Milan names tram, metro stop for Leonardo’s Last Supper

In the run-up to Milan celebrations for Leonardo anniversary.

As Milan starts to celebrate next year’s 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, who spent the greater part of his life in the city, one of the decisions taken by city hall arouses some perplexity.

In a move to “help lead visitors to one of the most visited and important places in the city”, as councillors Marco Granelli and Filippo Del Corno explained it on the municipal website, the metro station (previously Conciliazione) and tram stop (previously S. Maria delle Grazie) nearest Leonardo’s Last Supper are being renamed “Cenacolo Vinciano”.

The words will immediately trigger a vision of the superb, recently renovated masterpiece of which Milan and all Italy are so proud in the minds of Italian tourists.

But Italian visitors to Milan are arguably those who find navigation and travel around the city the easiest to manage, and have least need of this helping hand. How many foreign visitors will recognise the Italian word Cenacolo, meaning Jesus Christ’s Last Supper with his disciples? And how many will correctly parse the adjective vinciano as referring to Leonardo?