Florence's Most Famous Son
Even with all the noted thinkers, artists, politicians, and powerful families who’ve called Florence home, Leonardo da Vinci is arguably the city’s most famous son. This homage focuses less on his artwork and more on Da Vinci’s forward-thinking inventions and theories. The exhibits are separated into five themes, with each including models based on Da Vinci's instructions. The Earth section includes pieces like printing machines and an oil press; Water has hydraulic saws and water floats; Fire boasts military artillery inspired by the Atlantic Codex; Air has Da Vinci’s parachute, flying machine, and "winged man" paragliding prototype; and Mechanisms includes items based on Da Vinci’s codexes, to demonstrate their principles. Most items are hands-off, but kids will have fun learning how to operate the rotating crane and other models. Most of the pieces are made of wood, so you really get a feel for their bones—and for Da Vinci’s genius.
By Sandra Ramani, AFAR Contributor
So much knowledge, So much talent
Florence - home to the Italian Renaissance. It is so amazing to walk the streets and imagine all those who have walked there before you...Dante, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Boticelli, Ghirlandaio, Galileo and many more. You almost start taking for granted that every little courtyard you encounter will probably have a work of one of the masters. Toddlers use the statue bases as place to play hide and seek. Our guide at the Uffizi took us to see "The Birth of Venus", one of the most famous paintings of all time. She pointed out that the face of Venus was beautiful, the plants were very accurately painted, but the anatomy was "A Disaster!". You do get spoiled by all of the masterpieces. This image was from the da Vinci museum, where they have built models of some of the amazing machines he designed, well ahead of anyone else of his time. This was one of his flying machines. He realized the wing tip was going to have to move independently of the rest of the wing. Another treat....Jupiter was visible, just a bit below the moon. I could almost imagine the way it was when Galileo was the first to see the craters on the moon and discovered the moons of Jupiter.
By Liz Galpin
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