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Leonardo da Vinci museum
Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the greatest geniuses not just of the Italian Renaissance, but of all human history. While perhaps best known as the artist behind the Louvre’s staple painting, the Mona Lisa, Da Vinci was so much more than a painter. Besides the arts, he was a master of civil and mechanical engineering, chemistry, geometry, mathematics, physics, optics, geology, hydrodynamics and even pyrotechnics. Many of Da Vinci’s sketches for wondrous medieval machines survive to this day, and you can find prototypes of them at the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum!
Leonardo, the Renaissance Man
The Middle Ages were a dark period in western civilization, with few technological advances (except in fields like architecture), and stagnant in many ways. After a millennium of scientific darkness came the Renaissance, a near-magical time of new inventions, artistic mastery and a return to the ways of thinking of Ancient Greece and Rome.
The most educated people during the Renaissance weren’t simply artists or scientists, they had a bit (or a lot!) of both. Due to his endless curiosity and proficiency in all kinds of things, Leonardo Da Vinci is considered the model of the Renaissance Man. A polymath, a man of many interests, capable of seeing the world in a different light than everyone else around him. A dreamer, we might call him today!
As a painter, Leonardo created some of the most iconic pieces of art the world has ever seen, such as the Gioconda, the Virgin on the Rocks and the Vitruvian Man, a study in anatomy and the “perfect” human proportions. As an inventor, Da Vinci drafted the first plans for what are now standard items like the parachute, the helicopter and the tank. A natural scientist, he was also fascinated with the nature around him, trying to find answers to questions like how birds fly, or how the human body functions.
And all that for someone who lived between the 15th and 16th centuries - a true futurist!
As one of the most famous Italian men in history, you’ll find more than a few places to dig deeper into Da Vinci’s works. Whether you admire the famously perfect proportions of his paintings or how his brain seemed a few centuries before his time, there’s plenty of room to admire his work.
Leonardo Da Vinci Museum Rome
There are a few museums dedicated to Leonardo, his art and inventions throughout Rome. Below, you’ll find an overview of each museum, with some basic information including location and what you’ll find in each one!
Museo Leonardo da Vinci
The Museo Leonardo da Vinci has been in the scene for over 10 years. It is divided into thematic areas based on the many studies and passions Leonardo followed throughout his life, with plenty of items and videos in each part. Among the most interesting things here, you’ll find:
• Incredible interactive machines based on Leonardo’s coded manuscripts and sketches
• Drawing studies for some of his most iconic Renaissance paintings
• Impressive Da Vinci sketches of human anatomy
• In-depth videos about iconic works like Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man and The Last Supper
• An immersive multimedia room to help you understand the mind of this world-renowned genius
The museum’s privileged location is barely a 5-minute walk from the Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese, specifically in the basement of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo, at the iconic Piazza del Popolo.
• Address. Piazza del Popolo, 12, in the basement of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo.
• Schedule. The Leonardo Da Vinci Museum opens every day, with the sole exception of Christmas Day (December 25). The schedules vary depending on the season.
• May through September: open between 10:00 am and 9:00 pm.
• October through April:
• How to get there. From Termini station, take Line A in the direction of Battistini. Get down at Flaminio; from there, the Piazza del Popolo (and its adjoining minor basilica) is only a few steps away.
• Tickets. Tickets are only sold directly through the museum, either from their website or on site. One thing we can recommend is taking a small tour of the beautiful Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo and then dropping by the museum for a full Renaissance experience!
Mostra di Leonardo
Right at the heart of Rome, the Mostra di Leonardo is so popular it doesn’t just have a Roman venue, but also a few versions that tour all over the world. The whole exhibition is dedicated to Da Vinci’s genius, focusing on the sensorial perception of his inventions.
The museum has taken some of Leonardo’s most impressive drawings and created wood prototypes for visitors to try. Many of these “rough” machines are the original versions of current technologies we take for granted, so handling them is a truly unique experience for people of all ages.
A perfect outing for families with children or children at heart, as they’ll be able to interact with these fun prototypes.
• Address. Piazza della Cancelleria, 1.
• Schedule. The museum opens every day from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm.
• How to get there. Some of the bus lines that will get you close to the Mostra di Leonardo are no. 23, 30, 62, 64, 87, 492, 70 and 916; it will depend on the direction you’re coming from. Using Roma Termini as reference, you can:
• Walk towards the XX Settembre (Min. Finanze) bus stop and take no. 64 Transportina. Get down at C.So Vittorio Emanuele/Navona and walk about 110 meters.
• Walk towards the Repubblica bus stop and take no. 70 Clodio. Get down at Rinascimento and walk about 290 meters.
• Walk towards the Volturno/Gaeta bus stop and take no. 492 Staz.ne Metro Cipro (Ma). Get down at Rinascimento and walk about 290 meters.
• Walk towards the Termini (H) bus stop and take no. 64 P.Za Stazione S. Pietro (Fl). Get down at C.So Vittorio Emanuele/Navona and walk about 110 meters.
Leonardo Da Vinci Experience Museum
For visitors who love interactive machines, there are few places as fun as the Leonardo Da Vinci Experience Museum. In it, there are over 50 machines taken from Leonardo’s sketches, in 1:1 reproductions. They all work and visitors can handle, play with them and marvel at how these were designed over 500 years ago.
Besides the interactive machines, at the Experience Museum you’ll also find over 20 life-size reproductions of Da Vinci's most famous paintings, plus an exciting mirror room to read the genius' coded messages as they were deciphered in his day.
• Address. Via della Conciliazione, 19.
• Schedule. The museum opens every day from 9:00am to 7:30 pm, but the last entrance is at 6:30 pm.
• How to get there.
• Metro. To reach the museum from Termini by metro, take Line A in the Battistini direction and get down at Ottaviano. You’ll then have to walk about 1 km.
• Bus. Some of the bus lines that will get you close to the Leonardo Da Vinci Experience Museum are no. 23, 280, 40, 62, and 982; it will depend on the direction you’re coming from. Using Roma Termini as reference, you can:
• Walk towards the Volturno/Gaeta bus station, and take no. 492 Staz.ne Metro Cipro (Ma). Get down at Crescenzio/Terenzio and walk about 500 m.
• Walk towards the Termini bus station, and take no. 40 Borgo Sant'Angelo. Get down at Traspontina/Conciliazione and walk about 140 m.
• Tickets. The Da Vinci Experience Museum offers different types of tickets depending on the experience you’re looking to have. One great option for the whole family is this guided tour with an optional workshop for kids!