With my upcoming trip to Italy in mind, I’ve decided to dedicate the month of September (and possibly October as well) to posting photos from my first time in Italy on both my Instagram profile and on this website in the Wayback Wednesday series. While on Instagram people will just get a one-sentence blurb for each photo, here you’ll get a more detailed description of what is being shown in the photos and what I was up to when I took them. With that all said, let’s get to today’s photo, which comes from Milan, the first city in Italy that I stayed in.


Near the center of Milan is the city’s cathedral, or “duomo” in Italian. The Milan duomo took almost 600 years to build due to the tumultuous politics of Europe and to this day remains one of the largest churches in the world. Today’s photo comes from the building’s exterior (check my Instagram profile later this week to see photos of the interior and the roof) which is among the most decorated of any church you’ll ever see. There are over 3,000 statues on the church’s facade and although I’m sure that some of the statues look similar to each other, when I looked around the facade I couldn’t find any duplicates. Another unique thing I remember about the Milan duomo is that it was one of the very few old churches in Europe that allowed visitors to walk around on the church’s roof. The view from up there is decent, but may be limited by the weather.

Speaking of which, it was a cold, wet day in Milan when I was there, as you can tell by all the umbrellas in the photo. I remember Milan was the one city on the 2012 trip where I got sick—I’m not sure exactly what the illness was—but as long as I was still capable of walking I wasn’t going to stop sightseeing and I lugged my ailing body through the rain to the duomo area. The rain was starting to die down when I got there and I captured today’s photo before making my way inside the duomo. I dried off as much as I could while looking around the duomo’s interior and then hiked up the stairs to the roof. If you have the time it’s definitely worth the admission fee to go up there and get up close and personal with the architecture. Just be careful if it’s a rainy day since some of the stone that you’ll be walking on can get a little slippery.

As a finally note, you can also tell that this photo is from the year 2012 by the large banner of former Pope Benedict hanging over the duomo’s main entrance. The pope would be showing up in Milan on a later date so I wasn’t around when he paid the city a visit. This was unfortunate since I came to Italy (jokingly) ready to channel my inner Martin Luther.

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