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Your Milan Duomo Dress Code Questions Answered

Your Milan Duomo Dress Code Questions Answered

Everyone knows that there is a Milan Duomo Dress Code, but many people are confused as to what it actually means. In this guide we aim to demystify the rules over what to wear to the Milan Duomo / Milan Cathedral by asking your most frequently asked outfit questions and giving you some outfit inspiration.

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FAQS About The Milan Duomo Dress Code (Milan Cathedral)

Is there a dress code to get into the Milan Duomo?

Milan Duomo in Summer
Milan Duomo Dress Code rules

Yes there is a dress code to get into the Milan Duomo, as there is in all churches in Italy. Anyone who doesn’t adhere to the dress code may not be granted entry into the Milan Duomo.

What is the Milan Duomo dress code?

Woman in modest outfit in front of Milan Cathedral
Milan Duomo Dress Code / WHat to wear in Milan Duomo

The Milan Duomo Dress Code basically tells you what parts of your body can or can’t be uncovered when entering the cathedral building.

Generally speaking the following areas should always be covered in Italian Churches such as the Vatican, Duomo in Florence, St Marks Basilica and of course the Milan Duomo.:

  • Shoulders
  • Knees.

Therefore when putting together your Milan Outfits for touring the Duomo you should avoid wearing

  • Sleeveless Tops (and remember that this is applicable to both men and women)
  • Mini Skirts
  • Shorts – that dont cover the knee. Again this is applicable to both men and women.
  • No Bare backs
  • No Hats – hats are seen as disrespectful and should be removed as soon as you entering the Duomo itself however they are fine when in the queue and is something we encourage especially if you are visiting Milan in Summer.

It is also worth noting that the Duomo Dress Code applies to both men and women. For some people people seem to think dress codes usually only apply to women but this definitely isn’t true.

Although not explicitly stated anywhere it is respectful and prudent to also avoid wearing t-shirts with graphics or slogans that would be offensive to the holy place you are in. 

Also if you plan on visiting the rooftop and quarry of the Milan Duomo it is advised to wear comfortable shoes. That is because this involves a lot of walking over uneven surfaces and stairs. For this reason sneakers are better than other shoes. “comfortable” shoes, a

Where does the Duomo Dress Code Apply?

Milan Cathedral terraces and rooftop

Now you know what the Milan Cathedral Dress code is the next thing to examine is where the Duomo dress code applies.

And the truth is that Duomo dress code applies in all areas which includes

  • The interior of the cathedral / duomo
  • the roof top and the
  • the quarry

However the dress code does not apply when in the queue for the Duomo which means you can wear a hat for instance if you are queuing outdoors.

What to wear in Piazza del Duomo

If you are just planning to visit the Piazza del Duomo in Milan (aka Cathedral Square) and take photographs and not actually enter the buildings then there is no dress code.

However if you are going inside you must stick to the dress code.

While you are in the queue I recommend wearing a hat and sunglasses especially in summer. The piazza is very open and has little shade and it is important to stay sun safe in Milan in Summer.

How strict is the dress code at the Milan Duomo?

If you are wondering how strict the dress code is at the Milan Duomo the answer is it is very strict and it will be enforced. I have found that churches in Italy always tend to enforce their dress codes which is why we recommend always having one modest outfit with you in Italy for use in churches.

Can I wear sandals to the Milan Duomo?

The Milan Duomo website advises that comfortable shoes be worn for the CAthedral Quarry and rooftop. That is because of the walking involved in visiting these locations.

If you do decide on wearing sandals to the Milan Duomo we advise picking something like a Teva Walking Sandal. These sandals are designed for walking and can cope with uneven surfaces.

However the best shoe for Milan Cathedral for me is of course a sneaker. My favorite brand of sneakers for walking are are Hoka and AllBirds as these are great for walking in. If you are visiting Milan in the summer the Tree Runners by All Birds are a great pick as these are lightweight and deal with heat well.

Can you wear flip flops in the Milan Duomo?

In answer to “Can you wear flip flops in the Milan Duomo” the answer is you probably shouldn’t The Duomo official website states that comfortable waling shoes are recommended. Flip flops provide little support and offer no grip which won’t be good especially if you are heading to the rooftop.

If you want a more open shoe we recommend a walking sandal such as a Teva. However to be safe I would opt to a wear sneaker instead.

Can I wear sneakers to Duomo in Milan?

There are as of time of writing no rules regarding sneakers at the Duomo in Milan. In fact I think sneakers are best to wear when visiting the Duomo in Milan regardless of the season.

Can you wear heels to the Duomo?

You can wear heels to the Duomo as there are no rules in the Duomo dress code per se. However having said this we strongly advise NOT wearing heels in the Duomo – in fact we heels are in our what not to wear in Milan list.

