Day Tour

Cenacoli: Florentine Images of the Last Supper (3 Hours)

Context Travel

Florence, Italy

Valid for Travel Now Through: 22 Mar 2019

Cenacoli: Florentine Images of the Last Supper (3 Hours )

Florence, Italy

Tour Features


  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Sightseeing



Recommended Ages

12 and Above

Activity Level



The Last Supper, or Cenacolo, is one of the most profound and emotional depictions of all religious imagery. Within Christian ideology, this scene is the pinnacle of Jesus' compassion and selflessness in the presence of his followers. Understandably, this image was common to religious art created in Florence during the Renaissance era. However, many of these Last Suppers are hidden away in small chapels or unassuming churches. During the course of this seminar, we will explore some of these spaces, in the company of an art historian, and immerse ourselves in their stark poignancy and elaborate symbolism.

We will begin this thematic walk at the museum of San Marco, where we will get a refresher course in Renaissance art and religious imagery by observing the frescoes by Fra' Angelico which make up a large part of the museum. Almost forgotten on a wall close to the exit, we will find a Last Supper by the Florentine Domenico Ghirlandaio, from whom we will see an earlier and larger version later on. Ghirlandaio's skillful mastering of texture and emotion is clearly visible in this version. The scene has a quite serious overtone, as it supposedly represents the reaction of the apostles to Christ's declaration of having been betrayed.

We will then continue on to the former Benedictine convent of Sant'Apollonia, tucked inside an unassuming, bare façade. Within, we will contemplate the Last Supper as interpreted by Florentine artist Andrea del Castagno. Known for a strong sense of detail and naturalism, Castagno's fresco is strongly architectural in composition and includes classical details, such as colored marble and columns.

Finally, we will reach the splendid church of Ognissanti, whose Cenacolo is located in the refectory off the cloister. This large and majestic scene is more emotional, with the apostles engaged in active discussion amongst one another. Natural motifs such as the fruit trees, peacocks, birds and cherries strewn on the dining table bring a naturalism to the depiction.

If time allows and depending on the whims of the group, we might also pass by other Last Supper scenes, such as the Cenacolo di Foligno or the Cenacolo of Santo Spirito. During the course of this walk, by focusing on one particular theme, we will be witness to a sampling of styles and techniques born during the Renaissance era. In the company of an art historian, the understanding of religious iconography will be heightened, allowing for a more intense understanding of Renaissance art in general.

About Us

The Context vision is to create an atmosphere—a context, if you will—for curious travelers to engage with local experts; to give them access to places and cultures that might otherwise remain out of sight to the casual visitor; to invite them off the tourist track and into the real life of the people, history, and heritage that make these cultural capitals amazing. With no more than six people, you'll participate in an intimate, hands-on, conversational experience. No Tour Guides - Our docents are first and foremost scholars or specialists, with MAs, Ph.D.s, or other terminal degrees in their fields of study.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Context walks can be cancelled up to 48 hours prior to the walk with an 85% refund. Within 48 hours all reservations are final and cannot be refunded. Walks are held rain or shine with some variations to accommodate the weather. If you are running late for your meeting with our docent, we ask that you call to alert us so that we can relay the message to the docent. No shows are treated as last-minute cancellations and are non-refundable. Cancellations within three business days need to be made by phone to the emergency number provided in your confirmation email. Cancellations within three business days made via email or by calling our U.S. 800 number may not be honored. Other terms and conditions may apply.

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Italy trip

By: Joe C

Reviewed on: 27 Jun 2018

Without question they did a superb job.
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"The Great European Tour"

By: MJ

Reviewed on: 14 Aug 2018

The trip was our first experience with Context and it was amazing!
Travel Advisor:  Donna Peacock
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By: Shari

Reviewed on: 17 Nov 2018

The 6 person maximum of Context tours really made for an intimate learning experience. The docents they get to lead the groups were top notch!
Travel Advisor:  Kelly Millington