The Milan Cathedral, or Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica of St Mary of the Nativity, is impressive. Even though I’ve seen hundreds of cathedrals all around the world, some of them grander and older than the Milan Cathedral, and you could say I’ve become so bored with them to a point of not caring, this cathedral still took me by surprise. I can’t even put my finger exactly what about this cathedral is so special, just as it’s difficult for me to articulate well why Milan had such an appeal for me, but just looking at it I could see that it’s different.
To begin with, the area surrounding the cathedral is very well done, and the night I first arrived at that area it was bustling with young people probably the most fashionably dressed I’ve ever seen. In the streets were art performances, classical music, people were holding wine glasses and generally talking very loudly to each other the charming Italian way looking happy. At night, the shopping areas surrounding the cathedral look absolutely stunning. I was cursing the Italians for making me purchase a 2 euro ticket to simply go inside a cathedral, but as I stepped in I was mesmerized. This cathedral had a sense of aesthetics I’ve never quite seen before, and the various art displays together with the vast tall halls made a lasting impression.
Have you seen decorations like these before? and art hanging in such a way? Jesus would be proud.
Coming out of the cathedral you’ll see …
You can not visit Milan and not go see the cathedral. I would suggest you visit the area the first time at night. Aside from an atrocious huge commercial LCD screen they allowed on the north side, the night lights in that area are marvelous. If like me you’re thinking you’ve seen cathedrals so there’s no need to spend the extra money to go in, I urge you to give this a try. You can also come in from the left side for ‘prayer’ for free but that only allows access to a very limited area. During the day you can also purchase a ticket to go up on the cathedral and get some views of Milan.