Vinci

Set amidst vineyards and olive groves which produce excellent wine and oil, Vinci lies on the slopes of the Montalbano, a range of hills straddling the provinces of Florence and Pistoia.


Vinci Set amidst vineyards and olive groves which produce excellent wine and oil, Vinci lies on the slopes of the Montalbano, a range of hills straddling the provinces of Florence and Pistoia. The town’s castle was built by the Conti Guidi in the first half of the 12th century. It fell under Florentine control between 1254 and 1273, and subsequently became a comune.
Leonardo da Vinci was born in nearby Anchiano on 15 April 1452, and spent his childhood here. Some of the town’s most atmospheric sights are associated with and evoke his universally recognized genius.
The original nucleus of the town was the Castello dei Conti Guidi, which once circled the top of the hill and had a characteristic elliptical form, still clearly evident. The stronghold with its tall central tower is what remains of the complex today. In the panoramic piazza behind the castle entrance there is a large wooden sculpture by Mario Ceroli (1987), an interpretation of Leonardo’s ‘Vitruvian Man’.
Just a short distance away, in Piazza dei Guidi, which was reconfigured scenographically by the artist Mimmo Paladino in 2006, is the entrance to the Museo Leonardiano: Palazzina Uzielli houses the ticket office and the sections of the museum devoted to building site and textile manufacturing machines, while the rest of the exhibits are in the Castello dei Conti Guidi – over 60 models of Leonardo’s machines, each one presented together with specific references to the artist’s drawings and manuscript notes.
Also of interest within the perimeter of the ancient castle are the Church of Santa Croce, housing a baptismal font thought to have been used to baptize Leonardo; and the Biblioteca Leonardiana, a documentation centre specializing in the work of Leonardo, which has facsimiles of all Leonardo’s manuscripts and drawings.
Museo Ideale Leonardo Da VinciBelow the castle area, on Via Montalbano, is the Museo Ideale Leonardo Da Vinci, a private collection of documents and reconstructions relating to Leonardo. In the central Piazza della Libertà there is a bronze equestrian monument (1997) by the sculptress Nina Akamu, inspired by Leonardo’s numerous horse drawings. And at the junction of the roads for Empoli and Cerreto Guidi stands the Sanctuary of the Santissima Annunziata, which has a fine Annunciation (c.1525) by the Pistoiese painter Fra’ Paolino.

From the centre of Vinci, an ancient footpath with panoramic views – known as the “green road” – winds its way through olive groves to the Birthplace of Leonardo at Anchiano. The building is a typical 15th-century Tuscan rural dwelling, and is where Leonardo was reportedly born on 15 April 1452.
Places of interest in the vicinity of Vinci include the Romanesque country parish churches of San Giovanni Battista at Sant’Ansano in Greti and the scenically positioned San Pietro a Sant’Amato, and the Church of Santa Maria a Faltognano. Leading up to the latter is a broad grassy terrace with a majestic, centuries-old oak tree that provides welcome shade in the summer heat.
More information: www.museoleonardiano.it

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Accommodations in the area

  • Agriturismo Casa Italia Farmhouse Lamporecchio Pistoia Agriturismo Casa Italia
    Agriturismo Casa Italia is located just outside Vinci, the birthplace of the famous artist, and welcomes you in this wonderful land, for your relaxing holiday between nature, culture and good food.
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    In the hearth of Tuscany, less than 1 km far from Montaione, are displaced the holiday cottages of La Valle.
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    Set among the green hills of Tuscan countryside, 3 Km far from Montaione, are displaced the holiday cottages of Fignano.
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  • Agriturismo Cesani Farmhouse San Gimignano Siena Agriturismo Cesani
    Azienda Agricola Biologica Cesani is an organic farm nestled in the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, in the tiny country hamlet of Pancole, 6 km to the medieval town of San Gimignano.
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  • Marignolle relais & charme Hotel Firenze Florence Marignolle relais & charme
    The charming Marignolle Relais & Charme, nestled the hills of Florence, is the ideal solution for those who want a place of excellence and relaxation and love peace and privacy without the amenities of a luxury hotel.
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    In the vicinity of the medieval centre of San Gimignano, nestled in the rolling hills of the gorgeous Tuscan countryside, Agriturismo La Lucciolaia is perfectly located for exploring Tuscany's most prized art towns.
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    La Fornace di Racciano is a lovely Bed&Breakfast a short distance from the historical centre of medieval San Gimignano. It consists of a typical Tuscan country house surrounded by a large flowery garden.
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    Agriturismo Villa il Palagetto located in the vicinity of the medieval centre of San Gimignano, nestled in the rolling hills of the gorgeous Tuscan countryside.
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    The Relais Della Rovere is a charming hotel created from the conversion of an ancient Benedictine abbey and a papal villa of the Renaissance period.
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    The farm holiday Cielsereno is located in Casole d'Elsa in the heart of Tuscany, in the the countryside between Siena and Florence. It is a corner of paradise for those who love nature and relax.
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  • La Locanda Hotel Radda in Chianti Siena La Locanda
    The Country Hotel La Locanda is a old farmhouse completely restored overlooking the most beautiful landscape of Chianti Classico near the beautiful medieval village of Volpaia in Radda in Chianti.
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  • Agriturismo Marciano Farmhouse Siena Siena Agriturismo Marciano
    Agriturimo Marciano : an exlusive opportunity, two holidays at the place of only one. stay in the country and life downtown. Marciano is located near the walls of the Middle Age town of Siena.
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    This villa is really some thing special, perched on the top of a hill the views are endlessly breath taking.
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    The Tombolo Talasso Resort is the perfect solution for a beach holiday in Tuscany, the only hotel in Tuscany that offers a SPA completely dedicated to thalassotherapy
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