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Piazza del Duomo
Piazza del Duomo
#The Main Square of Milan

Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo) is the main and most famous square of Milan. At the heart of the square sits the undisputed queen of the city, the Duomo. This is the central and breath-taking cathedral of Milan.

But apart from the impressive cathedral, this main square shows other treasures. In the center of the square you can see the statue of the King of Italy, riding on his horse. The statue of the rider is Vittorio Emanuele II, who was the first king of the United Kingdom of Italy in the 19th century. This king, Vittorio Emanuele II, fought to unite Italy and in 1861 was proclaimed King of united Italy.

Not far from the king's monument, is the first mall in the world, also named after the king, "Gallery Vittorio Emanuele II." It is a luxurious shopping center from the 19th century. Shopping here is not a necessity, but the beauty and glory of the place are an experience worth visiting, whether you intend to buy things or not.

A Closer Look:

Vittorio Emanuele II Monument
Vittorio Emanuele II Monument
#The Statue of the King Riding, Facing the Duomo

The statue of the rider standing in the Piazza del Duomo is of the king of the united kingdom of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II.

In the statue, the King is seen leading his troops in battle, while restraining the enthusiasm of his faithful horse.

The statue was commissioned in 1878 by the Italian artist Ercole Rosa, by the successor of Vittorio Emanuele II, King Umberto I.

But also the artist, Rosa, passed away before the statue was completed. So, the two Borghese brothers completed the work. They did so under the supervision of another artist, the sculptor Ettore Ferrari. Thus, it took 18 years to place it in the square, and in 1896 it was inaugurated in the central piazza of Milan.

The decision of where to locate the statue was not simple either, and for three years the king debated between the Royal Palace and the Piazza del Duomo. The decision was finally made, and the statue was placed in a central location in Milan.

#The Horse's Legs and the Fate of the Rider – a Detective Mission

In a common cliché, or so-called "folklore of tour guides", it is often said to travelers that in the statue of a horse and its rider, the position of the horse's legs, reflects the fate of the sculpted rider. According to this theory, when one of the horse's legs is in the air, the rider is injured in battle. With two legs in the air, the rider dies in battle. Only if all four feet of the horse are on the ground, the rider in not injured and dies at a ripe old age.

Debates whether this is true or not continue. There are many examples of sculptures that indeed confirm the idea and there are many examples of sculptures that do not "align" with this line. But here's a detective job, for the hard-working young people – based on the position of the horse before you, what was the fate of Vittorio Emanuele II? – Was he wounded or died in battle, or was he not injured at all?

And now search the Internet and try to determine whether the folklore of the guides is approved here or not ...

#What Do You See in the Statue?

Take note of the steady and impressive rider before you. The four legs of the horse stand on a base of red granite stone and give the creation a powerful stability. All around you notice the white marble steps, topped by an extra base made of Carrera marble.

The bronze relief on this base shows the entrance of the Piedmont soldiers to the city of Milan. It was after the city was liberated in the battle of Magenta. The battle, commanded by the king of Piedmont, Vittorio Emanuele II, is one of the most significant victories in the Second War of Independence, on the way to the unification of Italy.

In the battle of June 4, 1859, French and Sardinian forces, led by the French king Napoleon III, fought in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which ruled northern Italy at the time. The defeat of the Austrians at the time was asignificant step towards the liberation of northern Italy from the rule of this empire and to the independence and unification of all of Italy.

At the base of the statue, there are two lions and next to them, the plaques inscribed with the names of Rome and Milan. These are the achievements of the great victories during the Risorgimento, the name of the struggle waged by King Vittorio Emanuele II and the political genius next to him, Cavour, in the unification of Italy.

Notice the branches of the palm tree with the date, in June 1859. This is when the King entered Milan. On the other side of the statue, you will see another date, June 14, 1896. This is the date on which the statue was inaugurated.

A Closer Look:

Palazzo Reale
Royal Palace of Milan
#The Royal Palace of Milan

On the left side of the Duomo, the cathedral of Milan, is the Royal Palace of Milan (Palazzo Reale). This is a magnificent palace where you can see many impressive pieces of art. If in the past the sons of nobles and kings sat here, today the Royal Palace is mainly a museum and a temple for modern art.

