The Other Side of Milan: A 3-hr Walking Tour

When my friends told me we are going to Milan for a weekend to celebrate our birthdays, my first question was: “Why Milan?” She answered: “To do shopping, what else?” Since the group pretty much decided that we’re going to Milan and I wasn’t really up for shopping for 2 ½ days, I managed to convince them to do something that is not related to shopping – like seeing the Leonardo DaVinci’s Last Supper.

One thing about viewing the Last Supper is that you have to book it in advance – at least that’s what everybody says. This is where I came across with the City Wonders’ Da Vinci’s Last Supper and the Best of Milan Walking Tour… and I’m glad we’ve taken this tour. At first, my friends were apprehensive with the 3-hr walking tour since 2 of them just recovered from a leg and a hip injury. Second, I’ve been travelling a lot in Europe and I’ve only done a guided tour once in Barcelona – it was horrible. After that, I lost faith in guided tours with patronizing tour guides who automatically thinks all Asians are Chinese. However, as we only had limited to tour Milan and I was too busy at work to do a research on Milan, we ended up getting the 3-hr walking tour.

Booking

Getting a reservation with City Wonders’ Last Supper was much easier than shopping online. I just went to their website (http://www.lastsuppertickets.com/last_supper_tour.aspx), paid in credit card, and I instantly got an email confirmation. The instructions on the meeting place and how to get there are very clear.

Price

The price of the tour is EUR 65 per adult (it’s EUR 60 for children). For me, this is already a good deal since it already includes the Last Supper tickets… and being able to skip lines is the most convenient thing ever.

The Tour Guide

Recalling my traumatic experience with a tour guide in Barcelona? Rafaella, our tour guide was the exact opposite of that dude. With Rafaella, 3 hours went like minutes! She was very knowledgeable about her city and I felt how passionate she is about telling Milan’s story to people too. She is fluent in English with an Italian accent – very easy to understand. She was super funny and very accommodating. I was very much impressed by how much she managed to connect with everyone despite being in a group of 20ish people.

The Tour

Milan's Duomo is the fifth largest cathedral in the world.
Milan’s Duomo is the fifth largest cathedral in the world.

I enjoyed the tour very much and I must say, I learned a lot! A big part of it was, again, Rafaella – our very good tour guide. As mentioned, skipping the line in Duomo and the Last Supper is everything! When we arrived in Duomo, the line was insanely long. Then, Rafaella said we were actually entering the side entrance, which is exclusive for guided tours – I guess. That must have saved us from falling in line for at least 30 minutes. In Duomo, we learned fascinating trivia about its structure, the statues, the works, etc. These are the things that we won’t know just by going inside, perhaps unless you buy a guide book or something. The Last Supper was of course the highlight of the tour and was the last part of the tour. As what Rafaella said, if you were disappointed by Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, you won’t be with the Last Supper. I’m not a big art fan – in fact, I get bored at every Picasso museum I’ve been to. I see art stuff because of their historical significance or in lay man’s term – just for the sake of saying I’ve seen it. But the Last Supper, I literally stared at it in amusement and with genuine appreciation of its history and significance. It was also because Rafaella was giving great trivia about it – something you won’t get if you view the Last Supper without a tour guide.

Also, don’t worry if you think that 3 hours of walking is too long. As I said, the tour is very interesting and especially if you get a really good tour guide, 3 hours will pass by like minutes. In addition, Rafaella took us in a café for a good 10-15-minute break. This gave us an opportunity to talk to the other tourists and ask Rafaella for food and restaurant recommendations while having amazing coffee.

Recommendation/s

I definitely recommend City Wonders’ Da Vinci’s Last Supper and the Best of Milan Walking Tour to everyone who is going to Milan. I guarantee that after the tour, you will see Milan in a different way – it’s not just a shopping city.

One recommendation I can give is take the 14.30H tour, which finishes at 17.30H. The timing is perfect for an aperitif after the tour to rest a bit and talk about the tour with your friends then go to dinner.

To learn more about the tour, click here.

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