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Rooftop terrace of Milan Cathedral – tickets, prices, what to expect


Milan Cathedral, locally known as Duomo Di Milano, is one of the largest churches in Italy. 

Located in the heart of Milan, the cathedral features over 3,400 statues, 135 gargoyles, and 700 figures decorating its facade, making it one of the most elaborate Gothic structures in the world.

After seeing what’s on display inside and enjoying its intricate stained glass windows, visitors can also explore the rooftop terrace of the cathedral.

This article shares everything you must know before buying your Milan Cathedral rooftop tickets.

What to expect on Milan Cathedral’s rooftop

Experiencing Milan Cathedral's Roof
Image: Duomomilano.it

The Milan Duomo rooftop is a unique experience; at every turn, sculptures, openings, and corridors await the tourists.

Duomo is the only Gothic church with terraces, so it is a unique experience.

The terraces are reachable on foot by ascending roughly 256 stairs or using two elevators, quickly transporting guests to the first-level walkways.

Two mirrored walkways run along the northern and southern flanks of the first level of the Terraces at a height of around 45 meters (roughly 147 feet).

Both paths converge at the counter-facade staircase close to the facade, from which steep stairs lead to the magnificent central Terrace. 

The center Rooftop, a stunning location, offers the ideal vantage point for seeing the Madonnina monument, which stands atop the Main Spire.

Recommended Reading: What’s inside Duomo Di Milano

Milan Cathedral’s rooftop tickets

Remember, not all tickets to the Duomo di Milano include access to the rooftop. So, make sure to pick your tickets carefully.

All tickets get you access to the Duomo Museum. Still, to access the Milan Cathedral’s terrace or the archeological area below the building, you need to buy specific tickets.

While exploring the Duomo, you can explore the rooftop by yourself, with a guide on a group tour, or opt for a private tour.

Best Rooftop tickets Cost
Last minute rooftop tickets €17
Duomo di Milano, Rooftops & Museum €20
Fast Track: Duomo di Milano, Rooftops & Museum €35
Guided tour: Duomo, Rooftops & Archaeological Area €35
Private Tour: Duomo, Rooftops & Archaeological Area €110

Milan Cathedral has so much history and intricate details that it is better to have a local expert guide you during your visit. Find out everything about guided tour of Milan Cathedral.

Views from Milan Cathedral’s roof

View from Milan Cathedral Rooftop

Duomo’s rooftop offers an amazing view of the lively city of Milan.

You can see for miles across the city’s skyline. It’s a 360-degree view, meaning you can see the whole city anywhere.

As you wander around the wide rooftop, each new view seems even better than the last one.

With so many different points, you’ll see all sorts of sights that make up the city’s history.

The rooftop is decorated with intricate designs and impressive statues, perfect for those who love to take photos.

These statues show Milan’s art history and are great for your travel photo collection.

After you’ve enjoyed looking around, find a quiet spot with a good view.

Take some time to sit, relax, and enjoy all the beauty around you. These peaceful moments let you feel the heart of Milan.

History of Milan Cathedral’s Roof

History of Milan Cathedral
Image: Duomomilano.it

The roof of Milan Cathedral is a prominent feature of the cathedral and has an interesting history.

The roof comprises 135 spires and numerous flying buttresses, giving the cathedral its distinct silhouette.

The original wooden roof of the cathedral was destroyed by a fire in 1386, shortly after the construction had begun. 

It was rebuilt in wood but later replaced with a stone roof in the late 16th century as part of the cathedral’s renovation and expansion project.

In the 19th century, architect Giuseppe Mengoni was commissioned to design a new roof for the cathedral, as the existing stone roof was found to be too heavy and was causing structural problems for the building. 

Mengoni designed a new iron and glass roof, which was completed in 1887 and is still in place today.

The iron and glass roof comprises over 200,000 pieces of glass and is supported by a network of iron arches and trusses. 

The roof has a distinctive, peaked shape, with numerous spires and pinnacles, which give the cathedral its iconic silhouette. 

The roof also features a walkway for visitors, which allows them to explore the intricate details of the spires and flying buttresses up close.

In recent years, the roof of Milan Cathedral has undergone several restoration projects, including replacing the damaged glass and reinforcing the iron supports. 

Despite its many changes over the centuries, the roof remains a testament to the skill and ingenuity of the architects and builders who have contributed to the construction and preservation of this magnificent cathedral.

Recommended Reading: Stained Glass windows of Milan Cathedral

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Significance of Duomo di Milano’s terrace

Significance of the Roof
Image: NationalGeographic.co.uk

The roof of Milan Cathedral is a significant feature of the cathedral and has several important functions.

Firstly, the roof provides structural support for the cathedral. The roof’s flying buttresses and spires help distribute the weight of the cathedral’s heavy stone walls and vaults, ensuring the building remains stable and secure.

Secondly, the roof has an aesthetic function. The spires and flying buttresses create a distinctive silhouette that is recognizable worldwide.

Thirdly, the roof provides a vantage point from which visitors can appreciate the beauty of the city of Milan.

The walkway on the roof allows visitors to climb up and see panoramic views of the city and its surroundings, including the Alps in the distance.

In 2012, the cathedral’s facade underwent a major cleaning and restoration project, revealing the original white color of the marble after years of pollution and weathering. Know more facts about Milan Cathedral

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Challenges of maintaining the roof

Challenges of Maintaining the Roof
Image: Duomomilano.it

Since its construction began in 1386, the Duomo has required unusually high upkeep, and it has remained a maintenance-intensive landmark for six centuries.

The Cathedral is built from rare pink-hued marble extracted from a single quarry on the Alps’ northern flanks, about 60 miles away.

Though the stone is exceptionally lovely because of its distinct physical and chemical properties, it is quite brittle, which is a drawback to the gorgeous coloring.

The problems are made more difficult by pollution and climate change.

Due to the extreme temperature fluctuations between the areas of the Cathedral that are exposed to the sun and those shaded to the north in recent summers, the monument’s structure may be further strained.

Nitric oxide and sulfur dioxide are two pollutants that cause the marble to develop dark crusts.

The cost of all this maintenance and cleaning has always been high, so the Cathedral hopes to increase private sector support to offset some ongoing costs.

This prompted the creation of the “Adopt a Statue” initiative, which enables businesses to contribute to the restoration of one of Duomo’s tens of thousands of statues in exchange for the right to keep and display the statue for three years.

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This article was researched & written by

Check out all the things to do in Milan

Edited by Rekha Rajan & fact checked by Jamshed V Rajan

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