One of the highlights from my recent trip to Florence was a trip to the Leonardo Da Vinci museum, an historic place within Galleria Michelangiolo, Via Cavour 21 Florence. An unsuspecting building (we walked past it twice while looking for it) along a side street not far from the Duomo.
Housing 52 interactive models about the mechanics, hydraulic engineering, military engineering, anatomy and flying machines created by Da Vinci, it was an enchanting experience. Life size reconstructed models of his most famous inventions interspersed with facts projected on the walls and free standing displays.
After watching the Fox show Da Vinci’s Demons (referenced within the museum as being quite an accurate portrayal of his life and inventions) I was excited to find that not only were there models of his inventions, they were full scale too and included others not featured in the show or books I have read.
The exhibit is interactive, which meant I could play with things! What is more exciting than being in your thirties and invited to be childlike and play with things to really learn what Da Vinci was trying to accomplish.
The bookshop on the way out includes miniatures of some of the most popular models to take home and reasonably priced. Books available in multiple languages (so make sure you pick up the right one to take home), and traditional souvenirs. It was surprising how much could be packed into a small building but they made great use of the space so you can play with everything and not get in others way. It was an eye opening experience realising the genius that Leonardo clearly was, far more than a mere painter and philosopher.
If you are inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci as much as I am and find yourself in Florence, this is a museum not to be missed from your agenda.