To God, from the Rooftop of Milan’s Cathedral

Buongiorno! I’m in Milan, doing research for the next edition of my Rick Steves Italy guidebook. I’m here with local guide Sara Cerri — and today, we visited the city’s massive cathedral.

Climbing through the forest of lovingly-decorated spires atop the Duomo, Sara reminded me that each flower and saint’s face we saw is an individual work of art, carved out of marble 500 years ago for the rooftop of this great cathedral — and left here by artists who believed that the public would never see it. Their art was a gift for God. And today, a steady stream of tourists climb the spiral stairs they once used and get to enjoy this art as well. I was inspired.

What inspires you in your travels?