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Top Museums in Milan

From Da Vinci's Last Supper to Modern Art

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While Milan is not full of museums like Florence and Rome, the northern city does have its share of fine museums, which include everything from Leonardo's Last Supper to modern masterpieces. Following are some of Milan's best museums and information on what you will find in them.

The Last Supper in Santa Maria delle Grazie

Italy, Lombardy, Milan, Church Of St. Maria Delle Grazie
Vincenzo Lombardo/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper (Cenacolo Vinciano in Italian) is in situ at the Santa Maria delle Grazie refectory here in Milan. As this is one of the most famous paintings in the world, the church now acts as a museum, allowing approximately 20-25 patrons inside at a time to view the fresco.

Tickets can be difficult to get and should be booked about 2 months in advance. Select Italy sells Last Supper Tickets online with payment in US dollars.

Castello Sforzesco

milano castello, picture, milano castello picture
© by James Martin, Europe Travel

Milan is one of the few places in Italy where you can see Michelangelo's art. The artist's Rondanini Pietà is located in the Pinacoteca of the Castello Sforzesco. This massive castle also houses a number of other museums, including a Museum of Ancient Art, a Museum of Musical Instruments, and the Archeological Museum, which has prehistoric and Egyptian sections.

Brera Gallery

The Pinacoteca di Brera, part of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, is Milan's premier picture gallery, boasting paintings by Italian (Raphael, Bellini, Bronzino, Mantegna, Tiepolo) and international (Rubens, Braque, Hayez, Van Dyck) artists. Brera Art Gallery tickets can be bought online through Select Italy.

Leonardo da Vinci Science and Technology Museum

The Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Technologia Leonardo da Vinci is Italy's largest science and technology museum. In addition to housing the Leonardo Gallery, which contains some of Leonardo da Vinci's original drawings and numerous models of the his scientific innovations, the museum has interactive labs, a submarine exhibit, and a section devoted to science for young children.

Pinacoteca and Biblioteca Ambrosiana

The oldest museum in Milan houses priceless works by artists like Titian and Caravaggio and also contains the cartoon for the Raphael's The School of Athens, one of the highlights of the Vatican Museums. The adjacent library is most famous for having Leonardo da Vinci's Codice Atlantico, a collection of almost 2,000 drawings and notes from the Renaissance master. A combo pass is available from Select Italy.

Palazzo Reale

Used mostly to host temporary art exhibitions, the Palazzo Reale is also the home of the Civico Museo D'Arte Contemporanea, the Civic Museum of Contemporary Art, also called CIMAC. CIMAC features works of the 20th century, including collections of Surrealist and Futurist art.

Discovering Milan's Masterpieces Guided Tour

Discovering Milan's Masterpieces is a 3 hour tour that includes seeing the Last Supper (if tickets are available for your date), the Sforzesco Castle and Sculpture Museum with Michelangelo's Pieta, the Cathedral (and rooftop when Last Supper tickets are not available), and La Scala Opera House.
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