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Nearly 600 years in the making, the Milan Cathedral is a highlight of Italy tours

Italy tours are popular for a number of reasons. Not only do they offer the chance to experience some of the world's best cuisine, with a lengthy history, intriguing ruins and a wealth of art, there's something for everyone. Italy is also famous for its many classic churches, but there is one in particular that stands above the rest - the Milan Cathedral. One of the largest such buildings in the world, there are few structures on Earth that can compete with its breathtaking size and unusual history.

The Milan Cathedral is particularly interesting given how long it took to complete. Builders broke ground on the stunning church, which rises to a height of 356 feet, in 1386, but it wasn't officially completed until 1965 - nearly 600 years after construction began. Despite taking nearly six centuries to complete, the payoff was certainly worth the wait. Today, the cathedral is a veritable museum on its own, and its intricate architecture combined with the impressive artwork housed within make it a one-of-a-kind experience.

The exterior of the Milan Cathedral alone makes it one of the highlights of Italy tours. Specifically, it is surrounded by more than 130 stunning marble spires that have made it an icon of gothic architecture. There are also numerous statutes on the cathedral's exterior walls that add a unique element to an already impressive structure.

While the outside of the Milan Cathedral is stunning on its own, once you step inside there are plenty more highlights. Along with three famous altars, there are many well-known works of art including San Bartolomeo Flayed, which was created in 1582 by Marco d'Agrate. There are many sculptures throughout the church's interior as well, including a monument to Gian Giacomo Medici and the Archbishop Alberto da Intimiano's sarcophagus.

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