For the Milanese, it is simply Leonardo. A familiarity tinged with tenderness and gratitude, which reveals the deep bond that unites Leonardo da Vinci in the capital of the Lombardy region. The tuscan master has been out for more than twenty years in this city in the north of Italy, from 1482 to 1499 and from 1506 to 1513, and died may 2, 1519 in France, at the château du Clos Lucé (Amboise). In Milan, the author of The mona lisa has passed its peak childbearing years, deploying its broad range of talents in the service of duke Ludovico il moro. The city, which is chock-full of gems born of this alliance, offers a lively programme of festivities in the framework of the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the death of the Renaissance genius.

It is necessary to take the train. The TGV to Milan is for the whole year with the effigy of Leonardo da Vinci. During this journey of seven hours, the traveller may discover in the bar car, in augmented reality, the works of the artist, attend conferences, or even build the models of the machines that he imagined. In Italy, the festivities will officially be launched on may 15, within the imposing Sforza castle.

The monument is linked to the historic centre by the busy and pedestrianised rue Dante. Among the myriad of boutiques stands out as the backdrop, in all its majesty, the monumental tower of the filarete would put it. This is the entrance to the military fortress, became the residence of the Sforza in which he worked “Leonard”. The building requires compliance. Entering the courtyard of Arms, encircled by brick walls, the huge size, the noises of modern city disappear: they are replaced by a heady feeling of being in the middle of the Renaissance.

In Milan, the author of “The mona lisa” has passed its peak childbearing years

In the middle of the court rises a pergola of mulberry trees. It is the embodiment in the open air of one of the achievements of the most fascinating of Leonardo da Vinci: the fresco of the Sala delle Asse . This famous room of the white mulberry, after years of restoration ( our editions of march 19, ), is again accessible to the public in its splendor once again. Painted in one of the corners of the castle, this glorification of the duke Ludovico Sforza said the Moor, patron of the painter in Milan, is a trompe-l’oeil géant. Its eighteen stately trees with branches and foliage, interlaced and bound by a golden rope forming nodes complex, is an allusion to the nickname “Il Moro”, mulberry in latin and symbol of the duke.

The history of this superb green setting is as romantic as that of his master. Transformed into a stable during the occupation austrian in 1815, fully repainted by Ernesto Rusca in an Art nouveau, damaged during the Second world War, the mural is saved in extremis by Luca Beltrami will benefit of three restorations. In addition to this enchanted forest, you can admire more closely the preparatory drawings of restored and travel back in time with a multimedia projection featuring Léonard and Ludovic speaking of the project.

The national Museum of science and technology Leonardo da Vinci. Paolo Soave / Museo Nazionale Scienza Tecnologia

The Sala delle Asse is a delightful preamble to a work otherwise most famous of Leonardo da Vinci, The last Supper , painted on the wall of the refectory of the dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. A twenty-minute walk from the castle, large arteries lead up toward the monumental building, topped by a dazzling dome surrounded by colonnades. A work of Bramante, architect and painter in the service of Ludovico Sforza, and friend of Leonardo. Anticipate the trip: you must book months in advance to get a ticket. But what a thrill to finish! Everything is designed to arouse a state of ecstasy. Only twenty people at a time is allowed to pass through, every fifteen minutes, the three sas for access to the work. Then a soft half-light reveals this awe-inspiring scene. The religious silence which pervades the place, you can admire the remarkable work on the perspective, creating a trompe-l’oeil as an extension of the space of the room. As well as the “moti dell’anima” , the movements of the soul translated by gestures and expressions that make the scene come alive.

Copied from the beginning of the Sixteenth century, The last Supper continues to inspire artists, as we can see at the Foundation Stelline. A street separates the convent of this former orphanage for girls, which houses the vineyard that Ludovico il moro gave to Leonardo da Vinci. However, until 30 June, the foundation proposes the exhibition “ The last Supper after Leonardo”. Of the big names in contemporary art including Anish Kapoor, Robert Longo, or Yue Minjun, make a bold rereading of the work. The location has already housed in 1987, the latest series of Andy Warhol, The Last Supper , inspired by The last Supper . After the tour, there’s nothing like a drink at the terrace bar of the foundation, which overlooks the ancient vine of the painter of the Fifteenth century. Turned into a long and pretty garden in the heart of the city, the place evokes the relationship between the artist with nature, which he loved so much.

A walk of ten minutes will be completed to illustrate the ability of da to entwine the fruit of his insatiable observations. The national Museum of science and technology Leonardo da Vinci, set in a beautiful monastery from the Xvi century, has started to show the propensity of the master to create bridges between art and science. The exhibition brings next fifty models built from his drawings with frescoes of painters in lombardy in the Sixteenth century who were largely inspired by the master. On the strength of these enchantments, the lover of “Leonardo” provides a break in a trendy café in one of the streets bubbling of the Brera district. Better to leave on the traces of the genius, which contributes up to our days the splendour of the capital of lombardy.


go : TGV, three daily connections from Paris, Lyon and Chambery to Milan. Throughout the year 2019 : train in the colors of the works of Leonardo da Vinci, entertainment in the bar car. Count on average 130 euros A/R in second class.

Sleeping: to the Palazzo delle Stelline : in the city centre, opposite the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where is kept The last Supper, this hôtel3-star hotel is housed in a former monastery are home to the vineyards of the Leonardo da Vinci programme. From 150 euros per night in double room with breakfast.Tel.: 00 39 02 481 84 31et

dining: the Brera district is full of cafes and fancy terraces where one can delight in tasty assiettes of cheeses or meats. For a meal more substantial, prefer The Uccellina , for its fried vegetables, specialties of beef and the friendly environment. Around 25 euros per person.Tel.: 00 39 02 480 055 31.

Drink: the address for the privileged, the 1 0 Corso Como , in the district of porta Garibaldi. A concept store, beautiful garden with a flowery patio and a bar and restaurant design.

Good to know: a Michelin green Guide is offertaux travellers on the TGV Paris-Milan.It lists the places that are the glory of the city by combining art of living and the discovery of the cultural heritage. A limited series of 3000 copies.

learn: Office of tourism Italian in Paris.Tel.: 01. 42. 66. 03. 96. and

SERVICE: The Figaro Evasion organises travel to Milan on this topic from 17 to 20 October 2019
More information by clicking here.


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