Milan travel – 2013 (update)


  1. Hard Edges
  2. Plan
  3. Google maps
  4. “Best of Milan + Last Supper” tour
  5. – 20 Great Things to do in Milan (with my comments)
  6. Bob Dylan concert
  7. Churches & Palaces
  8. Museums & selected artwork

Hard Edges:

  • Destination: Milan – Italy
  • Time: arrive @ Hotel; Friday around 14:00 – November 01, leave Monday from Hotel around 1030
  • Hotel: = Hotel XXII Marzo
  • Main focus: Walking around, Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, Bob Dylan concert, Football match, Brera Art Gallery, Sforza Castle, food & wine, +++
  • Social circumstances: Group of ~7 people traveling together.
  • Guide & Tours: Dark Rome tours



~1400 Hotel XXII Marzo
~1500 Late lunch w/ plenty of wine @ Giacomo Arengario
~1600 visit Biblioteca Ambrosiana
~1700 Walking around in central Milan, get water & wine
~2030 Dinner
~2200 More wine



0830 Rise & shine. Meditate.
0900 Breakfast
~0930 Brisk walking; visit Basilica of San Lorenzo
Check my google map for details
~1300 Lunch before tour
1415 – 1715 “Best of Milan + Last Supper” tour
~1930 Bob Dylan concert @ Teatro degli Arcimboldi

last supper


 0900 Rise & Shine. Meditation.
 0930 Breakfast
~1000 Art Tour (Sforza Castle & Brera Art Gallery)
Check my google map for details
~1400 Lunch
2000 Dinner

Google map -> Milan 2013

Tip -> pre download google map on your phone:

MAP - overview

MAP – near Hotel

MAP - Hotel

milan map

“Best of Milan + Last Supper” tour

-> link: “Best of Milan” + Last Supper walking tour

Duration: 3 Hours (1415 – 1715)

dark rome tours

From Dark Rome Tours website:

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 Milan cathedral – it is often described as one of the most beautiful churches in the world. So impressive is the Milan 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 Emmanuele 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. The Brera’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 Milan 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 that Last Supper tickets are 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 the Last Supper.


Here is list of “20 Great things to do in Milan“:

 What My comments:
1 Feast your eyes on the Last Supper mandatory
2 Scale the Duomo mandatory
3 Bag the latest styles at the Rectangle of Gold boring
4 Explore the labyrinthine Castello Sforzesco will do
5 Have a Venice experience in Milan maybe
6 Savour the flavours of Milanese cuisine mandatory
7 Relax to the max at Milan’s spas nope
8 Sample a sandwich of distinction I don’t eat bread
9 View the best art collection in the city (Pinacoteca di Brera) mandatory
10 Grab a really great coffee will do
11 Be both cheap and chearful at happy hour will be
12 Sing Oh Bej! Oh Bej! at the top of your voice nope
13 Shop in one of the oldest malls in the world I don’t like shopping
14 Support AC Milan (or maybe FC Internazionale!) will do (AC Milan)
15 Hunt down cut price catwalk goodies no way
16 Become a drama queen at Opera at La Scala maybe next time
17 Rummage around the flea markets No way
18 Club with the hipsters in Como No way
19 Kick back with the locals at their favourite lake Next time
20 Resurrect Roman Milan Maybe next time

Bob Dylan @ Teatro degli Arcimboldi

Dylan has been using the same setlist for the last 6-7 concerts.. Here it is:

  1. Things Have Changed
  2. She Belongs To Me
  3. Beyond Here Lies Nothin’
  4. What Good Am I?
  5. Pay In Blood
  6. Waiting For You
  7. Duquesne Whistle
  8. Tangled Up In Blue
  9. Love Sick
  10. High Water (For Charley Patton)
  11. Simple Twist Of Fate
  12. Early Roman Kings
  13. Forgetful Heart
  14. Spirit On The Water
  15. Scarlet Town
  16. Soon After Midnight
  17. Long And Wasted Year
  18. All Along The Watchtower
  19. Blowin’ In The Wind

Check out these posts over @

Spotify playlist:

1. Milan Cathedral

Milan Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Milano) is the cathedral church of Milan, Italy. Dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente (Saint Mary Nascent), it is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan, currently Cardinal Angelo Scola.

The Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. It is the fifth largest cathedral in the world and the largest in the Italian state territory.

They say that the Cathedral of Milan is second only to St. Peter’s at Rome. I cannot understand how it can be second to anything made by human hands.
~Mark Twain (1867)

milan cathedral

The statues on the tips of the many spires seem so relaxed — like they’re just hanging out, waiting for their big day. The fanciful gargoyles, functioning as drain spouts, are especially imaginative. The church is a good example of the flamboyant, or “flame like,” overdone final stage of Gothic.
~Rick Steves

Milan’s layout, with streets either radiating from the Duomo or circling it, reveals that the Duomo occupies what was the most central site in Roman Mediolanum, that of the public basilica facing the forum. Saint Ambrose’s ‘New Basilica’ was built on this site at the beginning of the 5th century, with an adjoining basilica added in 836. The old baptistery (Battistero Paleocristiano, constructed in 335) still can be visited under the Milan Cathedral, it is one of the oldest Christian buildings in Europe. When a fire damaged the cathedral and basilica in 1075, they were later rebuilt as the Duomo.

 2. Sforza Castle


Sforza Castle (Italian: Castello Sforzesco) is a castle in Milan, northern Italy. It was built in the 15th century by Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, on the remains of a 14th-century fortification. Later renovated and enlarged, in the 16th and 17th centuries it was one of the largest citadels in Europe. Largely remade by Luca Beltrami in 1891-1905, it now houses several of the city’s museums and art collections.


The castle includes some museums. I’m visiting:

  • The Museum of Ancient Art which includes Michelangelo’s last sculpture (the Rondanini Pietà), the armory, the tapestry room and some funerary monuments.

The Museum of Ancient Art is a museum sited in the Sforza Castle of Milan. It is one of the most important collection of late-antiquity, medieval and renaissance sculpture in the north of Italy. The different frescoed rooms of the museum home to the armory, the tapestry room, some funerary monuments, the Rondanini Pietà and also two medieval portals.

The Rondanini Pietà is a marble sculpture that Michelangelo worked on from the 1550s until the last days of his life, in 1564. It is housed in the Museum of Ancient Art of Sforza Castle in Milan. His final sculpture, the Rondanini Pietà revisited the theme of the Virgin Mary mourning over the body of the dead Christ, which he had first explored in his Pietà of 1499. Like his late series of drawings of the Crucifixion and the sculpture of the Deposition of Christ intended for his own tomb, it was produced at a time when Michelangelo’s sense of his own mortality (and with it his spirituality) was growing.

pieta rondanini

Artist:  Michelangelo
Year:  1564
Type:  Marble
Dimensions:  195 cm (77 in)
Location:  Castello Sforzesco, Milan

3. Santa Maria delle Grazie



Santa Maria delle Grazie (“Holy Mary of Grace”) is a church and Dominican convent in Milan, northern Italy, included in the UNESCO World Heritage sites list. The church contains the mural of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, which is in the refectory of the convent.

Da Vinchi last supper


Artist Leonardo da Vinci
Year 1494–1498
Type tempera on gesso, pitch and mastic
Dimensions 460 cm × 880 cm (181 in × 346 in)
Location Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan

The Last Supper (Italian: Il Cenacolo or L’Ultima Cena) is a late 15th-century mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria della Grazie, Milan. The work is presumed to have been commenced around 1495 and was commissioned as part of a scheme of renovations to the church and its convent buildings by Leonardo’s patron Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. The painting represents the scene of The Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, as it is told in the Gospel of John, 13:21. Leonardo has depicted the consternation that occurred among the Twelve Disciples when Jesus announced that one of them would betray him.

