The Piazza del Duomo (“Cathedral Square”) has served as Milan‘s central square for more than seven centuries. It is the place where the most important events take place and it is where the Milanese meet. The main building in the square is the cathedral, while the equestrian statue of Vittorio Emanuele occupies the center.
Piazza del Duomo Milan
History and description
The inauguration of the current square, constructed to a design by Giuseppe Mengoni, took place in 1865. However, even in 600 BC, when the Celts invaded Milan and the square did not even exist yet, the spot was already the religious and civil center of the city. There also used to be a temple dedicated to Minerva in Roman times.
Once the Christians gained the upper hand, the Santa Tecla Church and the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica were built here. These two churches were later razed to the ground to create space for the Duomo.
Apart from the cathedral, Piazza del Duomo is characterized by the porticos that occupy the north and south sides of the square. It is rectangular in shape and is one of the largest squares in the country.
Other attractions in the square include the Palazzo Reale (“Royal Palace”), Palazzo Vescovile (“Episcopal Palace”) and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The latter is Italy’s most famous shopping center.