The Royal Palace has an area for some of the most important art exhibits and luxurious events in the city. The most impressive part of the palace is on the second floor. On this floor of the palace is the Civic Museum of Contemporary Art (Civico Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, CIMAC). It features 20th-century artworks. Among them, one can find paintings and sculptures made by famous artists such as Picasso and the Swiss painter Paul Klee. The exhibit also includes fascinating collections of art from artistic trends such as Surrealism and Futurism.

The palace is surrounded by spacious and well-tended gardens, where it is fun to spend a little while in peace.


From the courtyard of the Royal Palace one can view a beautiful and unfamiliar angle of Milan. Here visitors can see the profile of the Duomo, the city's Central Cathedral and the most central location of the city.

A Closer Look:

La Rinascente
La Rinascente
#The Best Shopping Area in Milan

The La Rinascente department store is a huge store that spreads over 8 floors. It is located in Piazza Duomo, north of the city's famous city cathedral and close to the Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery.

Rinascente is a prestigious department store chain in Europe and its Milan department store is considered one of the largest department stores in the world. Here you can buy everything. There are clothes, underwear, children's clothing, toys, designer furniture and high-quality electronics, footwear, cosmetics, perfumes, wine stores, coffee and luxury kitchenware. By the way, world-class brands, such as Chanel and Marc Jacobs, sell here in small spaces, designed as small luxury shops, which simulate independent boutiques within the large department store.

One of the interesting floors in the store is the basement. Here, you will find a real supermarket, but for design. This is a place that gives you an experience of wandering the supermarket, but you can buy a huge variety of design items of all sizes and designers and leading design companies in the world.


Go up to the mall's roof floor and sit in one of the three restaurants in it. When you sit there, you will see right next to you, the upper part of the Duomo and its wonderful statues close up. It is a delightful experience to see this architectural marvel at the cost of a meal or cup of coffee and right next to you.
Apart from the restaurants and the coffee shop on the roof floor, there is also a huge deli, barbershop and health bar on the seventh floor.

Do not forget to request VAT refund forms.

From the basement level there is direct access to the subway station.

A Closer Look:


Piazza del Duomo

Cioccolati Italiani
Cioccolati Italiani
#The Ice Cream Parlor that You Want to go to in Milan

Cioccolati Italiani is an excellent café, chocolate and ice cream parlor in Milan, with high-quality ice cream, served in an appetizing and tasty style.

The long line in the place should not be surprising. With fresh Italian ice cream, a variety of flavors and special dishes, with courteous service, fine ingredients and an excellent name, no wonder the place is hot, despite the cold ice cream…

Cioccolati Italiani is located on San Rafael Street, near the Duomo Square and has other branches along the city. Along with the excellent ice creams, the chocolate bars with the extras, and the excellent cakes, you are welcome to try the warm and thick hot chocolate that an alcoholic beverage is added to here. The most popular drinks here are hot chocolate with rum or brandy.

A Closer Look:

Duomo Milan
Duomo Milan
#The Largest Gothic Cathedral in the World

The Cathedral of Milan, or the Duomo Milan in the center of city, is where the Archbishop of Milan sits and it's the central cathedral, the city's unrivaled pearl. This is the largest and most impressive Gothic cathedral in the world, a truly breathtaking church.

It took almost 600 years to build the Duomo, built in 1386 by Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo. It was built where the Basilica of San Giovanni El Ponte, built in the late 4th century was destroyed by a fire, that stood before.

The dimensions of the Duomo are unbelievable. The area is 148 by 157 meters, with a height of 108.5 meters at the peak, in the Madonna statue area. It can accommodate no less than 40,000 worshipers. It is not only the world's largest Gothic cathedral and the second largest Catholic cathedral in the world, many see the Duomo as the most magnificent of the Gothic churches in Italy.