Reserve several months in advance to see this Renaissance masterpiece in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Because of Leonardo’s experimental fresco technique, deterioration began within six years of its completion. The church was bombed in World War II, but — miraculously, it seems — the wall holding The Last Supper remained standing. The 21-year restoration project (completed in 1999) peeled 500 years of touch-ups away, leaving a faint but vibrant masterpiece. In a big, vacant, whitewashed room, you’ll see faded pastels and not a crisp edge. The feet under the table look like negatives. But the composition is dreamy — Leonardo captures the psychological drama as the Lord says, “One of you will betray me,” and the apostles huddle in stressed-out groups of three, wondering, “Lord, is it I?” Some are scandalized. Others want more information. Simon (on the far right) gestures as if to ask a question that has no answer. In this agitated atmosphere, only Judas (fourth from left and the only one with his face in shadow) — clutching his 30 pieces of silver and looking pretty guilty — is not shocked.
~Rick Steves

 4. Basilica of San Lorenzo

Basilica of San Lorenzo

The Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore is an important place of catholic worship located in Milan, within the ring of canals, originally built in Roman times and subsequently rebuilt several times over a number of centuries. Located close to the mediaeval Ticino gate, it is one of the oldest churches in Milan. It’s nearby the city park called Basilicas Park, which includes both the Basilica of San Lorenzo and the Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio, as well as the Roman Colonne di San Lorenzo.

San Lorenzon Milan


The Colonne di San Lorenzo is the best-known Roman ruin in Milan. It is located in front of the Basilica of San Lorenzo. It is a square with a row of columns on either side, which were taken from a temple or public bath house dating from the 2nd century.

5. Pinacoteca di Brera


The Pinacoteca di Brera (“Brera Art Gallery“) is the main public gallery for paintings in Milan, Italy. It contains one of the foremost collections of Italian paintings, an outgrowth of the cultural program of the Brera Academy, which shares the site in the Palazzo Brera.

Selected paintings:

a) Lamentation of Christ (Mantegna)


Artist Andrea Mantegna
Year c. 1480
Type Tempera on canvas
Dimensions 68 cm × 81 cm (27 in × 32 in)
Location Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

b) Giovanni Bellini – Pietà, 1460



c) The Marriage of the Virgin (Raphael)



Artist Raphael
Year 1504
Type Oil on roundheaded panel
Dimensions 174 cm × 121 cm (69 in × 48 in)
Location Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

The Marriage of the Virgin, also known as Lo Sposalizio, is an oil painting by Italian High Renaissance artist Raphael. Completed in 1504 for a Franciscan church in Città di Castello, the painting depicts a marriage ceremony between Mary and Joseph. It changed hands several times before settling in 1806 at the Pinacoteca di Brera.

d) Supper at Emmaus (Caravaggio)



Artist Caravaggio
Year 1606
Type Oil on canvas
Dimensions 141 cm × 175 cm (56 in × 69 in)
Location Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

e) Brera Madonna – Piero della Francesca

Piero_della_Francesca_brera madonna

Artist Piero della Francesca
Year 1472
Type Tempera on panel
Dimensions 248 cm × 150 cm (98 in × 59 in)
Location Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

The Brera Madonna (also known as the Pala di Brera, the Montefeltro Altarpiece or Brera Altarpiece) is a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Piero della Francesca, executed in 1472-1474. It is housed in the Pinacoteca di Brera of Milan, where it was deposited by Napoleon.

The work, of a type known as a sacra conversazione, was commissioned by Federico III da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, to celebrate the birth of Federico’s son, Guidobaldo. According to other sources, it would celebrate his conquest of several castles in the Maremma.

6. Biblioteca Ambrosiana

MAP - Biblioteca Ambrosiana



The Biblioteca Ambrosiana is a historic library in Milan, Italy, also housing the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, the Ambrosian art gallery. Named after Ambrose, the patron saint of Milan, it was founded by Cardinal Federico Borromeo (1564–1631), whose agents scoured Western Europe and even Greece and Syria for books and manuscripts. Some major acquisitions of complete libraries were the manuscripts of the Benedictine monastery of Bobbio (1606) and the library of the PaduanVincenzo Pinelli, whose more than 800 manuscripts filled 70 cases when they were sent to Milan and included the famous Iliad, the Ilia Picta.

I’m after two important painting here:

a) Portrait of a Musician (Leonardo da Vinci)



Artist Leonardo da Vinci
Year 1490
Type Oil on wood panel
Dimensions 45 cm × 32 cm (18 in × 13 in)
Location Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan

..and even better:

b) Basket of Fruit (Caravaggio)

caravaggio basket of fruit

Basket of Fruit (c.1599) is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610), which hangs in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Ambrosian Library), Milan.

Check out my other travel posts:

Facts from Wikipedia & Selected artwork inspired by many different sources… books, websites, TTC videos & most important of course.. personal taste.

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