HOLY MARY OF GRACE - THE LAST SUPPER, Cloister And Atellani House

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Audio File length: 2.30
English Language: English

As you may have noticed, the Church's interior is richly decorated with a typical Lombard style that includes figures of saints and decorative trims. I suggest admiring the lovely choir under the beautiful semicircular dome, which is the row of carved wooden seats that were used by the high priests at solemn liturgical celebrations from the end of the fifteenth century.

Now pause the guide and go into the cloister.


This lovely little cloister has an odd name: the cloister of frogs. It gets its name from the fountain at its center adorned with bronze frogs that are really kind of funny! After admiring the fountain, go look at the dome's exterior surrounded by an arcade. You'll be pleasantly impressed by the rich color range of the friezes and reliefs adorning the arcade's windows and frames.

Now pause again and go into the Old Sacristy.


The Old Sacristy is most likely the work of the same architect who designed the church, Donato Bramante. In particular, look carefully at the ceiling: you'll note that it's decorated with a knotted rope pattern. These are known as "Da Vinci knots" that you will see again, or have already seen, in the Room of the Wooden Boards in Sforza Castle.

Now pause the audio and enter Atellani House.


Now you are in a little-known location which was only recently opened to the public. This is Atellani House, an aristocratic palace of the 1400s which has been greatly restored over the last century. This palace was famous because at the time of the Sforzas some truly lavish parties were held here, and all the most important people were in attendance. From the beautiful arcaded courtyard, pass through some of the rooms inside until you might be quite surprised to find yourself in a beautiful garden that is completely invisible from the outside.


FUN FACT: there's a row of vines at the end of the garden. After much research, it seems to have been established that these vines are what remains of the vineyard Ludovico il Moro gave to Leonardo da Vinci in gratitude for having painted the Last Supper.

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