Hundreds of thousands of visitors descend upon Milan each year to visit Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper but few people know that the artist left behind another noteworthy treasure just steps away from his famous fresco. Leonardo’s Vineyard, or La Vigna di Leonardo, lies tucked within the lush gardens of the Casa degli Atellani, an elegant private residence that provides a unique opportunity to experience the Milanese Renaissance. And on the eve of Leonardo da Vinci’s 500th anniversary of his death, 2019 is a perfect time to retrace the artist’s footsteps in the northern city.
Originally born in the Tuscan town of Vinci in 1452, Leonardo was one of the most prolific and avant-garde masterminds the world has ever known. A veritable Renaissance man, his talents extended far beyond the fields of art and science to include astronomy, cartography, engineering, geology and even botany. He honed his skills in Florence before he moved up north in 1482 to work for Ludovico Sforza, the visionary Duke of Milan who would become one of Leonardo’s most important patrons.