Sunday, 26 August 2012

Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci-Milan | Tribute to a Genius.

The Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci of Milan is undoubtedly a great exhibition representing a tribute to a genius offering the visitors during a stay in the Capital of Lombardy the chance to visit a site of an incomparable value displaying in its rooms an important patrimony as the projects of inventions which changed the history of humanity.

That impressive science and technology exhibition is located in the heart of the second Italian metropolis in Via San Vittore a central, busy street very close to the magnificent Romanesque Basilica of Saint Ambrose, one of the most relevant, ecclesiastical complexes elevated in the Middle Ages in Italy dedicated to the Patron of the city.

Situated at a short distance from the notorious Via Carducci, a long artery adjacent to the famous square Piazza Cadorna next to the imposing, iconic Castello Sforzesco, Sforza Castle, another emblematic, Milanese landmark former stronghold of a powerful, influential Duchy. 

The location of that site is certainly superb to admire many other historic attractions in an urban environment is very attractive packed by historic buildings elevated in different periods west of the Duomo,the majestic Gothic Cathedral and south of the huge Parco Sempione, the Simplon Park one of the wide, green lung of Milan lying just behind the mentioned fortress.

The museum lies at just five minutes walking along Via Bernardino Zenale from the beautiful Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie, an emblematic Church next to the Cenacolo that very distinctive place hosting the Last Supper one of the most famed works by Leonardo mandatory in the case you want to admire a masterpiece  of that genial character.

The Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci consists is a stunning Educational attraction hosted in the former headquarter of the Monastero of  San Vittore del Corpo, a Monastery dedicated to St. Victor erected in medieval times considered since its elevation one of the most important religious centres existing in the entire city in medieval times.

Despite that it was originally located in another site, the Monastero degli Olivetani, a convent which was the former residence of the Olivetan Order, monks who were historically very active in Northern and Central Italy.

Its foundation took place in 1953 thanks to Guido Ucelli, an Italian engineer from Piacenza opening its doors on 5th February of the same year in an inauguration which saw the presence of the former prime minister of Italy Alcide De Gasperi.
The aim was to pay a magnificent homage to one of the most distinguished artists all time, a versatile, eclectic character, eminent scientist, painter, architect, sculptor, engineer but covering many other roles in that unforgettable, artistic movement called Renaissance arose in the late 15th century.
The continuation with the 16th century was absolute  protagonist in terms of innovation with radical mutations related to deep, meticulous studies in different areas and Leonardo was for his concepts, ideas focused to constant efforts to research always something of new was a sort of predestined, considered a step over the media or perhaps more due to his incredible eclecticism.

Those  unique qualities elevated that great man as a leader of that stupendous, artistic cycle born in Tuscany in a time  highlighted by a strong desire of  change with Florence as distinctive, indisputable cradle which inspired other cities as Milan when the Sforza Family called at its court superb masters among them Leonardo.

That immense figure enchanted with his unique talent the attention, interest, admiration and imagination of millions of people worldwide thanks to great intuitions, creativity, with fascinating inventions which impressed the globe leaving important basis which opened several doors linked to new scientific discoveries.

Undoubtedly that visit  is highly recommended to all those who are spending a pleasant, enjoyable short break in the capital of fashion and design, boasting a vibrant nightlife, a cultural calendar rich of several events but also considerable attractions as that site with the great chance to fill a great day during a stay visiting something of simply unique.
You will have the opportunity to learn more all the most important discoveries of that superb artist who lived for almost two decades in Milan, a centre which represented a very important historic stage of his life.

That  exhibition  is named after the extraordinary figure who mastered art, science and technology with impressive collection which exhibits an array of machinery,  draws, documentations, perfect replicas of the major works of that outstanding figure.

All that is hosted in that wonderful, thematic gallery showing the visitors the universal talent of a man who changed in his kind the history, evidence that point to Da Vinci's intelligence as being far ahead of his contemporaries.

Closely related to that you will discover in an exciting step by step moving from a space to another coming inside the most important, chronological stages reflecting all the talent of that genius transmitting you why that man was able to gain the admiration of a myriad of people as a pioneer several centuries ago to open gateways to an unexplored, unknown world.

In a surface area corresponding to approximately 40,000 square metres, as relevant note all what is linked to scientific inventions of man over time displayed there it is still source of study in physical experiments linked  to the most modern technologies in different areas of current times.

In that environment the visitor will have an immediate contact discovering in very captivating explanations all the studies developed during the life of that phenomenal character.

The main attraction is the large space dedicated to that Tuscan genius consisting in an impressive collection introducing an ample classification boasting a large range of examples of wits and war machines.

Leonardo during his 18 years spent in Milan also worked as a prominent military engineer and  not just to establish fortified sections around the boundaries of the historic centre of that city.

