Big news! From Saturday, 10 July 2021, the Candoglia Quarry is finally opening to guided tours. The quarry, located at the entrance to the Ossola Valley in the municipality of Mergozzo (VB) on the left of the River Toce, is where the Cathedral’s precious marble has been extracted for over six centuries.
In fact, the Veneranda Fabbrica is offering exclusive tours to discover this enchanting mountain where it all began, with walks and itineraries that retrace the magnificent journey made by the marble and relive the Fabbrica’s important work.
This initiative is also possible thanks to the valuable collaboration of Mergozzo Council.
It was Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Lord of Milan, who decided to substitute brick, the material originally planned for the construction of Duomo, with marble. To this end, on 24 October 1387, he ceded the use of the Candoglia Quarry to the Veneranda Fabbrica and granted free transport of the marble along the waterways all the way to Milan.
The marble’s slender veins make its extraction particularly difficult and costly. This unknown fact, however, has never halted the Veneranda Fabbrica’s momentum, which still today faces the large task of preserving the Monument with responsibility, taking care of the cultivation and maintenance of the Quarry thanks to the work of highly qualified personnel and support from modern technology.
Starting from 10 July, tours of the Quarry are planned on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (Saturdays are suspended during August) at 9am and 11am, and last around 90 minutes. Included in the service are the guided tour and the internal shuttlebus, which will take visitors from the carpark in Mergozzo (Via Giusto Cominazzini, 39 – Fraz. Cadoglia – Mergozzo (VB), overlooking the Veneranda Fabbrica’s offices) to the mouth of the Cava Madre (Main Quarry). If foreign visitors are present, the tour will be conducted in both Italian and English. Tours in German are also possible. The cost of the visit is €25 (€15 reduced for 12- to 18-year-olds, €12 reduced for 6- to 11-year-olds, and free for children aged 5 and under).
To further broaden the knowledge of the area, every Saturday at 3pm there will be a 150-minute guided tour: after the Quarry, it will be possible to learn more about the local history by visiting the Mergozzo Archaeological Museum and the permanent exhibition in the Sala Pietra (Stone Room) of the former Dairy, where the ancient tools used by the quarrymen are on display. The cost of this tour option is €27 (€17 reduced for 12- to 18-year-olds, €14 reduced for 6- to 11-year-olds, and free for children aged 5 and under).
For information and booking, go to our official site at duomomilano.it, and visit the Guided Tours and Incentives – Individual Tours section.
For further information:
Duomo Info Point
Piazza Duomo 14/a - 20122 Milano