Posted by: Debra Kolkka | April 16, 2015

Vinci…Leonardo’s home town

As you all know the da Vinci in Leonardo’s name is not really a surname, it means Leonardo of Vinci. He was the illegitimate son of notary Pieroni Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci and Caterina, a servant in his house.

Leonardo da Vinci

Yesterday, 15th April, was the anniversary of his birth in 1452, so I thought a visit to his home town was in order.

Vinci is a tiny hilltop town not far from Florence. We first visited the church where Leonardo was baptised. The original church has been replaced with a fairly plain one, but the font where the boy was baptised is still there.

Church in Vinci

Font in Vinci

As well there is a plaque stating that in 1952, the fifth anniversary of Leonardo’s birth…..Of course they meant the 500th anniversary. I saw the sign the first time about 10 years ago and it has not changed.

Vinci baptistery

There is a museum in 2 parts showing models made from Leonardo’s drawings. He was an incredibly inventive and curious individual. He must have been fascinating to know.

I was particularly impressed by his round tank which could travel in any direction.

Leonardo's tank

He designed a machine to beat gold into fine sheets. From there it was cut into thin strips and would around yellow cotton to make gold thread.

Leonardo's machines

I liked his ladder on wheels.

Leonardo's ladder

His diving suit was a bit scary.

Leonarodo's diving suit

His portable bridge was great.

Leonardo's bridge

Leonardo's bridge

There is a wooden model of his Vitruvian man. If the glass window had been clean I would have got a better photo.

Vitruvian Man

It looked better outside.

Vitruvian Man

Vitruvian Man

We climbed the 120 steps to the top of the tower to get great views from the top.

Vinci views

Vinci views

Vinci views

Vinci views

Vinci views

Vinci views

There were a couple of pigeons up there enjoying the view too.

Vinci pigeons

Naturally there are plenty of Leonardo inspired souvenirs to buy.

Leonardo souvenirs

Leonardo was probably born in his father’s house, which is in Anchiano, a small hamlet 3 kilometres from Vinci. It is possible to visit the house, but there really isn’t a lot there. It is set in a beautiful olive growing area and the path to the house is lined with old olive trees.

Leonardo's house Anchiano

If you go to Vinci now you will see some very beautiful wisteria.

Vinci wisteria

It was a beautiful spring day in a gorgeous part of Tuscany. Drop by and see some of the brilliant things that Leonardo thought of. The world is a richer place because he lived.




  1. Lovely post, Deb! I never knew he was illegitimate! How astonishing to have made such an impact from such humble beginnings!

    • He was one of the great minds of all time.

  2. Fascinating and creative mind. Looks like you had a lovely day for the visit to Vinci. Beautiful vista from the tower.

    • It was a bit hazy, but warm and sunny…a lovely spring day.

  3. He reminds me of me 😀😅😉

  4. How timely Debra. My U3A class had a presentation on Leonardo a few weeks ago. Lovely to see ‘his village’ in the flesh! He was a genius in the true sense of the word.

    • It is a pity minds like this don’t come more often.

  5. What a fascinating lesson! Accompanied by interesting photos. Had been a dumb bunny in quite a few ways but now want to learn more . . . love Florence, so the next trip around guess what will also be on the agenda . .

    • You could get there by bus or train, but driving would be the quickest way.

  6. Fantastic Deb! Looks like Vinci is the perfect Tuscan town!



    • It is a cute little place, but Leonardo is the main attraction.

  7. What a beautiful place! Lovely!

    • Just another gorgeous place in Tuscany.

  8. Great article, Debra! Although he was an illegitimate child, Leonardo was lucky to be fully accepted and protected by his father’s family. This ensured that he received a good education, something pretty rare at the time. His own father, realized that the child had a natural talent for drawing, and he arranged for the 14 year old boy to be accepted as an apprentice with Verrocchio… The rest is history!

    • He was very lucky in that respect. The notes at the house say that he lived with his father there. We are lucky that his talent was recognised early.

  9. You wonder when he slept! i do like the pigeons!

    • The house where he lived with his father was a reasonable size. Photos were not allowed in there, but there was nothing much to see anyway but a couple of empty rooms. The house has been a ruin before it was restored last century.

  10. Another stunning place to try and visit. I have learnt a lot today about da Vinci, thank you. Those little boys are sweet and look happy.

    • There was a school group visiting and that boy was very keen to be in the photo.

  11. Like you said Debra, he was one of the great minds of all time and it is a pity that great minds like that don’t come around more often. His work show a questing, never satisfied mind. He was the quintessential Renaissance man who was brilliant in the fields of both science and art. Thank you for showing us the place he was born. It looks lovely.

    • Fortunately for us he kept notebooks and passed them on to a friend.

  12. Debra, having been born with the last name Leonardo and being a painter and graphic designer, I am particularly delighted with this visit to the town of Vinci. Turns out I have Leonardo’s mother’s fist name, Catherine (Caterina). How wonderful to see these photos. Thank you for sharing then!

  13. Thank you very much for sharing with us this very interesting visit to Leonardo’s village and museum. It was on our list to visit when we were in Italy last time, but we didn’t make it there. For sure we need to visit it the next time we will be in the area.

  14. A lovely tribute to this great painter, Debra. He did live in the most beautiful surroundings. I had to laugh at the two fat pigeons crammed into that small space. 🙂

  15. There’s also a fantastic walk we did around the Vinci hills. See

  16. Such an intelligent man! And what an imagination…
    Thanks for sharing!

  17. Leonardo was definitely a man ahead of his times … .absolutely brilliant … and thanks for the trip to his hometown.

  18. What a lovely day, especially for taking photos from the top of the tower. Thank you for sharing as I’ve not been there.

  19. Oh wow, realised what “da Vinci” means just now..! Mind blowing, hahah!

  20. The world would be a very different place without Leo…. And you too dear Debra!

  21. Lucky you to visit Leonardo’s home town. Yes, I’m also fascinated by Leonardo’s brilliant inventiveness. It’s nice that this town acknowledges Leonardo’s special talents by displaying some of his amazing ideas.

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