At the Museum of Science and Technology with Leonardo
Science, technology and art come together in a special place in Milan: the Leonardo da Vinci National Science and Technology Museum. Here, numerous rooms and an engaging interactive workshop are dedicated to the genius Leonardo. You will experience first-hand his unparalleled working method by building machines and models.
Milan's tribute to the Renaissance genius
A visit to the Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology is the most comprehensive and entertaining way to get to know Leonardo, an engineer and scientist, as well as an extraordinary artist and man of letters. A fully-fledged humanist. He spent part of his life in Milan, working on authentic masterpieces, and the city has devoted a museum to him. It is the largest permanent exhibition exploring Leonardo's world in all its facets, from scientific to artistic culture, with its 1,300 square metres and around 200 historical models, works of art and ancient texts. And last but not least, spectacular installations.
From the mechanical submarine to the flying machine
The Leonardo da Vinci National Science and Technology Museum is housed in the premises of a 16th-century Olivetan monastery, near the church of St Victor in Milan, and consists of several buildings, some historical, others dating from the 1950s. As you make your way through the monumental complex, you should head for the Da Vinci Galleries, and here begin your journey from 15th-century Florence to the Sforza-dominated Milan, immersing yourself in this evocative setting. The giant-scale replicas of Leonardo's inventions - the Mechanical Submarine, the Time Machine, the Mechanical Dragonfly and the Flying Machine - stir up genuine emotion. There is no subject that he did not explore, from the art of war to flight, waterways and architecture, the study of nature in all its facets, as well as philosophy. Then, turning your attention to the sublime artist Leonardo, you follow the digital restoration of the Last Supper. In another room, an immersive exhibition opens with drawings from his later years: you walk into them, you touch them, in an enveloping embrace.
Now you become Leonardo
Leonardo is an inspiring character, for his all-round method of investigation and unique ability to combine the scientific and humanistic approach. Setting an example for new generations, with a way of thinking that reaches us from the Renaissance. His desire to invent, innovate, explore and observe with acute attention is as relevant as ever. For everyone, including children and young people, the various interactive workshops dedicated to him on the second level of the museum complex are especially interesting. Here you are invited to combine gears to create your own mechanisms, starting with the flight and construction models designed by Leonardo. You will build arches and write with a quill pen, as he did, but working in reverse, from right to left, and here you will also discover why. In the atelier, you yourselves will create a fresco, equipped with charcoal and a 3D pen.
From the Last Supper to Leonardo's Vineyard: on the trail of the genius in Milan
Please take note: there is a picnic area on the ground floor. You can bring your own food and eat here. It will be a good way to refresh yourself before resuming the visit and following the Vinci itinerary outside the museum.
Ready? In addition to the Leonardo route, the Leonardo da Vinci National Science and Technology Museum is home to countless other treasures. Don't miss the immense library with 40,000 volumes; the model of the first Vega launcher (VV01), developed by the European Space Agency and used to deliver satellites into orbit; the simulation of a flight to another planet: you will see the only fragment of the Moon on display in an Italian museum. And climb aboard the S-506 Enrico Toti submarine.
Continue to follow the Da Vinci itinerary outside the museum. Leonardo arrived in Milan from Florence in 1482, when he was 30 years old. The first of his works in the city, you will visit Il Cenacolo, refectory of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, featuring Leonardo's most famous work: The Last Supper. In a secret garden of a palace, Casa degli Atellani, in front of the square where the church stands, go in and have a look: here you will find Leonardo's Malvasia vineyard, once cultivated by him and now once again flourishing. Step into the Sala delle Asse in the Castello Sforzesco, which he decorated for the wedding of Gian Galeazzo Sforza and Isabella of Aragon. The Biblioteca Ambrosiana holds his Atlantic Codex, and the Pinacoteca his Ritratto di Musico (Portrait of a Musician).