The Duomo di Milano. Adopt a Spire!

Image: Andrea Tognoli

One of the most breathtaking structures in the world, the Duomo di Milano is the symbol of this great city and its history. It took six centuries (!) to build this amazing cathedral, the fourth-largest world-wide, all clad in intricate decorations carved in white Candoglia marble. Its grandeur is surpassed by few other structures, with some even comparing it to the Pyramids. Now, you can have your name engraved under its 135 spires if you support its restoration! .

The massive structure requires huge efforts for conservation. Its roof, which has been opened to the public, is famous for the forest of pinnacles and spires set upon delicate flying buttresses. Yet these elements carry a very real fragility, and they are in need of permanent maintenance. Currently the lateral spires on the north edge of the building have to be restored. But the recent austerity cuts to the Italian culture budget have allowed even fragments of the Coliseum and the Fontana di Trevi to crumble; the Milanese monument is also deeply affected.

Images: Silvia Gugu

Bracing for the challenge, the management of the Duomo has started a campaign to raise money for the restoration from private donors. The program is seeking to raise 25m euros by asking donors to adopt one of the lavishly decorated Gothic spires that adorn the building. Any amount is welcome, and those who contribute 100,000 euros (about $130,000) to the building will have their names engraved in marble for at least 50 years.

The Duomo is immensely loved by the Milanese, who don’t see it as a part of the past but as the beating heart of the city and their daily life. This is reflected all over in the local pop culture, from dedicated songs to movies and tattoos. Several artists are selling their work to benefit the restoration, such as these giant snails made by Cracking Art Group, which you can purchase for 1000 to 2000 euros depending on their size.

Images via


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