Leonardo’s Vineyard (Vigna di Leonardo)
Leonardo is known as a Renaissance man, both artist and engineer, but many don’t realize that Italy’s famous luminary came from a family of winemakers and was a passionate vintner, himself. Tucked behind the elegant Renaissance villa, Casa degli Atellani, Leonardo’s vineyard is testimony to his love of cultivating grapes, and recent excavations have unearthed his original 200-by-575-foot rectangle of land, as well as identified the varietal Leonardo grew—malvasia di candia aromatica, a white grape popular in Lombardy during the Renaissance—today replanted as in the artist’s time. Booking advance tickets to visit Leonardo’s Vineyard is strongly recommended, especially on the weekends. Visits include an audio tour of the beautifully renovated Casa degli Atellani and a guided walk through the picturesque gardens and vineyard.
Things to know before you go
- Leonardo did not live in Casa degli Atellani, but it is the only surviving Renaissance villa in the neighborhood surrounding Santa Maria delle Grazie.
- Paired with a visit to admire The Last Supper, a tour of Leonardo’s Vineyard is an excellent way to get a feel for this great artist’s daily life.
- Architecture aficionados will especially enjoy exploring the villa’s inner courtyards, grand staircase hall, and portrait room.
- The villa and vineyard are not accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
- Casa degli Atellani also has a small bistrot, serving breakfast and lunch.
How to get there
Leonardo’s Vineyard can be accessed through Casa degli Atellani, located on Corso Magenta in the center of Milan. The nearest metro stops are Cadorna, Conciliazione, and S. Ambrogio.
When to get there
The villa and vineyard are registered with FAI (Italy’s National Heritage Registry), and are popular sites to visit, especially on summer weekends. To avoid the crowds, purchase tickets for a weekday.
Santa Maria delle Grazie
Leonardo’s Vineyard is set just across from the 15th-century Santa Maria delle Grazie, home to one of the most celebrated works of Renaissance art in the world: Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. This groundbreaking fresco decorates the refectory wall of the church’s Dominican convent, but the church is an important work of Gothic and Romanesque architecture, modified by the Renaissance architect Donato Bramante at the end of the 15th century.
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