Santa Maria delle Grazie Itinerary 

In Milan, Italy, Santa Maria delle Grazie is a historic church and Dominican convent of great significance in art. 

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is primarily known for housing Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Last Supper, displayed in the church’s refectory. 

Beyond its association with this iconic painting, Santa Maria delle Grazie boasts an impressive collection of Italian masterpieces by renowned artists such as Gaudenzio Ferrari, Bernardo Zenale and Bramantino. 

With its rich Renaissance heritage and cultural importance, Santa Maria delle Grazie continues to mesmerize visitors worldwide.

In this article, we will provide an itinerary for the complex, including information on the duration of the visit, things to do, how to reach the site, ticket details and more. 

Learn about Santa Maria delle Grazie through this comprehensive guide and plan your day accordingly.

With the skip-the-line access ticket, you can uncover the essence of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper while smoothly incorporating art and history into your unforgettable Milan itinerary.

A brief history

Santa Maria delle Grazie has a rich history dates back to the 15th century.

Originally commissioned by Count Gaspare Vimercati, the church and convent were built by architect Guiniforte Solari in the Gothic style. 

However, Duke Ludovico Sforza transformed the church into a mausoleum for his family.

Enlisting the renowned Donato Bramante, the now complex was created by adding a dome, apses, a refectory and a cloister. 

Milanese nobles hired artists to decorate the chapels. 

Despite damage in World War II, The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci was miraculously unharmed. 

Extensive restoration followed, preserving the iconic painting.

What to see and do at Santa Maria delle Grazie?

The Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan offers a multitude of captivating sights and experiences. Here are some highlights you should not miss:

Church Interiors

The inside of the church offers a stunning blend of architectural styles and exquisite artwork. 

The rectangular layout, adorned with intricate details and a magnificent tiburio dome, showcases the grandeur of the early Italian Renaissance. 

Marvel at the interplay of light and architectural elements as you explore the rows of seven square side chapels, each sponsored by prominent families and featuring exceptional artworks. 

Inside, frescoes by artists like Bernardo Zenale and Bramantino guide you through Milan’s golden era. 

The interplay of light and architectural elements creates a mesmerizing ambiance.


Explore the rows of seven square side chapels adorn the church’s aisles. 

Each chapel, sponsored by prominent families, showcases remarkable artwork. 

The Chapel of St. Catherine is remarkable, showcasing sculptures by Antonello da Messina. 

Additionally, a chapel on the right side holds captivating frescoes of the ‘Stories of Passion’ by Gaudenzio Ferrari.


Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of the Santa Maria delle Grazie cloister, also known as the Cloister of the Frogs. 

This charming addition surrounds the church and Dominican Convent, providing a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere. 

The simple quadrangular cloister boasts elegant arches supported by slender columns, creating a sense of rhythm and symmetry. 

You must explore the central garden with its round basin and follow the cobbled paths that crisscross the area, offering a serene journey through this architectural gem.

The Last Supper

A visit to Santa Maria delle Grazie would not be complete without seeing ‘The Last Supper,’ one of the most famous masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci. 

This iconic fresco, created between 1494 and 1498, can be found in the church’s refectory. 

Despite the bombings during World War II, the fresco miraculously survived unharmed. 

Today, the painting is housed in the nearby annex, belonging to the National Museum. 

Plan your visit and secure the necessary entrance tickets to witness this remarkable depiction of a timeless biblical event.

How long does it take to visit?

A visit to the Santa Maria delle Grazie complex, which includes the church, convent and refectory, typically takes around 3 hours.

This time frame allows you to fully explore the entire complex and immerse yourselves in the church’s rich history and architectural beauty. 

However, if your main focus is to see Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Last Supper, you can expect to spend about an hour. 

You can choose from different tour options. 

There are short hour-long tours centered on The Last Supper and full-day city tours that cover other renowned Milan sites, like the Milan Cathedral.

Opening hours 

Santa Maria Delle Grazie church welcomes visitors from Tuesday to Sunday. 

The church opening hours on the weekdays are 7 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 7.30 pm.

During Sundays and public holidays, the hours are 7.30 pm to 12.30 pm and 3 pm to 9 pm.

The Last Supper Museum hours are from 8.15 am to 7 pm, with the last admission allowed at 6.45 pm. 

