Extremely popular since Dan Brown made it the protagonist of 'The Da Vinci Code', 'The Last Supper' rests since its creation in 1497 in the same place: the wall of the refectory of the ancient Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, declared a World Heritage Site.
1. Guided tour to see Da Vinci's 'The Last Supper'
If you want to enrich your discovery of 'The Last Supper' hire a guided tour to see Da Vinci's most famous painting is the best way. With it, you will not only be able to admire Da Vinci's fresco without waiting in line, but you will also learn about its history and the reason why it is still in the same exhibition place after so many centuries.
Your guide will also tell you about the artistic techniques used by the Renaissance artist and his later restorers and all that symbolism and hidden meanings that this Renaissance genius imprinted on one of his greatest works.
- Fast-track and skip-the-line admission
- 1-hour guided tour in English in the morning, departing at 8:30 a.m.
- Meeting point in the same square where the convent is located, in Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie.
- Wheelchair accessible
- Groups of 12 people maximum
2. Organize your visit
Da Vinci's 'The Last Supper' can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday from 8:15 am to 7:00 pm. Closed on Mondays.
How to get to the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie and see 'The Last Supper'
'The Last Supper' is located in the Convent of the Dominicans located in Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, in the historic center of Milan. You can reach it at:
- Train: Line 18. Corso Magenta - Santa Maria delle Grazie.
- Metro: Conciliazione, Cadorna, line M1 or Cadorna, line M2.
Vicky's Traveller Tip
If you're going to see 'The Last Supper' on your own, remember that it's essential to book your ticket in advance and I recommend you purchase it well in advance of your trip.
3. Why see 'The Last Supper'
It is not every day that one can say that one has stood before one of the most celebrated works of art and one that has incited the most scientific, artistic, and fictional literature throughout history. The subject depicted, Jesus' last supper with his disciples before being crucified, is not new nor was it new when it was created.
Brief history of the work
It was Leonardo da Vinci, however, who approached this passage of the New Testament with the greatest mastery and originality. The genius of the Italian Renaissance captured one of the most dramatic moments of this historic dinner: the one after Jesus' announcement that among them was a traitor.
The reactions of astonishment and stupefaction of the apostles are masterfully portrayed in the painting, in addition to behaviors, figures, and compositions that, some experts suppose, give rise to a second reading and interpretation beyond the pure pictorial technique.
These messages 'hidden' by the author, such as the feminine aspect of the figure to the right of Jesus who is said not to be the apostle John, but Mary Magdalene, are part of the legend that surrounds 'The Last Supper', popularized, as I said, in the work of Dan Brown and his 2006 film counterpart.
Curiosities about 'The Last Supper'
The refectory where 'The Last Supper' is located, in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, was the only thing left standing after a bombing during the Second World War.
The painting suffered, however, remaining in the open for several long years. And not only. After its completion in 1497 and given its support, dry plaster, the work began to flake, with continuous and unsuccessful attempts to restore it during the 17th and 19th centuries.
Later, during the occupation of the area by Napoleon's troops, the wall on which it stands was used for practice shooting. Fortunately, today and after arduous conservation work, 'The Last Supper' has regained some of its original splendor so that we can all enjoy this wonderful piece of history.
4. Other interesting activities in Milan
Seeing Da Vinci's 'The Last Supper' is one of the must-do activities to do in Milan, but so is getting to know its famous Duomo, the Milan Cathedral. I tell you all about it in this article from Milan Duomo Tickets and Tours. Doing a tour of the city and its surroundings is essential to get to know all the corners of the city and its region. I tell you all about it in my article on Milan Tours.
Frequently asked questions
How easy is it visit the Last Supper in Milan?
Providing you can get tickets, it's pretty straight-forward. That being said, you'll need to book tickets as early as possible, as they sell out fast. The alternative to this is booking a tour that already features a visit to Da Vinci's The Last Supper as part of the tour.
Where is Da Vinci's The Last Supper located?
Da Vinci's Last Supper can be found as a fresco in the Convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie. It is for this reason that tickets are usually necessary in order to see the panting, unless visiting via tour.
How long can I see The Last Supper?
Visits to enter are both limited and timed, and needless to say strictly controlled. With a maximum limit of 30 people allowed to enter at any time and only 15 minutes to view the wall, it's important to note that returning is also not an option.