Half Day Best Of Milan Walking Tour & Da Vinci Last Supper (Approx. 3 Hours) Back

Departs from : Milan

Duration : 3.0 Hours

Type : Public

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Price Per Person : EUR 69.00

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Milan is one of the top 3 fashion cities in the world, but there is much more to this hip, urban metropolis – it is also home to an incredible patrimony of art and culture which includes Leonardo DaVinci‟s greatest masterpiece: the Last Supper. On this Skip the Line walking tour of the Best of Milan – we‟ll take to the city by foot starting with a visit inside the famous „Duomo‟ located in the most central point of the city. An impressive & beautiful cathedral – it is often described as one of the most beautiful churches in the world. So impressive is the Duomo, in fact, that American author Mark Twain dedicated a whole chapter to it in his book Innocents Abroad – describing it as  “…so grand, so solemn, so vast! And yet so delicate, so airy, so graceful!”. Our next stop is the impressive Galleria Vittorio Manuele II – a 19th  century glass vaulted shopping arcade.

Brimming with fashionable shops and cafés – it is often called the „salotto di Milano‟ or „Milan‟s drawing room‟ for its importance as a common meeting point through the years for the Milanese. Passing through the Gallery we arrive at Piazza della Scala, the square which houses the world renowned Scala Theatre – Milan‟s Opera House since 1778 which is still in use. Some of the greatest musicians and singers the world has ever known have performed here, notably Giuseppe Verdi whose famous operas, such as Falstaff, often premiered in this very theatre. Next it‟s through the Brera District. Rich in historical buildings and „literature cafés”, restaurants and fashionable bars – this area has long been home to artists and  intellectuals.  It‟s picturesque and winding streets lead us north to Castello Sforzesco. An imposing medieval Castle and fortress, Sforzesco was once seat and residence of the ruling family of Milan and now houses several of the city's museums and art collections. The final stop and culmination of this walking tour is none other than Leonardo Da Vinci‟s Last Supper, hidden away at the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. This enormous and complex 15th century mural captures the emotional moment in which Jesus announces that one of his 12 disciples will betray him. The painting had been severely damaged over the centuries, and has only very recently undergone a painstaking 21 year restoration, revealing the original colors and details of this masterpiece. The delicate nature of this mural and its importance means entrance is strictly limited to those who have pre-booked – and only one group is allowed to stand with the painting at a time in a specially conditioned room for 15 minutes. This Skip the Line Tour of the Best of Milan includes this difficult to obtain pre-booked entrance, guaranteeing exclusive no line entry and an intimate viewing of this special painting. 

 
** Your viewing of the last supper is super-exclusive. You will have 15 minutes alone with the painting, your guide and a group of no more than 25 people. A special dress code is required to enter in churches & museums. Knees and shoulders must to be covered. Gartour cannot be held responsible for entry denied due to improper dress. **    
 


Tour Highlights and What's Included

  1. Skip the Line entrance to Last Supper and headsets included in tour price.

What's Not Included

  1. Food and beverages not mentioned in the program
  2. Gratuities of any type
  3. Hotel pickup and dropoff

Milan


 

Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital of Lombardy. The city proper has a population of about 1.35 million, while its urban area is the 5th largest in the EU and the largest in Italy.  The city is at the center of a huge metropolitan sprawl, the most dense in all Italy, where over 4.5 million Italians make their home.  It is a muscular city that is the financial, industrial and commercial heart of Italy. Indeed, Milan ranks, with New York, London, Paris, Los Angeles and Toronto as one of the world's great "alpha" cities.

As readers of www.italygroupspecialists.com are aware, our mission is to present the "off-the-beaten-track" places in Italy.  Strangely, from the point of view of tourism, Milan - or Milano as the Italians know it, is not one of Italy's most popular destinations.  So, we did feel an obligation to dip our editorial toes into the city and give you a good sense of what the place is all about.