The last entry is at 4.45 pm, so you must plan your day accordingly.

You must plan to arrive before that time to ensure you have enough time to experience the interior and its magnificent artwork fully.

How to reach?

Reaching Santa Maria Delle Grazie is convenient and accessible. 

General admission to the church is free and it is easily reachable using public transportation. 

You can take the M1 (red) or M2 (green) metros or the tram, with the Cadorna stop being the closest major station. 

Santa Maria Delle Grazie address: Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie, 2

Learn how to reach Santa Maria Delle Grazie, including transportation options, directions and nearby landmarks, to make your visit seamless and enjoyable.

The Last Supper Tickets 

If you want to see Leonardo’s Last Supper, you’ll need a timed ticket, unlike the church. 

This famous painting isn’t a fresco but a wall painting done with tempera. 

That means Leonardo could fix things as he went along, but it also means the painting has suffered significant deterioration.

So, there is a limit (18 people per 15-minute slot) to the number of visitors per day to protect the artwork from dust and particles that can accelerate its deterioration.

You can book your Last Supper tickets in advance online from the official website, but there is no specific date for when the tickets go on sale.

Tickets sell out quickly, and availability typically opens 2-3 months ahead. You will have to check the website regularly to find available tickets. 

The website might be tricky to navigate; it asks for registration, and tickets are non-refundable with no rescheduling. 

For last-minute tickets, Last Supper guided tours are a convenient option, offering access and insights about the painting’s significance.

You will have a range of tours, from one-hour Last Supper guided tours to full-day city-wide tours.

Here are some of the most popular Last Supper tickets/tours you can choose from:

Places to eat

If you’re looking for a bite to eat near Santa Maria Delle Grazie, you’ll find a variety of nearby dining options. 

While food and drink are not allowed inside the church, there are several restaurants nearby where you can enjoy a satisfying meal.

Puccia’s Brothers, known for its authentic Italian cuisine, is where you can discover traditional recipes and savor the rich flavors of the region.

For a more casual dining experience, Nico offers tasty pizza and other casual fare at affordable prices. 

If you’re in the mood for bistro-style dining, Bar Il Cenacolo is a great choice. They serve various dishes, including sandwiches, pasta, pizza and more. 

These nearby eateries provide a convenient and enjoyable option to satisfy your hunger after visiting Santa Maria Delle Grazie.

Nearby attractions 

Milan, Italy, is a city rich in history and cultural treasures. 

Located near Santa Maria delle Grazie, several attractions will give you a glimpse into the city’s artistic and architectural wonders.

Here are some popular attractions, including museums near Santa Maria delle Grazie.

Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral) 

Visit this magnificent cathedral with its intricate architecture and stunning rooftop views. 

Cost: €8 ($9)
Distance: 3.6 km. Get directions.

Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci (Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology)

Explore the life and works of renowned artists and inventors at this fascinating museum. 

Cost: €9 ($10)
Distance:1.1 km. Get directions.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II 

You can shop and dine in one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. 

The elegant Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II beckons with luxury shops and stunning architecture.

Cost: Free
Distance: 3.3 km. Get directions.

Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio 

A historic church known for its Byzantine mosaics offers a glimpse into Milan’s religious heritage. 

Cost: Free
Distance:1.7 km. Get directions.

Sforzesco Castle 

A medieval fortress is a testament to the city’s past housing museums and art collections.

Cost: Free
Distance: 1 km. Get directions.

Parco Sempione

Enjoy a stroll or a picnic in this scenic park near Sforzesco Castle for a peaceful escape.

Cost: Free
Distance: 1.3 km. Get directions.

Arco della Pace

Admire this triumphal arch marking the entrance to Parco Sempione and symbolizing peace. 

Cost: Free
Distance: 1.3 km. Get directions.

Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore

Marvel at the stunning frescoes and beautiful interior of this lesser-known church.

Cost: Free
Distance: 1.1 km. Get directions.

Palazzo Reale di Milano

Immerse yourself in history as you explore this grand royal palace with impressive art collections.

Cost: $16
Distance: 5 km. Get directions.

Pinacoteca di Brera

Visit this prestigious art gallery housing a wide range of Italian masterpieces.

Cost: $16
Distance: 2.6 km. Get directions.

Featured Image: Facebook.com

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