Located in the heart of Milan, the imposing Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, basilica and sanctuary, is testimony to the power of the Sforza family, who had it built as their mausoleum.
In the refectory of the Convent, adjacent to the sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie, there is The Cenacolo, also known as The Last Supper, the only wall fresco work by Leonardo da Vinci, commissioned by Ludovico il Moro and carried out between 1494 and 1498.
The work is based on the Gospel of John 13:21 in which Jesus, surrounded by the apostles, announces that he will be betrayed by one of them. In the treatment of the characters here, Leonardo goes beyond the narration of the biblical episode and applies the "theory of the movements of the soul", illustrated in his Treatise on Painting, so that the apostles are represented with expressions that reproduce their thoughts and emotions.
The Church and The Last Supper, both symbols of Renaissance Milan, were recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1980.
We remember that in 1943, during the World War II, the Refectory was heavily damaged and several parts of the building were leveled to the ground except for the wall on which The Last Supper is located.
Not to be missed when visiting the Church is the Chiostro delle Rane (Cloister of the Frogs), a small, charming cloister, and a perfect place for a photo and a break.