Milan is not perceptibly quaint or immediately charming.  Nor is it located in a landscape that stirs the imagination.  It is a city of the plain, situated in the vast, fertile prairie that extends from the foothills of the Alps on the North, to the River Po to the south.  To enjoy Milan and discover its abundant delights, you must penetrate, by car, train or bus, to its ancient core, which rubs shoulders with the ultra-modern "new city".

Once there, you can explore on foot, or use local buses and an efficient "subway" system to get around.  From time to time a cab will suffice to get you to a site that is a bit further out than a good walk.

The city was founded, presumably by Celts as long ago as the 7th Century BC.  In its long history it has been ruled by Romans, then by the invading barbarians, first the Ostrigoths, then the Longobards.  Milan, like other Italian cities, operated under the commercial oligarchy commune system for a time, but also like other cities, came  under the despotic rule of Signoria, with the Visconti family dominating for several decades, followed by the Sforza family. 

The city was conquered by France in the 15th century, but the French were displaced by the Spanish, who, in the 18th century were overthrown by the Austrians, who, in the 19th century were defeated by Napoleon.  Ultimately, of course, Milan became part of the Kingdom of Italy, which merged with the rest of the Italian peninsula to form the modern country of Italy in 1861.

This long, complicated history makes it unsurprising, therefore, that the architecture of Milan incorporates at least a few fragments from its early tribal settlers, as well as churches, palazzi, and government buildings that reflect the Roman, Gothic and Renaissance styles, sometimes all in one building.  Nor is it surprising, given the wealth of the Milan's rulers and merchant families, that the artistic works scattered around the city include works from the best of the best, including works by Leonardo Da Vinci who's very famous painting, The Last Supper, hangs in the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie.

There are countless churches in Milan, but the one that you will not, cannot and should not miss is the Duomo - the Cathedral - which is the 3rd largest cathedral in Europe featuring  a golden Madonna at its peak, over 140 spires, many of which you can see if you take the "roof walk", and 2000 statutes.  The Duomo is a Gothic building, constructed in the 13h Century, sitting in the main square of the oldest part of Milan.

Nor will you want to miss Castello Sforzesco, the seat of power for the mighty Sforza family who ruled Milan in the 14th and early 15th Centuries.  The building was started in 1368, but was extended and renovated continually throughout the family's reign.

Other landmarks, old and new, that we recommend for your "must see" list, include:

 

  • Arco della Pace (The Arch of Peace) – Piazza Sempione
  • Archi di Porta Nuova (The new gate) on Via Manzoni, in the old medieval wall.
  • Porta Ticinese (Ticinese Port)Via Molino delle Armi.  During Roman times, this gate opened to a small port at the convergence of the Norone and Seveso Rivers.
  • Stazione Centrale - Piazza Duca d'Aosta.  Done in the Art Nouveau style, this is one of the largest and most impressive train stations in all Europe.
  • Grattacielo Pirelli (Pirelli Tower) - Piazzale Duca d'Aosta.  Built in the 1950s on the site of the original Pirelli tire works, the tower is a symbol of the modern city.
  • Teatro alla Scala (La Scala Theatre) Piazza della Scala.  Built in 1776, the theatre is used for live theatre, ballet and, of course, opera.

While the architectural heritage of Milan is of considerable interest, Milan is also a paradise for those who enjoy haute cuisine and haute couture.  Along with Paris and London, Milan is one of Europe's most powerful fashion centers.  The importance of design, however, is not limited to fashion, but extends to furniture and industrial design of all kinds.  Shoppers, with money to burn, will not be disappointed with what they find in the beautiful shops that line the central commercial zoneMilan is Italy's most important financial center, featuring international-scale banks and  brokerages, and also Italy's largest bourse - or stock exchange.  Most of Milan's major media groups, advertising agencies, and commercial head offices are located in Milan.

To top it all off, Milan is also one of Italy's most important educational centers, with more than a dozen universities and a Polytechnic Institute of international repute.

As we said at the outset, Milan is a city of muscle.  But, it is also a city of considerable refinement and sophistication.  It is, as some say, a European city, not an Italian city.  But, that is a superficial assessment.  Milan and the Milanese are Italian, through and through.

 
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Price Per Person : EUR 69.00

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