Travel can be good for your health. Recently a good friend and I, at the end of a week that for both of us was filled with stress and problems, decided to get the heck out of Dodge for a day.
We left home for a day to wander in the wider, wondrous world of the outer sections of the province of Firenze.
We landed in Vinci, to see the village near the farmhouse where Leonardo was born.
For us, it was just what the doctor ordered.
Vinci is a very, very charming borgo:
Of course the town is famous because the legendary genius Leonardo da Vinci was born in a nearby farmhouse. Every inch of this little village proclaims “Leonardo!”
The main attraction in the village is the Museo Leonardino, housed inside the building that was formerly the Castello dei Conti Guidi, originally built in the 12th century.
The castle is located high atop the town’s highest hill. Inside the museo, you encounter a hologram of Leonardo:
The museum takes up 3 floors of the castle, showcasing a collection of the original designs found in Leonardo’s notebooks as well as 40 different models of various machines that were he designed.
Most interesting of all of these, to me, was the wooden paraglider that Leonardo created.
Vinci is surrounded by the Tuscan hills and there are various vineyards and olive groves around the town which have remained the same since ancient times.
The town is spread over an area of 54 sq km and the population is close to 14,000. The economy of Vinci is based on agriculture, production of wine and olive oil, pottery and items like paper, clothes and furniture.
After seeing the main exhibition space, you can also climb up to the top of the castle and view the surrounding countryside.
Before you are afforded the spectacular views, however, you must climb an endless set of stairs leading up, up and up.
Trust me, the view above does not begin to capture the length and height of this stairway. Several stops are needed on the way up to catch your breath.
The views from the top terrazzo of the Museo di Leonardo are as vast as they are gorgeous. What a perfectly farmed section of Tuscany, filled with groves and groves of olives and grapes. The groves are in perfectly formed lines, such as you never see anywhere else. Wonder how that happened?
Leonardo Da Vinci was born in a small farmhouse which is located just 3 km from the center of the town. You could walk it, if you have a lot of stamina. On a day of 30 C., I didn’t. We drove.
A good source of info on Vinci is this: