Museo del Duomo ☆☆☆

A room of small statues and reliefs, Museo del Duomo, Milan, Italy (Photo by Vassia Atanassova - Spiritia)
A room of small statues and reliefs

A small museum devoted to sculptures, stained glass, artworks, and other treasures from the cathedral

The Duomo houses many of its treasures across the piazza from the right transept in a wing of the Palazzo Reale devoted to a Museo del Duomo.

Among the legions of statuary saints, artfulyl dispalyed stained glass, and lovely old tapestries are a significant painting, Tintoretto's Christ at the Temple.

The first small room centers on a haughty 1404 statue of St. George by Giorgio Solari held by legend to be in reality a portrait of Duke Gian Galeazzo Visconti.

Here and there, next to pink-tinged photocopies of 14C documents whose miniscule and precise script calls for marble from certain quarries (generously donated by the count to the Duomo Works) to be used for the Duomo's decorative statuary now kept here, stand gorgeously rough contemporary samples of raw, uncut marble from those very mountains.

At the end of the first long pillored hall (once the palace stables) lined with 14C and 15C statues and stained glass, just to the right of the hanging "Raza Viscontea" sunburst (along with the flanking eagles, a Visconti heraldic device, its original placement at the center of the great rose window symbolizing the sun of justice), is a late 14C statue carved by a German craftsman of a virile old man with a remarkably busy, stylized beard bursting from all corners of his face. His foot is crushing a tiny demon while his arm is bent back over his head to link with the massive paw of a lion out of whose mouth sprouts a water spout.

A probable Amadeo portrait statue (1478) of Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza in scaly armor was taken from the facade and now stands in a brick hemicycle flanked by two small bronze shield bearers.

The gold-leafed Crucifix was hammered from copper around 1039 on the orders of famed Milanese Archbishop Ariberto di Intimiato in thanks for having delivered him from his imprisonment by Emperor Corrado II in 1037, and the following two year seige against Milan by the Imerpial armies that failed. He hung it in San Dionigi church, which he had restored and a model of which the tiny Archbishop is carrying as he kneels under the giant Christ.

During the Renaissance, they releafed it a few times, and replaced the vaniched sovler leaf that once covered the background with red varnish. When it was moved to the Duomo in 1870 (San Dionigio was torn down in 1783) and placed over the Archbishop's tomb, they painted over the red varnish with ochre, which is why the background appears dirty brown today.

There are some great Flemish tapestries, and some of Il Cerano's drawings for his 1610 painting cycle celetrating the Spanish Borromeo cardinals, San Carlo (who helped see the city through the plague of 1576-77) and Frederigo.

Several intricate wooden models proposed for the Duomo facade during the 1888 Concorso Internazionale, plus drawings of all entries (including some late Renaissance versions, before the Romantic Neogothic era hit).

Your ticket also includes a visit to the Church of San Gottardo in Corte, part of the Royal Palace complex.

Photo gallery
  • A room of small statues and reliefs, Museo del Duomo, Italy (Photo by Vassia Atanassova - Spiritia)
  • La disputa di Gesù con i dottori nel tempio di Gerusalemme (Jesus
  • The Eternal Father in gilded embossed copper (1425) by Beltramino da Rho, Museo del Duomo, Italy (Photo courtesy of the museum)
  • The 15C Paliotto of the Passion tapestry is woven in such a way that the same image is visible on the front and back (albeit reversed), Museo del Duomo, Italy (Photo courtesy of the museum)
  • The 10C Situla di Gotofredo, Museo del Duomo, Italy (Photo by Dominik Matus)
  • Wooden models of the Duomo and its facade, Museo del Duomo, Italy (Photo courtesy of the museum)
  • Galeazzo Maria Sforza (late 15C) by Amadeo, Museo del Duomo, Italy (Photo by Carlo Dell
  • Mary Magdalene Transported by the Angels (1556-1560) by Giovan Angelo Marini, removed from the cathedral facade after the 1943 bombings, Museo del Duomo, Italy (Photo by Paolobon140)
  • Spires and other fragments, Museo del Duomo, Italy (Photo by 23vita)
  • Statues, Museo del Duomo, Italy (Photo Vassia Atanassova - Spiritia)
  • Moses and the Brazen Serpent tapesty, Museo del Duomo, Italy (Photo by Jbribeiro1)
  • Eve (1563-1565) by Giovan Angelo Marini, Museo del Duomo, Italy (Photo by Paolobon140)
  • San Taddeo (St. Thaddeus) (1390), Museo del Duomo, Italy (Photo by Carlo Dell
  • Young Mary Presented to the Temple, Museo del Duomo, Italy (Photo © José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / CC BY-SA 4.0)
  • The facade of the Villa Reale, home to Milan
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Tips

