Last Supper Scam

Yes, this is a duplicate posting. I posted it in the SCAMS Forum, but thought it might get a wider viewing here.

Getting tickets to see the Last Supper in Milan is almost impossible without dealing with scalpers. I logged onto the museum site the first day tickets were available for May (that was today) and the first day we will be in Milan no tickest were available and the second day there were a couple of time slots with only 1 ticket available. The problem is scalpers buy up all the tickets at 6,50 euro and then sell Milan walking "tours" at 65 euro. A nice mark up if you can get. One of them even admitted the process, see below.

My problem is do I submit to the scalpers? With almost all tickets purchased by these scalpers on the first day of sale it forces anyone who wants to see the Last Supper to deal with them. So what if they have 10% of the tickets left unsold, they still have make a huge profit.

Below is a direct "copy and paste" from one of the sites.

"The biggest problem is that the philosophy of the organisation behind ticketing for the Last Supper is geared towards satisfying tour groups and large parties. This is, begrudgingly, understandable ... if they can fill their slots with single large bookings as opposed to multiple individual travellers, then they're going to opt for the easy route every time. This leaves us pretty much picking up the crumbs for you, the DIY traveller.
Don't misunderstand us - we do fulfill between 50 and 70% of the orders we take (this varies according to the time of year) - but that still leaves a lot of unlucky and unhappy customers.

So, we've joined forces with a Milan company that organises regular group tours, and have a long established arrangement with the Last Supper 'management' - an arrangement that gives them good access to block-bookings. The upside - we can pretty much guarantee a visit to see the Last Supper; the downside - it will cost more than a standard ticket. But standard tickets are hard to come by, and this is far more than a 'standard' tour. Over and above your guaranteed viewing of the Last Supper, you'll have either a walking tour ('In the footsteps of Leonardo') or a combined bus and guided walking tour of Milan."

Posted by donna
cranberry twp, PA, United States
2392 posts

I understand the desire to see the Last Supper but I think if enough people stopped buying these "tours" the scalpers might stop buying all the tickets. If they start having hundreds of unsold tickets each night they might stop buying them. I know it's wishful thinking but we can always hope.

Donna

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2432 posts

There are several brokers who can secure tickets online with no tour but a significant markup. Nothing near 65Euro, though, more like 22E.

Posted by Bob
Reading, PA, USA
183 posts

They are still scalpers. They buy the tickets and resell them with no added value. I would like a 300% profit for selling something with no work done.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4754 posts

To quote what you said from the website:

Over and above your guaranteed viewing of the Last Supper, you'll have either a walking tour ('In the footsteps of Leonardo') or a combined bus and guided walking tour of Milan."

So, you are getting something for your money that is more than just a ticket.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3297 posts

I'm glad I visited most of these museums many years ago, when you needed no reservations.
If the authorities were smarter, they would apply congestion pricing. Basically low prices when crowds are low (like January nights) and exorbitant prices when demand is high.
That would ensure a more rational allocation of limited resources (museum access) and that the extra profits during high demand (high price) periods went to the museum, rather than scalpers.
Also individual tickets should be non transferable and require a photo ID, just like airplane tickets or soccer tickets. When they introduced the photo ID and non transferability requirements for soccer tickets years ago (for hooligans' violence prevention reasons) scalping disappeared overnight. Well I guess now they moved to the museums.

Posted by Bob
Reading, PA, USA
183 posts

"To quote what you said from the website:
Over and above your guaranteed viewing of the Last Supper, you'll have either a walking tour ('In the footsteps of Leonardo') or a combined bus and guided walking tour of Milan."
So, you are getting something for your money that is more than just a ticket."

Nothng I want, just a poor package that I bet 90% of the people on the "tour" did not want. The one and only reason they bought it was to get to see the Last Supper. Without creating a monopoly on the Last Supper tickets these "tours" would not survive.

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3403 posts

So if it won't change your life forever if you do not see "the Last Supper" (and you can after all actually see some pretty good reproductions) just refuse to buy scalper tickets. I don't see it as a "scam", by the way, not in the proper sense of the word.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
958 posts

I agree with Norma. If it's a 'must see' for you, then you do what you have to do to see it. If you can survive without seeing it, then pass it up. Also agree with Zoe, I saw some tours listed for €22-35, some included a walking tour of Milan and others were just a guided tour of the Last Supper. With only 15min in front of the painting it's nice to have someone knowledgeable explaining things you might miss if you didn't know about. Personally, for me it would be a €35 splurge and worth it, I know I have to be willing to bite the bullet and open the wallet if it's something I feel I need to see.

