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Piazza del Duomo
Milan has a radial street plan which extends from Piazza del Duomo to the ancient city gates, and further on into the outlying districts.
Piazza Duomo therefore represents the living heart of the city, and not just from a symbolic point of view. Many important events are held here.
The piazza was created in the late 19th century by enlarging the previous rather small square. Much of it is taken up by the sparkling white marble Cathedral.
On the long sides of the square are the southern and northern porticoes: the latter develop into the central arch providing access to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
The piazza includes buildings from different periods: la Rinascente department store, the Arengario, Palazzo Reale, and the façade of the Arcivescovado.
Opposite the Cathedral is the equestrian monument dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II, with Palazzo Carminati behind it.
It is interesting to know that, over the centuries, the piazza has always been the religious centre of the city. Since the fourth century it hosted the early Christian episcopal complex with the Basilica of Santa Tecla and the octagonal baptistery of San Giovanni alle Fonti and Santo Stefano. Visible testaments to this past lie in the mezzanine and underground archaeological area accessible from the interior of the Duomo.
The piazza can be reached by M1/M3 Duomo stop.