The cathedral, located in the Duomo Square, has a dazzling artistic design, both from the outside and from the inside. The large stained-glass windows of the choir here are considered the largest in the world. The marble floor that was laid here more than 600 years ago is glamorous and prestigious to this day. The whole cathedral is covered with white marble on the outside, and it holds over 3,500 sculptures!

But the statues, the frescoes and the mosaics, the luxurious marble floor, the coffins of the archbishops and the impressive stained-glass windows here are nothing compared to the grandeur of the gigantic, breathtaking Gothic structure that stands in the heart of Milan, a sparkling jewel decorated with 135 turrets.

Like cathedrals in many European cities, Milan’s Cathedral is the city center. It is hard to miss the beauty and splendor it radiates and the huge number of tourists who sit at its feet every hour of the day. Also throughout the year, it is the most central place in the city. Here, Christmas is celebrated in the winter, and most of the tourists' tours take place here in the summer.

#The Duomo Architecture

Construction of the Duomo began in 1386 and lasted 600 years. The influence of the French Gothic style on the architecture is evident. Although completed only in 1958, its style remained Gothic. In the past, there were still neo-classical influences, but at the beginning of the 20th century, they were removed to keep it pure Gothic style.

The cathedral is covered with white marble, its length is 157 meters, its height in the Madonna statue area is 108.5 meters. 40,000 worshipers can stand in it. Inside the church has 135 turrets and close to 3,500 sculptures.

The Duomo stands in the center of the vast square designed by the architect Giuseppe Mengoni in 1895.

#What is Here?

The Duomo is a beautiful Gothic-Italian cathedral. It contains sarcophagi of archbishops, magnificent paintings, sculptures, stained glass windows and windows with Christian stories. It is a carefully designed church filled with interesting details. Here are some of the things that are worth paying attention to.

Notice the stained-glass windows from the 15th century onwards. A view from the interior of the church during the day will illuminate the stained-glass windows in splendid colors. Notice that they are different, each stained glass according to the period in which it was created and by the artistic nature.
In the curator's hall, you will see dozens of Christian works of art from the 4th to the 12th century.

Christian believers are particularly excited here by a small nail that stands above the altar and is presented to the public only once a year. This is a nail that they believe was part of the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
In the basement of the church, you can watch the remains of the ancient church that was here in the 4th century.

As you exit the Duomo outside, take a moment to look at the magnificent doors of the church. There are five of them here, and they are a masterpiece of meticulous etching.

Among the thousands of sculptures in the church, there is a uniform line. Most of them describe important moments and images in the history of Christianity and the city of Milan.

In the outer structure of the Duomo, look at the Gothic head sculptures, called "Gargoyles." Such statues of the head are found in many Gothic churches and are intended to frighten demons and evil spirits, so they do not enter the church.

#The Duomo Roof

One of the best things to do when visiting here is looking down from the roof of the church. Between the Gothic towers, you can look out over the entire Duomo and on a clear day on the roof of the Duomo, you can see all the way to the Alps. The views from here are breathtaking!

On the left side of the Duomo you will see stairs and an elevator. Go up to the roof of the Duomo, it’s about 150 steps, and enjoy the magnificent view from above.

In addition to the sight of the city and the landscape from it, you can also enjoy the stroll through the many towers and statues. The most significant of them is the statue of Holy Madonna, the Virgin Mary, who protects the city. This is the golden statue, 5 meters high, which marks the highest point of the Duomo. It has been admired by the city's residents for many years.

#Game for Kids

Do the children need a distraction during the visit here? - Let them compete in finding the most statues of something or someone. For example, who finds the most statues of a woman? Of Jesus? Of a demon on the wall (usually outside)? Who can count first how many sculptures there are on the roof?


Entrance is free of charge.

The best time to visit here is in the daylight, so the stained-glass windows and the windows are a great color.

Come dressed modestly.

Climb the stairs, it’s a matter of five minutes. Also, it’s a financial savings of 5 euros per person and a great way to experience one of the church's experiences.

Do not bring in many unnecessary objects, because your belongings may be checked at the entrance to the cathedral.

