Santa Maria Delle Grazie Last Supper, Milan

4.5 out of 5 stars 71 Reviews

Corso Magenta

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  • Santa Maria Delle Grazie Last Supper
    by ettiewyn
  • Santa Maria Delle Grazie
    Santa Maria Delle Grazie
    by IreneMcKay
  • Santa Maria Delle Grazie
    Santa Maria Delle Grazie
    by IreneMcKay
  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo

    Santa Maria delle Grazie

    by ettiewyn Updated Sep 8, 2012

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    Many people visit Santa Maria delle Grazie just to see the "Last Supper", but the church itself is absolutely worth a visit! And it is not at all connected to the painting these days - the painting is not owned by the church, and the church does not get any of the entrance fees paid by visitors who go and see the painting.
    After we had visited the painting ourselves and had had a little break on the square in front of the church, we went inside it - and it took our breath away. It was just so beautiful! Probably part of this is due to the fact that this was the first time that I saw a church of this style, so different to what I had seen before. But even so, I think it must amaze everyone who loves architecture and the arts.

    The church was built from 1463 to 1490, but the interior was changed many times during the course of time. The exterior looked quite unusual to me, mainly because of the bricks used - I think it is amazing that the building looks so beautiful and elegant despite of the use of this rough material.
    Inside, the nave largely has the original design, with beautiful frecoes and gothic arches. I thought that the light was just right inside, and the patterns painted on the ceiling and the arches were so wonderful. I had never seen a church like this before, and I loved it so much!

    Picture 2 shows the façade which looks quite plain, but has an interesting fresco above the door, showing the Virgin Mary freeing Milan from the plague (Madonna delle Grazie libera Milano dalla peste). It was painted by Giovanni Battista Crespi in 1631. You can see the door in picture 3.

    Five pictures are simply not enough for such a building, therefore I also have created a travelogue :-)

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    Leonardo da Vinci - The Last Supper

    by ettiewyn Updated Sep 8, 2012

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    I must admit that at first, I was not even that keen to visit "The Last Supper". Although I am interested in the arts, I figured that this might be a huge tourist trap because of its connection to the Dan Brown novel, and I was not really prepared to pay an entrance fee just to see one painting.
    What made me change my mind was reading MalenaN's tip about visiting the painting. I was sure that if she liked it so much, I would too! And I did!!! This is just another proof of how great VT really is - and how much worth it is to read tips and reviews by people one "knows", by people with whom one shares tastes and points of views, and thus can be sure how to judge their writing - as opposed to other travel sites where some anonymous, quickly written words are all one gets.

    We preordered our tickets on tickitaly, which was horrendously expensive, but I just wanted to be sure we would have a ticket. We paid 23€ each for a ticket and I don't really want to think about this! I am not sure if there are any operators who offer cheaper in advance tickets (please let me know if you do). A ticket purchased on the day on location is much cheaper - I think it is still 6,50€ - but we were traveling in August and I just did not want to take the risk.

    So - now finally to the experience itself. Unfortunately, we arrived very tired and stressed. We had tickets for a very early time slot at 08.15am, but we had underestimated the time it would need to get to Santa Maria delle Grazie, so we arrived at last minute. All this was forgotten, though, when we finally entered the refectory.
    Leonardo da Vinci painted the scene of the Last Supper on a wall in the refectory of Santa Maria dell Grazie. The entrance to the refectory is next to the main façade of the church, so coming from the direction of Cadorna, you need to walk all around it until you come to the small square. You then need to wait until you are let in. You need to go through different doors, until arriving in the air-conditioned room.
    It is a huge painting - 460cm x 880cm - and it really is overwhelming when you enter the room. You are only allowed to enter with a group, led by a guide, and you can stay in the room for fifteen minutes until you must leave again. Unfortunately the guides were unfriendly, but even this did not disturb the atmosphere. This huge painting with its bright colours seemed to be so lively, the expressions of the faces of the apostles, their vivid gestures and the shaken atmosphere - it is most impressive. We were very touched by the painting, and I still recall it when I close my eyes.

