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Tourists line up at the Cenacolo Vinciano (Leonardo’s Last Supper) and sign up for endless waiting lists, but in Milan, Leonardo da Vinci left other important treasures, some of them even more exciting - and less crowded.
Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper fresco is one of the most known and visited works in the city of Milan. Located in the former Refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, it is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Due to its popularity, visiting the masterpiece can’t be improvised at the last minute. A reservation for the admission to the Last Supper is always mandatory and there are different websites offering tickets – the official one being VivaTicket.it. The visit lasts 15 minutes and the audio guide is highly recommended to optimize the short time available. If you are lucky, every first Sunday of the month, admission is free (with a mandatory reservation to the call centre).
If you love Leonardo’s work, there are at least two other addresses to visit.
Largely unknown, this place houses one of the most famous works of Leonardo in the world: the Atlantic Codex. The Biblioteca Ambrosiana was founded in 1609 by Federico Borromeo and the Sala Federiciana is the original, monumental reading room where the quarterly exhibitions of the Leonardo Da Vinci Code are displayed. The Reading Room and then the Courtyard of the Spirits Magni are equally fascinating in their twentieth-century style, especially in the evening, as the vaults of the arcades light up. Connected to the Library is the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana which includes hundreds of paintings. The gems on display include the Portrait of a Musician by Leonardo da Vinci, the Basket of Fruit by Caravaggio, the Adoration of the Magi by Titian, the monumental Cartoon for the School of Athens by Raphael. There is even a lock of blonde hair belonging to Lucrezia Borgia.
In the centre of Milan, a few steps from the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio, the National Museum of Science and Technology is named after Leonardo da Vinci and is the largest technical-scientific museum in Italy, as well as among the most important in Europe. It also houses a gallery entirely dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci, with the most important collection in the world of machines and historical models built from the drawings of the Florentine genius.
If you visit the Castello Sforzesco, do not miss the Sala delle Asse, a large fresco made in 1498 depicting a fake pergola, made of theflowering branchesofsixteen trees whose intertwined branches formtheDa Vinciknot emblem that depictsacirclethatinscribesadouble cross.