Sites of the “Coena Domini

Florentine Last Suppers of the 13th to 16th Centuries

Tour overview

Lavabo inter innocentes manus meas et introibo altarem tuum Domine
“I will wash my hands among the innocent and will compass thy altar, O Lord.”
Psalm, 25:6The word “lavabo” signifies both the place and the instrument of ritual cleansing in convents, the sink at which residents washed their hands prior to accessing the refectory table to symbolically reccognize a requisite purity of body and heart. The table was called the “cenacolo” to specifically recall the Lord’s Supper and to inspire contemplation of dining together at the Eucharistic table.After washing their hands, the holy brothers took their places on the bench adjacent to the lavabo and recited the “De Profundis,” after which they entered the dining hall,  a sanctified place characterized by particular architecture and decor, where good food and good manners were the norm, and the liturgical significance of eating together was never lost.This basic, elemental physiological act of eating was thus ritualized and transformed into a liturgical act by which the community affimed its identity and the Eucharistic institution of the Last Supper was evoked a kind of symbolic mimesis. Artists, primarily fresco painters, were called upon to give form to the spiritual values and religious significance of the cenacolo. The artists were primarily fresco painters and included the likes of both exalted masters such as Andrea del Sarto, Andrea Orcagna (Perugino) and Domenico Ghirlandaio, as well as less famous, sometimes even mediocre, artisans. However, because all were permitted to freely express the emotion of the subject matter within the artistic style of the times in which they were commissioned, the representations of the Last Supper provide an extraordinary repository of character, psychology and of ancient, nearly forgotten symbolism.




3 hours  

Meeting point

It will be my pleasure to pick you up at your hotel or to meet at any other point of your choosing in the historic center.  


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What’s included

Guided walking tour.

Entrance tickets where required.

Private bus transfer to and from the cenacolo of San Salvi.


What’s extra



This tour is not recommeneded for persons with problems climbing stairs as there are no elevators available.

Language(s): English , French , Italian