    On the opposite wall, there is another painting that was mostly ignored by the visitors. It is the "Crucifixion" by Giovanno Donato da Montorfano. While it was not as moving as the "Last Supper", it was equally impressive - the three huge crosses, the bright colours and many details... As my younger cousin is called Magdalena, we were also delighted to see Mary Magdalene in the painting, kneeling at the cross.

    What can I say - these paintings don't need the Dan Brown novel at all to be a top attraction. I enjoyed my visit so much that in the end I even think it was worth to pay so much. I did not write a lot here about how Leonardo created the painting because I am not knowledgeable about the arts, and I think others can explain all this much better than I could - but I enjoyed my visit very much. Oh, and another thing: Of course it is not allowed to take pictures in the refectory, and I did not take any, although obviously many people do and there are lots of secred snapshots to be seen on the net.

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    A bit embarrassing...

    by Henrik_rrb Updated Sep 19, 2006

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    Santa Maria Della Grazie
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    Now… this is a bit embarrassing, since I’ve been living in Milan for 16 months, and still haven’t visited the church Santa Maria Delle Grazie. And because of that neither have viewed the famous Leonardo Da Vinci-painting; The last supper.
    So, don’t be as stupid as I’m, and go there on your visit in Milan. I for sure will make a visit next time I’m there.
    Problem with this is that you have to make a reservation in advance, and also pay. No big amount of money, just 7,50, but in some way I find it strange to pay entrance to enter a church…?
    The church itself was built during the 15th century, by Guiniforte Solari. Later helped by the architect Bramante, who made the façade.

    To visit the church, take the metro (red or green line) to Cadorna. From there it’s walking distance. Right before you pass the Bar Magenta, turn right, and you will have the church to your right after a couple of 100 meters.
    Remember to make a reservation in advance, once there you’ll pay your ticket. Just remember the code you got when you booked, and got your scheduled time.

    The church is open Tuesday-Sunday, from 08.15 to 16.45. Closed on Mondays.
    To make the reservation, call 02-89421146. Open Monday-Friday 09.00-18.00. Saturdays 09.00-14.00.

    UPDATE september 2006: Due to the huge success Dan Brown had with his book The Leonardo da Vinci-code it's even more people who want to see the painting now. Making a reservation the day before was of course impossible. More surprisingly it was hard to find good times even in November, two months later...?!
    Each visit is for 15 minutes, so don't expekt to stay in there for ever...

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    Leonardo da Vinci’s the Last Supper

    by MalenaN Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Last Supper

    Leonardo da Vinci’s the Last Supper was painted in the refectory of the church Santa Maria delle Grazie. To see the painting you should book a ticket in advanced. This could be done on line, but when I wanted to book a ticket a few weeks before my visit there were no tickets left for the whole of February. Luckily I had read on the VT-forum that you could get a ticket at the ticket office when not all people turn up. Tour companies for example buy a lot of tickets but not always sell out their tours.

    I came to Santa Maria dellle Grazie in the morning and was told I could get a ticket with entrance after 25 minutes. The ticket was 6.50 Euro (February 2009). To protect the painting only a group of maximum 25 people are allowed in at a time and each group can stay 15 minutes.

    I had no expectations when entering the room, but was overwhelmed. The painting is impressive and the light just right. The painting is painted from corner to corner over a door on the north wall of the refectory. It is like the room continues into the painting. On the opposite wall there is a large painting, the Crucifixion, painted by Donato Montorfano in 1495. Everyone in the group was quiet for the 15 minutes the visit lasted.

    The Last Supper was painted by Leonardo da Vinci between 1495 - 97. In 1943 the refectory was damaged by bombings, but luckily the Last Supper was saved because the wall had been sandbagged. Today the painting and the church is on UNESCOs World Heritage List.

    Opening hours: 8.00 - 19.30. Closed on Mondays.

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    Cenacolo Vinciano - The Last Supper

    by Diana75 Updated Jun 12, 2006

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    The entrance to Last Supper

    Il Cenacolo or L'Ultima Cena (in Italian) is a mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci for his patron Duke Lodovico Sforza.

