Roaming the lands: Vinci, Italy

Now, I’m sure that even the most ignorant of people would have at least heard of Leonardo da Vinci, even if you don’t know what he is famous for. (You’ve never heard of Leonardo da Vinci? No, no, it’s perfectly normal not to have heard of him. You’re not an ignorant, I swear, I was just kidding). Of course, this small town is known for being the birthplace of the genius. Did you know:

  • Leonardo da Vinci, or his full name Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, actually means “Leonardo, son of Piero, from Vinci”, and
  • Leonardo da Vinci was actually born out of wedlock? Everyone has the potential to achieve great things, despite how they start.

Our visit was of course, revolved mostly around the legendary artist and inventor. And what did we do first thing we got to Vinci? Yup, you guessed it: walk a ways outside the town to reach Leonardo’s birthplace.

Walking in the rain

Walking in the rain

However, the trail goes through beautiful olive groves (which is similar to how it is during Leonardo’s time), and I felt calm and at peace looking at the quiet place, seeming even more sleepy in the early hours of the morning.

The view from the trail

The view from the trail

Leonardo's birthplace is now in sight. Finally!

Leonardo’s birthplace is now in sight. Finally!

Unfortunately, we got there so early that Casa Natale di Leonardo (Leonardo’s birthplace) wasn’t even open yet! Yargh. There is nothing I hate more than waiting. But wait we must. Therefore we spent our time taking nonsensical pictures outside the farmhouse that do not depict the historical value of the place at all:

While killing time, don't forget to look at the camera and smile!

While killing time, don’t forget to look at the camera and smile!

We really had a LOT of time. Please don't hate and kick us.

We really had a LOT of time. Please don’t hate and kick us.

Not long before the place opened, several tourists joined us in waiting, but they did not have long to wait.

What are you waiting for? Come in, come in!

What are you waiting for? Come in, come in!

Casa Natale di Leonardo

Casa Natale di Leonardo

The admission is free, but… there’s not much to look at, in my opinion. I remember that there was a guestbook we could sign in, and we spent a few minutes looking at the names of previous visitors to the farmhouse that is Leonardo’s birthplace. An enclosed room which used to house the horses is still there, as well as some reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings. I remember the place being not so well-lit, and we must have been forbidden to take pictures inside, otherwise I should have had some. Could not help feeling a little awed when I thought of the immense talent born in this humble place.

Casa Natale di Leonardo in Anchiano

Casa Natale di Leonardo in Anchiano

Afterwards, we walked towards Museo Leonardiano, pausing outside to look around Piazza dei Guidi, peppered by works of the artist Mimmo Paladino.

Piazza dei Guidi

Piazza dei Guidi

Again, cameras are not allowed in the museum, so all I got was this:

Recognize this?

Recognize this?

The museum is well worth the visit though, housing models of inventions drawn in Leonardo’s notebook. It is awesome to see his visions for things that were way before his time. Machines and structures coupled with references to his drawings and notes. For the hundredth time I wonder how it would feel to be inside his brilliant (although now dead) head. There are so many ideas I could not even begin to describe them; really, there is not much to see in Vinci, but anyone with an interest in engineering and architecture (not sure what other disciplines would be interested) should check this place out, even if to gape and marvel at Leonardo’s intelligence.

(the two pictures with me in it were filched from Raj)

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