The Last Supper and Scenes from Milan

May 15, 2017

While Milan might be best known for its fashion, one of the most famous attraction in the city (and one of the most famous paintings in the world) would have to be Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper. Before our trip, I really didn't know much about Milan. Lyndon and I aren't big shoppers (especially while on vacation), so I wasn't really excited about the retail scene. When I realized that The Last Supper was located in Milan, I knew immediately that we had to go see it. Getting tickets to The Last Supper is easier said than done. I read on multiple websites and blogs that you have to purchase tickets 3 months in advance. For example, the earliest available date with availability right now is August 2, 2017. So I went to the ticket website to see when tickets would be available for March and marked my calendar.

The day finally came... I woke up, went to work and got on my computer. We were only going to be in Milan for two days so I didn't have much to work with. I selected the first day we would be in Milan, sold out! I guess I should have set my alarm to wake me up with the rest of Europe! I was already behind living in the States. I selected the second day we would be in Milan and only 3 times slots were available. Hey that's better than nothing. You only get to spend 15 minutes with the famous mural and only 30 visitors are allowed per tour.

Since we would be coming in from Florence that day and I didn't want to leave Florence too early, I selected the latest time slot available, 3:30 PM. I selected two adults tickets and one child (which I think was free or heavily discounted) and proceeded to check out. Half way through this process, the website switched from English to Italian and I had no clue what I was doing and I didn't know how to switch it back. I was almost done checking out when I got an alert that said I needed to also purchase guided tours with our tickets. I only knew this because I copied the message into Google Translate. After adding the guided tours and somehow paying, I finally received a confirmation email... in Italian. I told Lyndon that there might be a chance I didn't do it right just to cover my bases.

The day finally came, our last full day in Italy. Our train arrived in Milan, we dropped off our bags at the hotel and immediately hopped into a taxi to the Santa Maria delle Grazie. I had all my confirmation emails printed out just in case there was an issue with our tickets. At this point, I still wasn't 100% sure we actually had tickets. We arrived at the ticket office and... we got our tickets! Sigh, now time to enjoy this amazing piece of art (and history).  

When it was our turn to see the mural, we had to enter through a series of doors. The front door couldn't open until the back one closed. The mural is super delicate and any help in keeping the elements and humidity out is a must. I have to say The Last Supper is super impressive. Even though a lot of critics are not fans of the most recent restoration efforts, citing that the colors and tones were drastically changed, it is still a beautiful piece of art. If you are ever in Milan, The Last Supper is a must see!

THE RUNDOWN:

Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie
20123 Milano, Italy

Tickets: Vivaticket
             

After our 15 minutes with The Last Supper, Aiden and I went walking around Milan. Lyndon would have joined us but his knee was really bothering him so he just sat on a bench and read his book. Not a far walk from the Santa Maria delle Grazie is Sforza Castle. The castle was built in the 14th century and was renovated and enlarged throughout history. Today the castle is home to several museums and art collections. Another beautiful building in Milan is the main railway station, Milano Centrale. Honestly, I think it's prettier than the castle and the church where The Last Supper is located. The architecture is beautiful and it doesn't even look like a train station. Our hotel was located right next to the station so we had the perfect view of the building. 

While I had mixed feelings about Milan after our first day, I got a better understanding of the city after our second day there. Some cities are meant to knock your socks off and some are just meant to be in the friend zone and that's okay. I live in a friend zone city. No one ever says "Let's go on vacation to Houston!" but it's the 4th largest city in the United States for a reason. We might not have The Last Supper or the Duomo but we do have our Galleria and Space Center Houston and J. J. Watt (he's pretty much a Houston landmark now). So Milan, while I didn't fall in love with you, I don't hate you. Maybe I'll see you again one day!   


What city do you have in your friend zone?

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