Free or reduced admission with a sightseeing card

Get into Museo del Duomo for free (and skip the line at the ticket booth) with:

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Useful Italian phrases

Useful Italian for sightseeing

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Where is?... Dov'é doh-VAY
...the museum il museo eel moo-ZAY-yo
...the church la chiesa lah key-YAY-zah
...the cathedral il duomo [or] la cattedrale eel DUO-mo [or] lah cah-the-DRAH-leh
     
When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
Closed day giorno di riposo JOR-no dee ree-PO-zo
Weekdays (Mon-Sat) feriali fair-ee-YA-lee
Sunday & holidays festivi fe-STEE-vee
     
ticket biglietto beel-YET-toh
two adults due adulti DOO-way ah-DOOL-tee
one child un bambino oon bahm-BEE-no
one student uno studente OO-noh stu-DENT-ay
one senior un pensionato oon pen-see-yo-NAH-toh

Basic phrases in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) pro-nun-see-YAY-shun
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
How much is it? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
     
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
Excuse me (to get past someone) Permesso pair-MEH-so
     
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...the bathroom il bagno eel BHAN-yoh
...train station la ferroviaria lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay

Days, months, and other calendar items in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
At what time... a che ora a kay O-rah
     
Yesterday ieri ee-YAIR-ee
Today oggi OH-jee
Tomorrow domani doh-MAHN-nee
Day after tomorrow dopo domani DOH-poh doh-MAHN-nee
     
a day un giorno oon je-YOR-no
Monday Lunedí loo-nay-DEE
Tuesday Martedí mar-tay-DEE
Wednesday Mercoledí mair-coh-lay-DEE
Thursday Giovedí jo-vay-DEE
Friday Venerdí ven-nair-DEE
Saturday Sabato SAH-baa-toh
Sunday Domenica doh-MEN-nee-ka
     
Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
     
a month una mese oon-ah MAY-zay
January gennaio jen-NAI-yo
February febbraio feh-BRI-yo
March marzo MAR-tzoh
April aprile ah-PREEL-ay
May maggio MAH-jee-oh
June giugno JEW-nyoh
July luglio LOO-lyoh
August agosto ah-GO-sto
September settembre set-TEM-bray
October ottobre oh-TOE-bray
November novembre no-VEM-bray
December dicembre de-CHEM-bray

Numbers in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
1 uno OO-no
2 due DOO-way
3 tre tray
4 quattro KWAH-troh
5 cinque CHEEN-kway
6 sei say
7 sette SET-tay
8 otto OH-toh
9 nove NO-vay
10 dieci dee-YAY-chee
11 undici OON-dee-chee
12 dodici DOH-dee-chee
13 tredici TRAY-dee-chee
14 quattordici kwa-TOR-dee-chee
15 quindici KWEEN-dee-chee
16 sedici SAY-dee-chee
17 diciasette dee-chee-ya-SET-tay
18 diciotto dee-CHO-toh
19 diciannove dee-chee-ya-NO-vay
20 venti VENT-tee
21* vent'uno* vent-OO-no
22* venti due* VENT-tee DOO-way
23* venti tre* VENT-tee TRAY
30 trenta TRAYN-tah
40 quaranta kwa-RAHN-tah
50 cinquanta cheen-KWAN-tah
60 sessanta say-SAHN-tah
70 settanta seh-TAHN-tah
80 ottanta oh-TAHN-tah
90 novanta no-VAHN-tah
100 cento CHEN-toh
1,000 mille MEEL-lay
5,000 cinque milla CHEEN-kway MEEL-lah
10,000 dieci milla dee-YAY-chee MEEL-lah


* You can use this formula for all Italian ten-place numbers—so 31 is trent'uno, 32 is trenta due, 33 is trenta tre, etc. Note that—like uno (one), otto (eight) also starts with a vowel—all "-8" numbers are also abbreviated (vent'otto, trent'otto, etc.).