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Da Vinci's Last Supper, Milan

2 Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie
Italy 20123
Tel: 39 02 9280 0362
view web site ›'s insider take:

Some claim that a visit to Leonardo da Vinci's greatest wall painting is an Emperor's New Clothes experience: The artist used an unstable dry-painting technique rather than fresco, and so much paint has faded and flaked off over the years that it has become difficult to appreciate the work for the masterpiece that it once was. Enough is left, though, to catch the daring compositional scheme and Leonardo's bold use of primary colors—looking fresher since the end of a 20-year restoration in 1999. But if you intend to visit—perhaps to check out firsthand Dan Brown's thesis that fey, blond John the Baptist, to Christ's right, is actually Mary Magdalene—you'll need to reserve well in advance. Book your 15-minute slot online or by phone (39 02 9280 0362); at peak times, it may be a long wait before calls are answered. Reservations can be made up to three months in advance (for example, April times can be booked starting at the beginning of January), and slots tend to get snapped up very quickly. Currently, the 9:30 am and 3:30 pm visits are accompanied by an English guide, at no extra charge.—Updated by Lee Marshall

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