Take the trip up to the Duomo roof for spine-tingling views across the rooftops of Milan and, on a clear day, to the Alps beyond. The elevators (10€) are found on the church’s northeast corner and stairs (6€) on the north flank. As well as the panorama, you can get up close with the Gothic pinnacles, saintly statues, and flying buttresses as well as the spire-top gold statue of “La Madonnina” (the little Madonna), the city’s beloved good-luck charm. The elevator is open daily (summer 9am–5:45pm; winter until 4:45pm).
Other sneaky viewpoints over the Duomo include the food market on the top floor of classy department store La Rinascente and the posh Restaurant Giacomo Arengario at the Museo del Novecento. To look down on Parco Sempione and the crowds in the Triennale Design Museum, take the elevator up Torre Branca near the north end of the park (Viale Alemagna, open mid-May–mid Sept, hours vary).
Milan’s Shut-Down Mondays
Don’t get caught out when planning your trip to Milan; bear in mind that almost the whole city closes down on Monday. Most popular attractions, churches, and state-owned museums, with the exception of the Duomo and the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, which has Tuesday off instead, are closed all day. Around half the stores shut in the morning too, with most reopening around 3:30 to 7:30pm.Remember to dress modestly when visiting Milan’s churches; no short shorts for either sex, women must have their shoulders covered, and skirts must be below the knee. The dress code at the Duomo is particularly strict.
Festivals & Markets
Though it's overshadowed by the goings-on in Venice, Milan's pre-Lenten Carnevale is becoming increasingly popular, with costumed parades and an easygoing good time, much of it focusing around Piazza del Duomo beginning a week or so before Ash Wednesday. Milan's biggest holiday, however, is December 7, the feast of its patron saint, Sant'Ambrogio (St. Ambrose). Those who don't leave the city for their sacrosanct day off generally spend the afternoon wrapping their mittens around a hot vin brule at an outdoor fair in, you guessed it, Piazza Sant'Ambrogio. Just before the city shuts down in August, the city council stages a series of June and July dance, theater, and music events in theaters and open-air venues around the city; call tel. 02-7740-4343 for more information. In a city as well dressed as Milan, it only stands to reason that some great-looking cast-offs are bound to turn up at street markets. Milan's largest street market is the one held on Via Papiniano in the Ticinese/Navigli district (Metro: Sant'Agostino) on Tuesday mornings from 8am to 1pm and on Saturday from 9am to 7:30pm; some stalls sell designer seconds as well as barely used high-fashion ware, though most offer basic staples like underwear and belts, usually cheaper than in department stores. There's an antiques market on Via Fiori Chiari in the Brera district (Metro: Moscova) the third Saturday of each month, from 9am to about 7:30pm, but not in August, and another the last Sunday of each month on the quays along the Canale Grande in the Navigli district, from 9am to about 7:30pm (tel. 02-8940-9971; Metro: Porta Genova). Each Sunday morning, there's a large flea market, with everything from books to clothing to appliances, at the San Donato Metro stop. The city's largest food market is at Piazza Wagner, just outside the city center due west of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (follow Corso Magenta and its extension, Corso Vercelli, to Piazza Piemonte; the market is 1 block north; Metro: Piazza Wagner). It's held Monday through Saturday from 8am to 1pm and Tuesday through Saturday from 4 to 7:30pm; the displays of mouthwatering foodstuffs fill an indoor market space and stalls that surround it.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.