I don't like that the 'scalpers' get to buy unlimited tickets as soon as they go on sale but it's Italy and it is what it is.

Posted by Galen
Dallas, United States
389 posts

You might try telephoning. The number is on the website and also in the RS Italy guidebook.

We bought tix online last August for a mid-September date; got the time and date we wanted. Sorry this is happening to you.

Good luck.

Posted by Bets
Bloomington
1963 posts

You're right Bob; it stinks. Unfortunately, this is what's happening at many high demand sites and events aided by specialized software, etc. For example, it used to be a piece of cake to get ET tickets. Thanks for letting us know the situation.

Posted by norac111
32 posts

I will be in Milan with two friends and one really wants to view the Lords Supper. We tried for tickets for week of April 28 and everything was already sold out right through May 5! :( . I wouldn't mind a walking tour that would get us in to the Last Supper,
some include entrance into other top sites as well. It's too bad that the system works this way.

Posted by Tim
Wyckoff, NJ, USA
666 posts

Gee, sounds just like pop music concerts in the, er, uh, USA.

Posted by webbturney1
1 posts

Call them directly. Couldn't get tickets on-line yesterday for dates in May. Called this am (time difference had them still open) and quickly spoke to someone and had choices of time for the day(s) we wanted tickets at the price quoted on site. Phone number is: (country code) 39 02 92800360. (if you have trouble, please look up the number.

Posted by Sharon J
Tennessee USA
15 posts

What website are folks using to find tickets? I thought I was on the official site but it only offered a tour at 65 euros. But I've seen others quote prices more like 8-10, so where can I get one of those?

Posted by Julie
Minneapolis, MN, USA
9 posts

This is very interesting info, I passed it along to a friend who is going to Milan at the end of May but had not purchased tickets yet.

My husband and I will be in Milan the second week of March and I purchased the tickets from vivaticket.it the middle of December. I went to the museum's website and it went thru this for the purchase. My total charge was 16 euros. I printed out my confirmation and will pick up the tickets at the box office. There were two times available (both early morning) for the day we could go so I was able to pick one of those.
It worked out well for us.

Posted by Terri Lynn
Nashville, TN, USA
23 posts

I know of two bus tour companies that are in no way scalpers but provide excellent tours that include The Last Supper and quite a bit more. One is Autostradale and they have a 3 hour tour and a 1 1/2 hour tour and are excellent. You get a combination bus and walking tour of not only The Last Supper but of all of Sforza Castle, La Scala Opera House, the Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and a lot more. You have a knowledgeable guide with you who is passionate about sharing these treasures with visitors. I recommend the longer tour. It is wonderful. You can book them online a few days before your trip and will be guaranteed to see a lot more than just one painting. www.autostradale.it is their site. You can also just show up at their office and sign up. Their tour languages include English.

You can also use Zani Viaggi which also has English language guides but I really prefer the first one.

It is quite common on Europe, the USA, and many other places for tour companies to buy blocks of tickets for everything from entry to sights, hotel rooms, restaurant reservations, and more. This is so that people who take the tours can plan and book and pay in advance and so that the companies can guarantee their itineraries. It's just that this painting has been damaged somewhat by humidity (humans give off liquid from their breath and skin) and so they limit the number of visitors per day which means only a certain number of people at a time can go in and stay for only a certain length of time and then they de-humidify before letting in the next group. As I said, it is common for tour companies both small and large worldwide to book in advance certain things and this is not a scam. It is necessary for their businesses and their customers. The painting is well worth seeing.

Posted by Grier
Carmel, IN
1050 posts

I want to add that like Julie, I got my ticket for my October 2013 on line from the vivaticket website without calling or any problem. It is possible to get the 6,50 euro tickets on line. I'm sorry you had trouble but I don't want others to be too discouraged. For me, The Last Supper was well worth seeing and in better condition that I expected.

Posted by melissa
Austin
799 posts

We took a tour because we couldn't get tickets alone, and must say that we would not have seen as much of Milan had we not. I particularly enjoyed seeing the Michaelangelo in Sforzy Castle, wished we had time to view the Egyptian collection there as well. It included a tour thru La Scala and much more that wasn't on our Rick Steves walking tours. I thought it was worth the money.

Posted by Melinda
California
17 posts

I've been trying for 2 weeks to get the 3 hour tour through Autostradale. They keep referring me to the Duomo office, but no one replies to my e-mails. Someone at Autostradale even suggested the tram tour, which is not what we are interested in. I bought Milano cards from the same company and they promise a 10% discount on their tour. The card seems like it will pay for itself with free public transportation. I only wish I could get some response regarding the LookMi tour.