A Closer Look:


Another Look:

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
#The Gallery that is the Oldest Mall in the World

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, opened in 1877, and is the world's first indoor mall. The residents of Milan, love it very much and affectionately refer to it as the "Milan Lounge" or in Italian "Il Salotto di Milano".

The gallery is named after the first king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuel II. Even if you do not buy here, you should see the unique design of the ancient shopping center, located on the north side of the Duomo Square.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the most impressive sites in the city. Notice its mosaic floor that a lot was put into. Look at the impressive glass ceiling above you. Take a look at the beautiful frescoes and the shop windows of one of the oldest and central fashion centers in Italy and perhaps in Europe as a whole.

At the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II along with a collection of luxury stores, fashion designer stores and expensive jewelry stores, one can find fine gelato stores, gourmet restaurants, luxury cafes and more.

For a long time, the gallery had been the place where the locals of Milan met. Besides the locals, many tourists and shopping enthusiasts flock to the gallery every day, where the flagship stores of big designers such as Prada, which opened here in 1913 are located, or old restaurants such as the Baffy Cafe established in 1867 and the Savini restaurant, which was established in 1884.

The entrance to the beautiful indoor building from the Duomo Square is through an entrance gate designed as a spectacular triumphal gate, made of marble and granite. From there, the gallery leads up to Piazza della Scala, where the city's famous opera house, the Teatro La Scala, is located. Next to it is Milan's city hall, known as the Palazzo Marino.

#What is Here?

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a kind of metaphor for the entire city of Milan. In its neoclassical architecture it combines the old and the new and offers in one place the best of fashion, luxury and prestige.
From the world of fashion, such as Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci to expensive jewelry stores, from Swarovski stones to Bransoni's silverware, this spectacular mall features designer stores and the finest brands. Alongside them are art galleries, along with bookstores, cafes and gourmet restaurants, such as those of the famous Gucci, Zucca and Baffy cafes.

#The Sad Story of the Architect of the Gallery

One of the saddest stories in the history of architecture took place here. It is associated with the architect of the elegant and impressive shopping palace – the architect Giuseppe Mengoni. Mengoni won the design competition with his plan of a building that will link Piazza Duomo in Milan to the Piazza della Scala near Milan's Opera House.

Inspired by the historic Passages Couverts of Paris and the Burlington Arcade in London (perhaps the prototype of today's indoor shopping centers), Mengoni proposed in the competition a construction of a commercial avenue with a glass-and-steel ceiling that will connect the squares.

He proposed and won. It soon became clear that Mengoni was in love with this project. He designed it for all its details, taking great care in choosing the materials, the overall design, and the meticulous and uncompromising finishing of every detail in the magnificent building that was built in Milan.

In those days Italy was united and in the light of the turbulent time of those days, Mengoni filled the gallery with patriotic symbols that expressed the unity and the trust he had in the young state. Perhaps it was a mystical feeling that this would be his greatest architectural legacy, but Mengoni gave his life to this project. And not just metaphorically. Because just before the construction was finished, the day before the impressive gate of the magnificent building was inaugurated, something happened. While examining the last touches of the project, Mengoni fell to his death from a scaffold on which he stood, near the arch. So, the architect that was in love with the project did not get to see how his gallery became a great success and how it became, from a project designed to connect two major attractions in the city, to history itself, as the first shopping mall ever.

A Closer Look:


אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

העולם הוא צבעוני ומופלא, אאוריקה כאן בשביל שתגלו אותו...

אלפי נושאים, תמונות וסרטונים, מפתיעים, מסקרנים וממוקדים.

ניתן לנווט בין הפריטים במגע, בעכבר, בגלגלת, או במקשי המקלדת

בואו לגלות, לחקור, ולקבל השראה!

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

נראה שכבר הכרתם את אאוריקה. בטח כבר גיליתם כאן דברים מדהימים, אולי כבר שאלתם שאלות וקיבלתם תשובות טובות.
נשמח לראות משהו מכם בספר האורחים שלנו: איזו מילה טובה, חוות דעת, עצה חכמה לשיפור או כל מה שיש לכם לספר לנו על אאוריקה, כפי שאתם חווים אותה.