There is lots of walking involved in the interior of the Duomo and the exterior of the Duomo in Milan such as the Piazza is cobbled and has lots of uneven surfaces where heels are a safety hazard. The Duomo guidance recommends sticking with comfortable walking shoes which is why we say avoid heels when sightseeing in Milan.

For more information on what to shoes to wear in Florence for different seasons check out our monthly guides:

Can I wear leggings to the Milan Duomo?

Yes you can wear leggings to the Duomo as they cover the whole of your leg, importantly the knee being covered.

However personally I prefer not to wear anything too clingy such as leggings when I go to any religious buildings in Italy. Instead for summer in Milan I like to pack natural fabrics such as linen. And in Winter there is nothing wrong with a jean or black pant.

Can you wear jeans to the Milan Duomo?

In answer to can you wear jeans to the Milan Duomo is yes you certainly can. Jeans that cover your knees and aren’t too low rise meet the Duomo Dress code rules.

However I personally wouldn’t wear jeans in the Duomo especially if you are visiting Milan during the Summer or shoulder seasons because of the heat.

Milan gets very hot in summer and you will be doing a lot of walking so jeans aren’t a practical item. However if you are visiting Milan in Winter then actually jeans are a great thing to add to your Packing List though we would advise packing a smarter pair as Italy is a stylish place and smarter jeans are more in keeping with local style.

Also although we have said that you can wear jeans to the Duomo it is worth looking at some specific jean styles such as ripped jeans and skinny jeans as these might not be allowed – keep reading for more information.

Can you wear ripped jeans to Milan Cathedral?

Whether or not you can wear ripped jeans to the Duomo largely depends on where the rips are. If you have rips that expose your knees or your thighs then these will obviously not be allowed as it will break the number one Duomo dress code rules about covering the knees

I personally would strongly advise against wearing ripped jeans into the Duomo in Milan in any case.

Can you wear skinny jeans to the Milan Duomo?

Whether or not you can wear skinny jeans to the Duomo is a bit of a grey area. Modest clothing is advised and for this reason I would avoid them.

Can you wear a skirt with a slit to the Milan Duomo?

While you can wear a skirt to the Duomo I would advise against wearing a skirt with a slit. A long Maxi skirt that adheres to the dress code it can soon be on the what not to wear to the Duomo lists if there is a slit that could reveals the knee.

To be safe we recommend not wearing any skirts with slits in so there is no doubt to if you are adhering to the Duomo dress code.

Do you have to wear pants to the Duomo in Milan? Do you have to wear trousers in the Milan Cathedral?

Pants or trousers are a great choice for the Duomo as they cover your knee.

We recommend linen trousers for the summer when it is hot as these will reduce sweat.

However you don’t have to wear pants. Skirts and dresses are also acceptable providing your knees are covered.

Do your knees need to be covered at the Milan Duomo?

Yes your knees absolutely need to be constantly covered at the Duomo. In fact this is the number one dress code rule for the Duomo in Milan.

And remember that this rule applies to both men and women. For this reason a lot of men choose to wear trousers to the Duomo such as linen or light chinos. And a lot of women chose to wear pants or a long skirt or dress that does not have a slit that reveals their legs.

Do you have to cover your head in the Duomo in Milan?

One of the most common concerns when dressing for the Duomo is regarding head coverings. But the truth is you do not need to cover your head inside of the Duomo. In fact you have to remove hats entering the Duomo though we recommend wearing one in the queue for summer.

Can you bring a purse to the Duomo?

You can bring a purse to the Duomo but there are restrictions relating to the size that are allowed. For instance it is recommended that you do not bring large bulky bags into the Duomo itself. But don’t fear there are lots of lockers and bag drop offs in the area around the Milan Duomo.

Can I bring a water bottle to the Duomo?

Yes, you can bring a water bottle into the Duomo however you may be asked to take a sip by security before entering. Also bottles can not be made of glass.

To be better for the environment we always recommend traveling with a reusable Water bottle.

What should you wear to the Duomo in Summer?

Woman on Rooftop of Milan Cathedral in Modest outfit
Milan Duomo Dress Code / What to wear in Milan Duomo

For visitors to Milan and the Duomo in Summer we recommend either wearing a cotton maxi dress with cap or longer sleeves or linen pants and blouse.

And we always recommend having a pashmina with you. This way if there is a problem with your outfit you can use it to make your outfit more modest.

For more information on what to wear in Milan in summer check out the below guides.

What should you wear to the Duomo in Winter?

Couple in front of Duomo Milan in winter
What to wear in Milan in Winter Packing List

What you wear to the Duomo in the Winter should follow the same rules as what to wear in Milan for the same season – but obviously adhering to the more conservative nature of the Duomo Dress Code rules.

We recommend jeans combined with light top layers such as a t shirt and Merino wool sweater.

Have you been to the duomo? what did you wear? Let us kow in the comments below!