Milan Duomo in a Thunderstorm and Tips for Visiting

Along with Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’ fresco, Milan’s duomo is one of the most iconic images of Italy’s fashion capital. This past May we spent 2 days in Milano during a week long trip to northern Italy’s Lombardia region. The Milan Duomo is impressive, and we were fortunate to capture some great shots during a storm. Read on for more tips on visiting this stylish fashion mecca!

Milan Duomo in storm clouds

Milan Duomo

Upon exiting from the staircase of the Milan Duomo metro stop we were immediately greeted by the impressive gothic cathedral that took nearly 600 years to complete. While construction began in 1386, it wasn’t until 1965 that the Duomo was finished, giving proper meaning to the phrase “they don’t build em’ like they used to.”

The clouds were ominous so we immediately started taking pictures as we knew our time before a downpour was imminent. We lucked out in capturing some great photos of the Milan Duomo in a thunderstorm, many from under the awning of the neighbouring shopping arcade, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

People running away from the Milan Duomo during a thunderstorm
People running away from the Milan Duomo during a thunderstorm

We knew it was about to start pouring as soon as all the pigeons simultaneously flew out of the Piazza. Once it started raining we scattered for shelter, alongside hundreds of others. One exception was a lady pictured below, who stood in the downpour to admire this magnificent cathedral, with the square all to herself.

A lone woman admires the Milan Duomo under a blue umbrella in the Piazza during a thunderstorm
One woman admires the Milan Duomo under her umbrella, as everyone else takes shelter.
Milanase Lady in the Rain

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (Milan Arcade)

Milan’s Arcade, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the oldest and most beautiful shopping plazas in Europe, is a great place to take cover from a downpour. The plaza features some of Italy’s finest boutique shops like Prada and Louis Vuitton. You can also sit at an indoor bistro terrace and enjoy a meal or drinks in the beautiful setting pictured below, with Milan’s Duomo just outside. We didn’t sit down but instead grabbed fast food pizza in the arcade, which turned out to be one of our favorites in Italy. We ate a lot of pizza too!

Milan Arcade, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

More Tips on Visiting Milan

If you have a few days, asides from visiting the Milan Duomo, check out the Piazza, Arcade and Milan’s beautiful fortress, the Castello Sforzesco. Dinner and drinks in the gorgeous Canal district of Navigli is also a must. Milan is famous for happy hour, where if you pay a little more for your drink, an assortment of food is included, often times a buffet. You will find excellent happy hours in Navigli that are perfect for lapping up the Milanese lifestyle.

We enjoyed wine and complimentary food near the Duomo at one of the many chic cafes. A table of men in stylish business suits had a fashion book open to a page with a topless model, which was comically cliche in the world’s fashion capital. Milan is also the city that inspired Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz to add espresso to their menu in the 1980’s. And the rest is history…

Milan Cathedral Piazza, Ray Ban

Read more of our articles on Italy’s Lombardy region here:

How to Experience Bellagio, Italy Cheaper

Bergamo, An Underrated Italian Gem in Lombardy

Varenna, Perhaps the Most Beautiful Town on Lake Como

Lecco, Striking Beauty on a Budget in Lake Como

Have you visited the Milan Duomo or are planning a trip? Let us know in the comments below! You can also email me at alex(at) if you have any questions on planning a trip to beautiful Italy!


  • Alex&Bell

    Alex and Bell originally met while solo traveling after finishing university in 2002, in Brugge, Belgium. Alex grew up in the USA and Bell hails from Australia. During our nearly 20 year marriage we've lived around the world, including spending six years living in the Netherlands and Ireland. We have traveled to nearly 70 countries and enjoy giving readers authentic and quality travel tips. Alex is an award winning travel journalist and travel planner, who also freelances for other outlets. Bell is an award winning PhD scientist who currently works for a non-profit lung cancer advocacy research organization called Lungevity. Happy travels and if you have any questions leave a comment or drop an email!

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