Day 1 – Leonardo's Last Supper and the Heart of Milan
When in Milan your absolute first priority is the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci located in the former refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie Church. The renowned work, one of the most iconic works of art ever created, made even more popular with travelers thanks to the Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, is extremely delicate due to the unusual painting technique chosen by Leonardo. Open only to 25 visitors at a time, the exhibit is often sold out - so be sure to secure your tickets by booking them well in advance! Choose one of the following options for your visit, and organize the rest of your day around the time of this "not to miss" visit:
Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper + Last Supper Book
Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper + Milan Mini Guide Book
Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper + Brera Art Gallery
Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper + Ambrosiana Art Gallery
Getting there is easy. You can reach the Last Supper (300 meters from the subway stop “Conciliazione”) from Piazza del Duomo by subway. Or, try the picturesque Tram Line 16 (direction Via Monte Velino) that takes you to and from the heart of the city. Do you love Leonardo? Here is the complete and interesting tour In the Footsteps of Leonardo
, which will help you not to miss anything of the genius of the Renaissance in Milan, Last Supper included.
Once you have visited Leonardo’s masterpiece, focus on the city center: Duomo Square, dominated by the Cathedral, a recently restored masterpiece of Gothic art. The fourth largest church in Europe, it is rich with amazing spires, pinnacles, buttresses, and terraces. Almost 20 stories high, the spectacular terraces contain an incredible collection of over 1,800 statues, including that of the Madonnina, the symbol of Milan, while offering a stunning view over the city center. Entrance to the church is free, but the best way to discover its history and beauty, in addition to the audio guide, is the Easy Access Milan's Duomo, Underground and Terraces Tour
, which gives access to the Cathedral Terraces by elevator, theunderground, and to the Cathedral Treasure.
In the Square you will also find the entrance to the alluring Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the famed 19th century glass-vaulted shopping gallery. Brimming with fashionable shops and cafes, it is often called the “salotto di Milano” or “Milan’s drawing room” for its importance over the years as a common meeting point for the people of Milan. The floor of the mall includes a famous mosaic of Turin’s coat of arms with a bull at its center. Follow the popular ritual of rotating the heel of your right foot three times on the tiled genitals of the bull - it's said to bring good luck!
Walk all the way through the Galleria and you will come to Piazza della Scala where you will find the Scala Theater
, a temple of classical music and a cornerstone of Milanese culture. Book your guided visit to the theater to discover the foyer, the auditorium, the Royal Box, the stage, the orchestra pit - usually inaccessible to the public - and the Museum's collection of musical instruments.
Back in the Square you’ll find the Royal Palace, former seat of the government, and currently space for art exhibitions, plus the Museum of the 20th Century
hosting works by Picasso, Braque, Klee and Kandinsky and above all, the Italians; Modigliani, Boccioni, De Chirico, Morandi, Fontana and Burri among others. If you are in need of refreshment after all the amazing art, visit the Camparino, the world famous Milanese aperitif bar located at the corner of the Square. Or take a walk around the cathedral to taste a marocchino (a sort of cappuccino) and buy pralines and Panettone, the typical Italian Christmas cake, at the excellent Taveggia (Via Visconti di Modrone - 2,500 meters from the back of the cathedral).
Want to see more of Leonardo da Vinci’s work? From the Square it is a short walk to the Ambrosiana Art Gallery
. Take via degli Orefici and Via Cesare Cantù to the Gallery. It is one of the oldest and noblest art institutions in Milan. There's a Combo Ticket including the Last Supper and the Ambrosiana Gallery
. Near the Ambrosiana Library and founded by Federico Borromeo in 1618, the Ambrosiana Art Gallery houses a rich exhibition in its 24 rooms, including absolute masterpieces such as the Basket of Fruit by Caravaggio, the Madonna and Child with Three Angels by Botticelli, the Adoration of the Magi by Titian, the study for the School of Athens by Raphael and Portrait of a Musician by Leonardo da Vinci. It is also home to Leonardo da Vinci's Atlantic Codex , the world's most comprehensive collection of drawings, notes, and plans by the master.
After so much art, some ideas to end the day? Discover the most modern part of Milan, which is particularly attractive around sunset. Take the Metro to the “Gioia” station, you will be within walking distance of the city's most modern skyscrapers, including the incredible vertical forest, a complex of two towering residential buildings designed by Boeri Studio, which in 2015 won the prize as “2015 Best Tall Building Worldwide,” according to a classification of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. In the area you will find many locals and restaurants to end the day. Otherwise we recommend some evening experiences you can’t go wrong with - such as our Milan Wine Tasting Tour
: a relaxing and stimulating experience in the charming atmosphere of the Take Away Bistrot – a wine bar in the heart of Milano (and of the Milanese). Discover some of the many tastes of the Lombardy countryside – by tasting the wines specially selected by the sommelier, and matching them with samples of traditional cheeses and cold cuts. Otherwise, consider enjoying and entertaining evening with the Maison Milano Dinner Show
, where you’ll dine on an exquisite 4-course Italian dinner accompanied by a live cabaret show and dance the night away. Are you looking for a more active and particular experience? Experience the fun Milan Segway Night Tour
, exploring the most modern and alternative neighborhoods of Milan.