    The painting, one of the best known and valued in the world, rrepresents the scene of The Last Supper from the final days of Jesus as depicted in the Bible.

    Leonardo painted it using an unconventional technique, sometimes without letting of a paintbrush the whole day long, other times not picking up a paintbrush for days at a time.

    Opening hours:
    - Tuesday to Saturday 08:15 - 18:45;
    - Closed on Monday.

    Mandatory reservation by phone (+39 02 89421146), but if you want to be sure that you'll be able to enter you'll have to call at least 4-5 weeks before the departure.

    Entrance fee:
    - adults: EUR 6.50 + reservation: EUR 1,50

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    Santa Maria delle Grazie - inner courtyard

    by ettiewyn Written Sep 8, 2012

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    After you have explored the beautiful interior of the church, please take your time and discover another gem of this building - the inner courtyard. You can enter this courtyard either from Corso Magenta, or from the church, there is a small door leading to it close to the apse.

    The courtyard is a beautiful and very tranquil place, and we spent some time just sitting here in the shade and relaxing, enjoying the cool and quiet, and the spiritual atmosphere. It is a very green place, and you also have a great view of the church's high apse.

    There were also posters pointing out a Leonardo da Vinci exhibition in another part of the building, but we did not visit it because we already had seen the one in the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana.

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    Leonardo's Last Supper

    by csordila Updated Mar 23, 2010

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    Entrance to the left of the church
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    Would you like to feel for one day like Professor Langdon from "The Da Vinci Code"? If yes, then in Milan don't miss a visit to the old Dominican monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie where in the refectory you can admire one of the greatest frescoes of all time: Leonardo's Last Supper illustrating Christ when he predicts that one among his apostles will betray him.
    The famous fresco is already the focus of mythical speculation after author Dan Brown based his fiction around the painting.
    Leonardo was commissioned to execute the painting by Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza. He began painting in 1495 and completed it in 1498. Unfortunately, Leonardo tried a new technique here which has led to the deterioration of the painting in very short time.
    Christ's feet were cut off sometime by a doorway having been opened through the painting. The last restoration, completed in 1999, was more "repainting" rather than "restoring"
    Reservation to view the fresco is highly recommended, because the refectory building is so small, that only little group of tourists can go in in every 15 minute. Photo taking is not allowed.

    Update 2010: Were the twelve apostles guilty of overeating at the Last Supper? Two brothers—an eating behavior expert and a religious studies scholar—are publishing findings that might make you think twice at your Easter dinner. more

    Booking: http://www.cenacolovinciano.org/english/index.html
    Admission fee 8.00€ incl. reservation.
    Open: Tues.-Sun. 8:00 am - 7:30 pm, last entry 6:45 pm.
    Other: The Last Supper is not accessible from the church: the entrance is to the left of the church in Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie.

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    The Last Supper

    by Blatherwick Updated Dec 30, 2004

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    The Last Supper

    You must see "The Last Supper", the unrivalled masterpiece painted between 1495 and 1497 by Leonardo da Vinci on the north wall of the refectory of the Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The painting depicts the moment after Jesus Christ reveals that "One of you will betray me".

    In addition to da Vinci's masterpiece there are several other excellent paintings. Of note is "Crucifixion" by Donato Montorfano on the wall facing "The Last Supper".

    The refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie forms an integral part of this architectural complex, begun in Milan in 1463 and reworked at the end of the 15th century by Bramante. The church was heavily damaged during World War II but the paintings in the refectory were undamaged.

    When I went there were surprisingly few people there. I hear today that there is now a reservation required to visit.

    Opening hours
    Tuesday-Sunday 8am - 7.30pm the ticket
    office closes 45 minutes before first
    admissions at 8.15am closed on Mondays.

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    Santa Maria delle Grazie

    by draguza Written Aug 10, 2005

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    The Church

    Santa Maria delle Grazie is a Renaissance church in Milan built by Guiniforte Solari between 1466 and 1490 on a commission by Dominican monks. Later modifications include work by Donato Bramante in 1492‑1497.

