Santa Maria del  Grazie Church and Convent

October 5, 2016

On my day of arrival in Milan,  I had a half- day tour set up, in advance, with  Zan Viaggi  Tours,  so that I could see  ” The Last Supper” painting.   Unless you make your reservations to see the painting months in advance,  a tour company like this is your only chance.   The tour was half  riding in a bus  to see some sights and history of Milan and half  walking tour.  It was enjoyable,  well organized and I would highly recommend.


The Last Supper was painted by Leonardo da Vinci  from 1494 – 1498, directly on the wall  in the refectory of  the convent.  It  measures approximately  15 by 29 feet.

During World War II   the  church and  convent was bombed and much of the refectory was destroyed, but  the wall that holds the The Last Supper, which had been sand-bagged in order to protect it, survived.

In 1980,  a 19 year restoration began on the badly deteriorated painting .  Sadly  very few of  da Vinic  actual brush strokes remain.


 The Crucifixion,   by  Donato da Montorfano , also  was painted directly on the wall in the dining hall across from The Last Supper  in 1495.


A funny  side note to this tour stop was that I sat next to a  Australian  lady, who was traveling alone and had quite a sense of humor.    We had a bit of free time while at this stop  and , while I went across the street to enjoy some strawberry gelato, this lady went to see the inside of the church.  When we all got back on the bus, she commented to me that,  even though she wasn’t Catholic, she had ” sprinkled myself with Holy Water – I don’t know if it did any good but thought I would try”.

Thanks for reading!



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Donna
    Oct 17, 2016 @ 17:46:46

    Thank you for the lovely paintings in Milan. I can’t imagine how something so old can be so amazingly maintained. I’m sure there was so much more to appreciate when you were actually in front of them.



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