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Mainly known as the home of Leonardo Da Vinci's world-famous The Last Supper, Santa Maria Delle Grazie in Milan is a magnificent church and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here are 5 reasons to visit this stunning and eclectic hybrid of architectural styles.
Few paintings are as iconic as Da Vinci's 15th century mural. Though nearly destroyed on many occasions, thanks to a recent restoration, it can now be admired in all its splendor.
The exterior demonstrates the church's mix of architectural styles: while the sober terracota facade exemplifies the Lombard tradition, the lavish entrance is in Renaissance style.
The central nave and the adjacent aisles, with their highly ornate and exquisitely frescoed arches, are splendid examples of Late Gothic architecture.
Designed by the eminent Renaissance architect Donato Bramante, this remarkable dome is camouflaged on the outside – its hemisphere is only apparent from the church's interior.
The lovely garden of this inner cloister, named after the statues that spout water into the fountain, is ideal for a picturesque breather from the bustle of Milan.
If you want to see The Last Supper, it's necessary to reserve tickets ahead of time. Visits are limited to 15-minute viewing slots. Tickets sell out fast, so you should plan well in advance – in the high season, for example, they sometimes sell out 3 months in advance!
As mentioned above, the cloister is a lovely spot to take a break and renew your energies. If you want to visit the cloister but mass is ongoing, don't worry, you can also access the cloister from a side door at the back of the church.
- When to visitOpen 7 AM - noon, 3-7PM Monday through Saturday; 7.30AM - 12.15PM, 3.30-9PM on Sundays.
- What is the price?Church admission: Free. Last Supper viewing: € 6.50 + € 1.50 booking fee
- Will I need a guide?Not compulsory but recommended
- How to get thereThe Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is in between two metro stations: Cadorna Triennale and Conciliazone. It’s a 15-minute walk from the Duomo or a quick taxi ride.
- Additional tips
- Make sure to book in advance to view The Last Supper.
- Check weather before visiting and dress accordingly.