He also invented weapons able to defend that Milanese stronghold to add to a complete, defencive system with protagonists sophisticated, genial creations as  you can admire in that site.

Notable are also the rooms displaying several scientific tests, topics of applied physic in different periods of that unique figure which enlarged his skills with numerous experiments related to studies analysing  materials, spaces and movements.

There are in turn more themed sections which address issues highly interesting  such as clock, radio but also also many others such as telecommunications, electricity, sound, acoustic, astronomy including musical instruments from17th to 20th centuries.

Very attractive are in addition the areas specifically devoted to aviation, navigation as well as civilian and military projects.

About the first subject you can enjoy a large space  subdivided in four different sections with air models protagonists during the two World Wars as three survived copies of the Macchi fighter MC205V Veltro used by the Regia Aeronautica Militare Italiana during the Second World War.

Other highlights are a Fiat G.91, an Italian jet fighter aircraft winner of the NATO NBMR-1 competition in 1953, a North American F-86 D Sabre, a transonic jet all-weather interceptor of the United States Force.
Further airplanes displayed are a considerable Republic F-84F Thunderstreak a swept-wing turbojet fighter-bomber used by the air forces of U.S.A, Germany, Belgium,The Netherlands and a replica of a Farman III also known as Henry Farman 1909 biplane, an early French aircraft.  

In the shipbuilding hall are exhibited relics of old warships as the famous Ebe, a used by the Italian Marine Navy, a famed wooden sailboat launched in 1921  donated to the museum.

Further attractions are the submarine Enrico Toti  S 506, a Human Torpedo also known as maiale used by Great Britain and Italy during the Second World War and the Conte Biancamano a famous cruise ship with including the bridge and passenger room.

That space is also used as Educational headquarter hosting different kinds of activities.

In the material section you can see the life and processes of cycles of modern products from raw materials to recycling, the basic chemical manufacturing.

An additional area is dedicated to metals with an illustration explaining the technique of extraction next to an invention by Ernesto Stassano dated onsisting in the first electric artc furnace for melting steel.

The Energy room is devoted to devices and energy source displaying the Margherita thermoelectric power station made in 1895 and an oil petrochemistry section.

The Communication pavillion will show you  the chronological stages from telegraph to telephone, wireless communication, radio and including the technical history of the Italian  television.

Very interesting is also the environment devoted to Astronomy displaying a Salmoiraghi refracting telescope and a Foucault Pendulum, conceived to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth among others.

In 2004 the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci received from the President of the Italian Repubblic and the Minister of Education University and Research a prestigious award consisting in the Diploma of First Class and Golden Medal.

That was  a reward for its brilliant activity in the school education, a prize which increased furthermore its prestige elevated as a site to be an example to follow by other National Institutions.

It was of course also a kind of tribute to pay homage to that genius from Vinci, an outstanding place which shows the performances of a great, incomparable figure thanks to presence of items which made the history of the world. 

In a second aspect but equally very important, it was furthermore a message to promote a Museum which contains a superb patrimony of studies simply unique in its kind trying to attract people to know the progress of humanity in all its different faces.

Since long time ago that exhibition is very sensitive to launch its special activities to schools, students, diverse Institutions to incentive an always major input transmitting the relevant value of a site which also hosts events, meetings and conferences.

In the last years, the science centre has also being strongly developed giving that place an interactive dimension necessary for the presentation and scientific education based on oriented subjects.

All that is organised to remember Leonardo in special times as anniversaries, specific periods linked to concrete inventions but also calling contemporary scientists who continue to take inspirations by all what is displayed there.

The museum closely related to that provides galleries devoted to temporary exhibitions, lectures and including concerts. 

In addition there are spaces especially dedicated to celebrate interactive workshops related to different topics with protagonists adults and children offering the chance to enjoy practical activities under the supervision and guidance of a  scientific staff with suitable themes for everyone.

The museum is in addition in its kind a recall to transmit what was in all its spirit the Renaissance, an era focused to transmit an immense desire of innovation respecting the older canons of the outstanding medieval period but with the creation of very challenging projects aimed to consequent winning goals.

That passage in that time wanted by the highest noble was focused to generate a new wave of masterpieces able to surprise the human eye at first sight with protagonists artists who with solid bases able to create unforgettable cycles.

Painting, sculpture but also science had the mission to bewitch the humanity also in specific themes as anatomy and in that exhibition you will admire some draws about that too.

The Renaissance was highlighted by the launch of new  sinuous silhouettes, a more refined definition of visual expression next to executions with vivid colours and much more the representations of ample perspectives boasting perfect lines.

All that was harmoniously mixed with an enthusiastic spirit of eclecticism highlighting the personal talent of every artist who had to leave an imprint to be greatly remembered as Leonardo made and the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia is in its kind a siginificant representation of that.

