7th – 10th March 2024

Including a visit to see Leonardo’s Last Supper

Milan is known to everyone but visited by few, except on business.  Yet Milan was once centre of the Western Roman empire, home to St Ambrose, Leonardo da Vinci and the House of Sforza.  Equally, commercial wealth has brought great collections; the Brera, Ambrosiana and the Poldi Pezzoli Museum would be high on any connoisseur’s hit list.  We will endeavour to book the illusive tickets to Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper.  So, there is much to see. Milan is also fun, energetic and, as you can imagine, just a little stylish.

In the evenings there will be the opportunity to go to the world’s grandest opera house, Teatro alla Scala to see the opera ‘Die Entführung aus dem Serail’ by Mozart and the ballet ‘Madina’ with music by Fabio Vacchi.  We will stay in an elegant 19th century palazzo with beautifully designed modern interiors, just a stone’s throw from the Duomo.

Itinerary

Thursday 7th March

Our morning flight will get us to Milan just after lunch. Once we have dropped our bags we will walk the short distance to the Duomo.  Here we will discuss the history of Lombardi, war, banking, arms manufacture, Leonardo, art and fashion. We will go up on to the rooftop of the cathedral to stroll among the spires and take in spectacular views of the city. If time allows, we will also try to get into San Satiro by Bramante.  For dinner we will take taxis to a highly recommended restaurant.

Friday 8th March

We will start the day seeing Leonardo’s Last Supper in the Refectory at Santa Maria della Grazie. We may need to join a tour in order to get in and secure a ticket, however, we will discuss matters ourselves. We can then go into the main church of Santa Maria della Grazie by Bramante.  Afterwards we will find a good coffee.  As we walk back into town, we will drop in on the very special convent of San Maurizio decorated by the much under rated Bernardino Luini. We will have a well-earned lunch nearby at a good trattoria.

The afternoon will be spent at the Bibliotecca Ambrosiana which has an extraordinary collection of paintings. We will look at Raphael’s ‘cartoon’ for the School of Athens and arguably the first Caravaggio of a bowl of fruit.

In the evening there will be the option to go to La Scala and see Mozart’s ‘Die Entführung aus dem Serail’ (The Abduction from the Seraglio), this singspiel in 3 acts is a light hearted farcical romance set in a Turkish harem. The soprano aria, “Martern aller Arten” is famously difficult to sing and stunning to listen to. See below for ticket options.

Saturday 9th March

We will spend the morning in the Castello Sforzesco, once seen by the Milanese as a symbol of tyranny and occupation it is now a thriving cultural center.  Home to several treasures including the Sala delle Asse frescoed by Leonardo da Vinci, Mantegna’s Madonna in Glory with Saints and the incredibly moving Rondanini Pieta by Michelangelo, his last work. We will have lunch at a great little place we know.

In the afternoon we will see something a little different at the Museo di Novecento, which has a collection of some of the Futurists and early 20th Century art of Italy.  The passionate works help us to understand the context of Mussolini’s rise to power.  If we have time, we will go to the Prada Foundation which is a vast tower full of contemporary installations. Dinner will be a a lively trattoria. There will also be the option to see the ballet ‘Madina’ with music by Fabio Vacchi at La Scala. The production is a work of both dance and theatre, where words, song, music, and movement come together to tell the story of a young girl named Madina. See below for ticket options.

Sunday 10th March

Our last morning will be spent at Pinacoteca di Brera, which is both the art school and the main art gallery in Milan. The collection includes works by Mantegna, Bellini, Tintoretto, Piero della Francesca, Caravaggio and Rubens. We will have some lunch before we make our way to the airport for our flight home.

 

Details

Tuition

The trip will be led by Nick Ross and Tom Parsons.   As AHA’s most experienced tutors, they know the city of Milan well and have a deep knowledge of the art and architecture.

Hotels – We will stay in the Hotel Indigo, a stone’s throw from the Duomo. The 19th century palazzo has been restored with elegant modern interiors.

FlightsWe do not book the flights thus allowing you to travel to suit your budget, use airmiles, travel between different airports or on different dates.  However, we recommend buying the following flights with British Airways:

7th March        London Heathrow 09.20 – 12.20 Milan Malpensa BA0576

10th March      Milan Linate 18.50 – 19.55 London Heathrow BA0569

Transport – There will be airport transfers to meet the recommended flights.  In the city we will take taxis as well as trams.

Ability – There is quite a bit of walking on this trip.  As is the case for all our courses, there is a lot of standing while we discuss the works we are looking at.

Dinners – Dinner is by no means compulsory, but we book a table for the group each night at different restaurants and divide the bill equally between everyone. The bill will be adjusted for those who have not had wine or beer.

Opera and Ballet Tickets – If you would like tickets for the opera and/or the ballet, please let us know which tier of seating you like as soon as possible. There is some availability however tickets are limited.

Opera on Friday 8th March: ‘Die Entführung aus dem Serail’ by Mozart

Seat type                                          cost   

Stalls Zone 1                                      € 250

Box Zone 1                                         € 250

Box Zone 2                                         € 204

Box Zone 3 (limited visibility)           € 144

Ballet on Saturday 9th March: ‘Madina’ with music by Fabio Vacchi

Seat type                                          cost   

Stalls Zone 1                                      € 180

Box Zone 1                                         € 180

Box Zone 2                                         € 150

Box Zone 3 (limited visibility)              € 108

Cost – The fees are £1890 which includes accommodation and breakfast, all lunches, transfers for the recommended flight, transport when connected with teaching, entrance fees, tuition, reading lists and local advice.  The single occupancy supplement is £150 (double room for single use).  Not included are the flights, all suppers, travel insurance.  The group will not exceed 16 people and we will divide in to two smaller groups wherever possible.

To register – Please complete the online registration form, having read our terms and conditions and pay the deposit of £600 per person via bank transfer.

Terms & Conditions

If you have any queries please email charlie@arthistoryabroad or call 01379 871800 (302)

NB you must buy your own flights