As you all know the da Vinci in Leonardo’s name is not really a surname, it means Leonardo of Vinci. He was the illegitimate son of notary Pieroni Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci and Caterina, a servant in his house.
Yesterday, 15th April, was the anniversary of his birth in 1452, so I thought a visit to his home town was in order.
Vinci is a tiny hilltop town not far from Florence. We first visited the church where Leonardo was baptised. The original church has been replaced with a fairly plain one, but the font where the boy was baptised is still there.
As well there is a plaque stating that in 1952, the fifth anniversary of Leonardo’s birth…..Of course they meant the 500th anniversary. I saw the sign the first time about 10 years ago and it has not changed.
There is a museum in 2 parts showing models made from Leonardo’s drawings. He was an incredibly inventive and curious individual. He must have been fascinating to know.
I was particularly impressed by his round tank which could travel in any direction.
He designed a machine to beat gold into fine sheets. From there it was cut into thin strips and would around yellow cotton to make gold thread.
I liked his ladder on wheels.
His diving suit was a bit scary.
His portable bridge was great.
There is a wooden model of his Vitruvian man. If the glass window had been clean I would have got a better photo.
It looked better outside.
We climbed the 120 steps to the top of the tower to get great views from the top.
There were a couple of pigeons up there enjoying the view too.
Naturally there are plenty of Leonardo inspired souvenirs to buy.
Leonardo was probably born in his father’s house, which is in Anchiano, a small hamlet 3 kilometres from Vinci. It is possible to visit the house, but there really isn’t a lot there. It is set in a beautiful olive growing area and the path to the house is lined with old olive trees.
If you go to Vinci now you will see some very beautiful wisteria.
It was a beautiful spring day in a gorgeous part of Tuscany. Drop by and see some of the brilliant things that Leonardo thought of. The world is a richer place because he lived.