    The church is famous for the mural of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, although the painting is actually situated in the adjacent Dominican convent; its restoration in the 1990s was very controversial since much of the painting was removed in favor of only the stratum authentically painted by Leonardo, which is much more fragmentary.

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  • doug48's Profile Photo

    last supper

    by doug48 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    santa maria della grazie
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    leonardo da vinci's famous painting "the last supper" is located in the renaissance convent, santa maria delle grazie in cental milan. this painting is considered one of the key images of western civilization. because of environmental concerns only a few visitors are allowed to view the painting at one time. you must make an appointment to view the painting at least 60 days in advance. santa maria della grazie is open tues through sun.

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    Santa Maria delle Grazie

    by MalenaN Written Mar 14, 2009

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    Santa Maria delle Grazie
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    Santa Maria delle Grazie is the church where you can see Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, but there is a separate entrance and an admission to see the painting (see another tip). After I had bought the ticket for The Last Supper I had 20 minutes to explore the church before it was time for me to see the painting.

    Santa Maria delle Grazie is a beautiful church where I liked the light colours, the vaults with frescos, the granite columns and much more. Construction of the church begun in 1463 and it was completed in 1482. It is made by Guiniforte Solari and it is built in a Lombard gothic style. The façade is made of red brick. Inside there are three aisles and it is 63 metres long and 30 metres wide and there are several chapels. There are work of art made by Butinone, Montorfano, Demìo, the Cazzaniga brothers, Zenale and Bergognone.

    The church is open between 7.30 - 12.00 and 15.00 - 19.00.

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    Home of Da Vinci's "The Last Supper"

    by starship Updated Aug 27, 2004

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    Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie

    If you've recently read Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code," seeing the painting of Da Vinci's "The Last Supper" may be high on your list of things to do while in Milan. Located in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, "The Last Supper" depicts Jesus at a meal with his apostles and in which he announces to them that he knows one of them will betray him. This masterpiece was painted as a wall frescoe and is vulnerable to the many problems associated with that (humidity, light, etc.). Don't be disappointed and miss this masterpiece as we were by not getting one of the timed tickets needed for admission.

    (If you enlarge the accompanying picture, you will see another piece of art just above the door.)

    Open daily 09:00 to 19:00 except Monday; Sunday hours are 09:00 to 20:00. Free for children under 18 yrs. of age and senior citizens over 60. Book your tickets by phone a day or two ahead of time.

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    The Last Supper

    by draguza Written Aug 22, 2005

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    The Last Supper

    Leonardo da Vinci was already a well known artist when he created his masterpiece The Last Supper. He painted it on the back wall of the dining hall at the Dominican convent of Sta Maria delle Grazie. The reason the painting is laid out the way it is is that Leonardo was trying to "extend the room", to make it look like Jesus and his apostles were sitting at the end of the dining hall.

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  • See The Last Supper

    by Jetgirly Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    In order to see The Last Supper, you should call several days in advance and make a reservation (operators speak English and Italian). I called on a Monday and could not get a ticket until the following Sunday, and it was not high season or a long weekend. Then, show up at Santa Maria delle Grazie church fifteen or twenty minutes before your scheduled entrance time, armed with your reservation number, and trade your passport and €5 for a great audio guide.

    When you enter the room holding the painting, you will be amazed that it has survived the test of time (plus two World Wars and Napoleon's use of the room as a stable for horses!). You will be allowed fifteen minutes to view the massive painting, which was painted by Leondardo da Vinci over the course of approximately four years.

    The church is difficult to find and there are no signs guiding the way, so bring your map!

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    Santa Maria delle Grazie - the interiors

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 24, 2004

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    Santa Maria delle Grazie
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    The interior of Santa Maria delle Grazie. like the outside of the church, is decorated in both Gothic and Renaissance styles. Giuniforte Solari designed the nave with its Gothic style popinted arches. The tribune was decorated by Bramante. The painted decoration is extremely simple, only three designs, the circle, the square, and the spoked wheel are used, and they are harmoniously repeated.

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