza Piemonte with the Feltrinelli bookshop where they organize debates and meetings on music and more. If you are in the down town there are also very interesting shops in  Corso Buenos Aires and Via Torino.

Here I do not know if I was able to identify the five things that I like most  in Milan. Please forgive me if I missed something .. of course I cheated by including in more things !  because  I LOVE MILAN 🙂

and you what you like about Milan? let me know your definitely five  things list …:)