Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano in Italian) is the landmark for which the city of Milan, Italy is best known. The enormous Gothic cathedral was built of brick and faced with marble from the Candoglia quarry. Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo ordered construction to begin in 1386, but before long work stalled due to lack of funds. In 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte arranged for the facade to be finished so that he could be crowned King of Italy in the Duomo. Today Milan Cathedral is the largest church in Italy and the fifth largest in the world. It is also the number one sight for tourists in Milan.
Milan, often described as the most European of all Italian cities, is one of my favorite destinations in Italy. It is simultaneously cosmopolitan and full of history. Shopping malls offer a wide variety of luxury and designer goods. Huge parks offer opportunities for relaxation as well as exercise. The food scene is also spectacular. Not only is it well-known for fabulous traditional Italian cuisine, Milan is a rising star of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Perhaps most important, the city’s central location makes it the perfect base for anyone contemplating a road trip around northern Italy.