You are able to go up to the roof of Milan's massive Duomo during the day. If I remember correctly it was 3 euros to go walk up and 5 or 6 euros to take the elevator. I needed the exercise and didn't mind the stairs so I walked up. The views and architecture were beautiful and seeing everything up high is totally different from peering up from the main square.
|Roof and buttresses of the Duomo|
|Detail of the buttresses|
You are also able to go inside the Duomo during the day. Since it was Sunday there were services going on, but only a small portion of the Duomo was filled for mass. I wish I was able to go to such a beautiful church every week! I don't recall seeing any no picture signs around so I snapped a few photos. The detail of some of the stone work was amazing! The columns that reach to the ceiling are so massive as well. The entire structure is very impressive. One thing that surprised me was how dark it was inside. Even with the artificial lighting the entire place was very dark.
|Looking towards the front of the Duomo|
|Amazingly detailed stone work|
|More awesome stone work|
|Huge stained glass windows|
|Each pane is a different person (saints I think). There are so many!|
|Castello Sforzesco from a side street|
The museum also had a special Michelangelo sculpture on display called Rondanini Pietà. The piece was Michelangelo's last work and depicts Mary mourning over Jesus' death. He was working on it until the day he died. It was very interesting to see a piece from a master artist in an unfinished form. If you are able to zoom in, you can see how Michelangelo decided to change where arms and legs were throughout the sculpting process. I guess he did a couple of "rough drafts" in the block of marble before deciding on the final shape and position of the subjects.
Behind the Castello Sforzesco is a large park where many people were playing games and hanging out. Towards the other end is a large gate called the Arco della Pace (arch of peace). It is modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and construction was started in the Napoleonic era. The road that the gate sits on connects Milan to Paris through the Alps and is still in use today.
|Arco della Pace|
|Castello Sforzesco from the Arco della Pace|
|Detail on the Arco della Pace|