THE HILLS OF FLORENCE AND LEONARDO
From the Villa di Cerreto to Florence
Included villas: Villa di Cerreto Guidi, Villa di Artimino, Villa La Magia, Villa in Poggio a Caiano
Get to know the genius of da Vinci through the Montalbano villas and his Medici education in the 15th century.
RECOMMENDED MODES OF TRANSPORT
Our itinerary begins in Leonardo’s birthplace, Anchiano, a town in the area of Vinci, where the genius was born on 15 April 1462. The house has a virtual experience that showcases Leonardo’s body of work. The farmhouse connected to Vinci by the Strada Verde, which winds for three easily walkable kilometers through vineyards and olive groves, takes us directly to the Museo Leonardiano.
THE MUSEO LEONARDIANO A VINCI
The museum has two locations: Palazzina Uzielli and the Conti Guidi castle. The museums display various facets of the genius and his life by showing his studies for flying, war, architectural and optical machines. The models exhibited are accompanied by Leonardo’s sketches and interactive animations. The room with the artist’s recreations of the machines used by Brunelleschi to construct the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence is particularly interesting.
CHURCH OF SANTA CROCE IN VINCI
In the centre of Vinci, a few steps away from the museums, you can visit the 13th-century Church of Santa Croce. A headstone marks the date and place where Leonardo was baptised and the baptismal fountain from the 15th century is well-conserved.
The Biblioteca Leonardina is also in Vinci, where copies of Leonardo’s codices, drawings and written documents are available to the public. The library is a centre for referencing and research for all the students of Leonardo da Vinci the world over.
For Leonardo enthusiasts, a small detour brings you to Bacchereto in the Carmignano area, where you will find the house that belonged to Leonardo da Vinci’s grandmother, Lucia di Pietro di Zoso. It was here that Leonardo spent a large part of his childhood.
FLORENCE AND THE UFFIZI
To fully understand Leonardo’s works you have to stroll through Florence’s streets to visit the places that inspired him in his youth. From the Florentine Last Suppers by Ghirlandaio and Andrea del Castagna to the Sala dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio, where Leonardo’s Battle of Anghiari painting, unfortunately lost today, was adjacent to a work by Michelangelo, also lost in Vasari’s renovation of the room, and the Department of Prints and Drawings in the Uffizi, where drawings and sketches are preserved. The Uffizi Gallery is a must-see to admire early da Vinci works before his move to the court of Ludovico Sforza in 1482. The Baptism of Christ by Verrochio, master of the workshop where Leonardo trained, has parts completed by the young artist, like the head of the angel on the left and the landscape. The Annunciation from 1472 and the Adoration of the Magi from 1481 are some other masterpieces on show that demonstrate great levels of technique and accuracy.