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I reluctantly leave the Cathedral and, once outside, we head for the Vittorio Emanuele II Milanesi, a shopping centre located a stone’s throw away from the Cathedral. On seeing the outlets of every possible brand and then some more there, we are reminded of Milan’s stature as Europe’s fashion capital. After gawking at the wares displayed, we exit the Vittorio Emanuele from the other side and come to a little square with a statue of

It is nearly 2.30 pm by the time we come out of the Sforza Castle and head towards the site of  “The Last Supper” or the Il Cenacolo or L’Ultima Cena, as it is known in Italian. This 15th century mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci is housed in the Santa Maria delle Grazie or “Holy Lady of Grace” and the room where “The Last Supper” has been painted is known as Cenacolo Viniciano. It is a longish walk from the Castle and we have to stop many times to ask for or confirm directions. My excitement and anticipation at finally seeing a painting I have wanted to is growing with each step taken towards the Cenacolo Viniciano. And then, suddenly, we go around a corner and without any warning we are there. Just. Like. That.

Today, nearly 2 years on, I look back on that trip to Milan philosophically—a day that began with tears of joy at the Cathedral and ended with tears of sorrow at the Cenacolo Viniciano. That day was also a perfect example of the “so near and yet so far” adage. I hope that one day I will be able visit Milan again and view “The Last Supper”.

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