Duomo The historical centre of Milan has a fairly regular and round shape, with compact grid of building and roads, typical of medieval cities. The centre is not particularly sizeable and a good part of it is a pedestrian area. Without a doubt the best solution is to visit it by feet.The cathedral (“Duomo”) is magnificent and dates back to the beginning of the 14th century when French workers began its construction. The Duomo has unmistakable gothic shapes covered with white-pink marble from Candoglia and it overlooks a big square (”Piazza Duomo”) always crowded with tourists, peddlers and locals who walk across the square everyday to go to work.The impressive cathedral counts 135 pinnacles and 3400 statues, and it is topped with the statue of “Madonnina” (little Virgin Mary), which is the symbol of the city itself.Next to the Duomo is the imposing Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery (“Galleria”), a proper road covered with a glass and iron structure that connects the Duomo square with the La Scala square. The Galleria is also called Milan’s “salotto” (sitting room). It is cross-shaped (a longer gallery crossed by a shorter one) and at the crossing a large octagonal space opens, covered with a transparent glass dome, a true jewel of 19th century engineering.The La Scala square is named after La Scala theatre, renown world-wide as “the” opera and music theatre. La Scala was built in the 18th century by architect Piermarini. It has recently been restored and refurbished by architect Mario Botta. Facing La Scala is Palazzo Marino, built in the 16th century by Galeazzo Alessi and currently housing the town hall.Overlooking the Duomo square are also a side of the Archbishop’s See (“Palazzo dell’Arcivescovado”) and the ancient Doge’s Palace (“Palazzo Ducale”), currently called “Palazzo Reale” (Royal Palace), restored with a neo-classical touch by architect Piermarini (the same of La Scala). Opposite the Duomo Square are Via and Piazzetta dei Mercanti (Merchants’ street and square), with the “Palazzo della Ragione” (Reason’s Palace) dating 1228. This area constitutes the medieval heart of the city and the remnants of the Municipality period Not far from here are via Speronari and Spadari with their high-end food shops. The pedestrian via Dante, which offers numerous opportunities for shopping or having a snack, runs from the Cairoli square towards the Castle of the Sforza family (“Castello Sforzesco”).Via Torino and Corso Vittorio Emanuele, both originating from Piazza Duomo but running in opposite directions, offer endless shopping opportunities and often witness a young crowd’s shopping frenzy.Strolling along via Torino it is possible to admire the church of “Santa Maria presso san Satiro”, built in 1476 by architect Donato Bramante (with the exception of the facade which dates from the 19th century).