If you are planning a trip to Milan and you will be with your family, when procuring tickets at the Duomo, you will see a massive and daunting line. Be not dismayed. There is a patron there who wears a blue shirt or apron that is there to answer questions. I went up and asked "Is this where we purchase tickets?" She led me to the front of the line as groups get preference, especially with children. (We were just a group of four!) Then, again I found a patron at the front of a line of hundreds of ticket-holders. I asked where to go to enter and he let us right through the ropes because we had group tickets. It was fabulous!
Outside the Duomo, we were tired and looking for gelato. We looked to our right and saw an interesting building. It is called the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This baroque masterpiece took 12 years to build and was completed in 1877. It's one of the oldest shopping malls in the world. As it sits next to the Duomo, it is always crowded. The shops are all luxury retailers, with Louis Vuitton and Ferrari anchoring the bunch. However, even with the crowds, we didn't want to leave, we wanted to soak up the history. You can feel it in the air. The glass gorgeously diffuses the hot Summer sun. The walls are carved with flowers and foliage. There are lovely frescoes painted along the roofline. You hear the echoes of Italians talking, walking, and laughing through the halls. It is massive and awesome!