O mia bela Madunina

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2023 issue of Dream of Italy. Atop the tallest spire of Milan’s famous Duomo Cathedral sits a gold Madonnina—a little Virgin Mary—holding a lightning rod disguised as a halberd in her hand. Since her creation in 1774, she has become the symbol of the city. The phrase “all’ombra della Madonnina” means “in the shadows of…

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