That fantastic period was a sort of theatre in which the exponents had  to participate all together to a success showing as in competition new trendy inspirations able to replace the old and that site certainly represents the image of that movement transmitting the visitor how in just a few years the world changed.

That movement was undoubtedly an instrument to turn page placing the past in a respectable second position with extreme respect but overcame by a new one symbol of a desired progress.

It was since then that the history impressively mutated with talented men who delighted the world with their wonderful ideas and one of the most prominent exponents was definitely Leonardo.

The museum in its way tries to transmit the visitors how and why that man became a leader, an example to follow who with his notable capacities in different areas giving other masters deep inspirations who created new schools all around the European Continent. 

Once you are in Milan after that magnificent visit, it is highly interesting to know how that city was fundamental in the artistic growth  of Leonardo  after his several experiences in Pisa, Florence and around Tuscany. 
Milan in that time with its several hundred thousand of inhabitants was already one of the largest cities of Europe, a desired destination for many prominent artists.

For all that that man of art accepted with pleasure to move there in 1482 called by Ludovico il Moro, lord of the Milanese Duchy who in that time gave him several responsibilities, duties but also determined privileges.

In that period occurred that Leonardo was extremely busy in many operations working as military engineer, creator of an innovative system to deliver drinking water to the entire city, architect in the embellishment of several palaces, eccleasiastical complexes, conservation and restoration of the local patrimony and naturally as a painter.

Linked to the latter he executed the famed Last Supper that stunning masterpiece you can admire in the beautiful Church Santa Maria delle Grazie you can visit after or before the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Teconologia Leonardo da Vinci with the chance to book online the entry in a day you desire.

That famous fresco considered one of the divine masterpieces by that unique artist was painted with a new technique which occupied him for three years from 1495 to 1498.

In addition during his long sojourn in Milan he executed other relevant works as the magnificent portrait of Cecilia Galerani,  Lady with an Ermine,the first version of  the famous The Virgin of the Rocks.

That man was furthermore protagonist of some decorations of the fortress of Milan the iconic Castello Sforzesco also depicted by him in occasion of the marriage of Gian Galeazzo Sforza.
Including that Master also dedicated his time to develop an important sculpture which in its kind represented the symbol of the Milanese Duchy, a bronze horse, a monument to pay homage to Francesco Sforza, emblematic figure of that noble family.

That masterpiece was a clear signal of the veneration of that Duke towards Leonardo having the chance to call numerous, renowned sculptors but commissioned that work to Leonardo who with his  magnificent talent made another masterpiece confirming his eclectic capacities also reflected in sculpture using metals. 

During his times spent in the capital of Lombardy Da Vinci also invented a fantastic theatrical machine representing Heaven and the sky with the stars in motion a great work which totally conquered the Milanese.

In those 18 years of permanence Leonardo became a sort of revered idol for the local Lords who delivered him authority in several decisions closely related to urbanisation developments, new strategies to improve the profile of boroughs including often calling him at court to attend to relevant, political meetings.

He remained there until the end of 1499, year in which the artist decided to leave that powerful Duchy due to the fall of the Sforza moving to Paris.

That Italian city obviously dedicated to that great artist that tribute with the establishment of that Museum boasting his name which for someone is considered a sort of sanctuary, a pilgrimage for many people to know more the history of one of the most prominent personalities of the history all time.

Furthermore if you are planning to visit Milan you will admire in the emblematic square Piazza della Scala famous for the presence of the iconic Theatre with the same name, a statue dedicated to the Tuscan master placed in the centre of that strategic urban hub.

That sculpture will explain you all what that figure represented for that Italian metropolis with a work depicting him man placed in the in one of the most emblematic corners of the city.

If you are planning to visit Milan a destination highly attractive for all what it offers in terms of art, shopping, leisure, culture, you can easily plan a sort of Leonardo tour retracing apart the museum the history of that great exponent of the Renaissance visiting places linked to him and also it is highly interesting.

I added some links below, useful for a stay with also some suggested accommodations not far from that stunning exhibition, naturally if you need more information do not hesitate to contact me.(I also wrote a post about Milan in the case you are interested)

You can reach that fantastic exhibition by public transport taking the M2 Metro-Line tube line with  stop at St. Ambrogio station or also the Buses 50,58, or the 94 bus stopping along Via Carducci close to Piazza Cadorna which also tube station, a short distance from to that site.

If you are fond of art, science,inventions and you have the desire to know more one of the most prominent characters all time planning to visit Milan you can not miss to visit the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia  Leonardo Da Vinci, a magnificent tribute to a genius, an iconic symbol of our history.

Francesco Mari

Recommended Accommodations not far from the Museum

Hotel Pierre Milano
Hotel Palazzo delle Stelline
Hotel Panizza
Hotel Antica Locanda Leonardo

Useful links

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Thanks a lot to read and note.