Duomo di Milano began in October 1387 and took centuries to complete. It was completed when Napoleon became King of Italy in the early 1800s. The Duomo di Milano has a magnificent main piazza (city square) right in front of the cathedral and seems always filled with tourists and residents of Milan. Italian Gothic cathedrals are gigantic compared to French Gothic, like The Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Amiens, France (a display of this cathedral is on History Department bulletin boards in the main academic building). During the Renaissance era and over the centuries, different and new interior designs reflected the style of the time.
To get to the cathedral, the students went through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (named for the first king of united Italy), which was designed as an enclosed shopping mall and finished in 1877 as a representation of the New Italy. It is a gigantic and beautiful enclosed shopping mall that leaves one breathless at its stunning interior and ceiling made of glass. Magnificent shops and restaurants can leave one breathless and penniless.