Lonely Planet Writer

American tourist spends the night on Milan’s Cathedral roof after being locked in

An American tourist has spent the night on the roof of Milan’s Duomo after being locked into the building by security guards.

Milan's cathedral.
Milan’s cathedral. Image by Groume / CC BY-SA 2.0

The 23-year-old man, originally from Illinois, told police that he was in the bathroom when security guards did their final inspection of the cathedral on Monday night before locking it up. When he realised what had happened he decided not to raise the alarm or create a fuss, and instead spent the night on the rooftop, before reporting himself to the authorities when they reopened the church the following morning. Police said that he would not face any charges.

Milan’s Gothic cathedral is the city’s most iconic landmark, famous for its extravagant marble facade and the 135 spires and 3400 statues that adorn its roof. It took over 600 years to build, requiring the creation of a network of canals to transport the vast quantities of marble. The roof offers spectacular views of the city, and even as far as the Alps on a clear day, so the tourist’s lock-in experience will have been nothing short of extraordinary.

Visitors to the cathedral are screened by police and armed soldiers, and there is a metal detector used to screen anyone who wants to go onto the roof, but the association that looks after the cathedral has since requested additional assistance from the police to help screen visitors and secure the premises at night.