Dawn at Duomo di Milano


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“It’s 4:35 am in Milan, and I haven’t slept in 2 days.

I’ve been sitting in the kitchen of our airbnb apartment all night long, not being able to sleep thanks to no A/C, while its it’s 35 degrees out, humid as hell, and on a loud busy street.

Now the sun is rising. It’s a new day, and all it takes is one moment, one memorable experience to turn it around.”

This is an exert from a post (read: rant) I wrote while in Milan for a long weekend this past July. Right after I wrote this on that grim July morning, I decided to get out and take advantage of my early awakeness.

I headed straight to the Duomo di Milano, the infamous Gothic cathedral. I had gone the day prior in the middle of the afternoon and could hardly stand two minutes in the large square before it, as rubbing shoulders with thousands of tourists in the midst of the scorching summer is not my idea of fun. This morning, however, as the sun rose up behind it, it was completely deserted, save for a some joggers, cleaners, and nuns.

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I sat in that square facing the Duomo for a good hour, just watching as people started to trickle in. Then I wandered around to the backside of the Milan cathedral, before planting myself on its front steps for another couple of hours waiting for it to open so I could go up to the rooftop. When it finally opened, you better believe I was the very first one up there. I could hardly believe I could wander around the roof so freely, coming close up to the ornate spires and sculptures, and behind at eye level with the flying buttresses. I was in awe, and it was well-worth the sleepless nights.

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