Explore the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci in Florence and Milan, immerse yourself in creations by his contemporaries, and come to understand the role of collaboration and shared ideas among the great thinkers of his day.

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 Statue of Leonardo da Vinci, Florence  Leonardo drawings  Leonardo's <i>The Last Supper</i>, Milan  The Palazzo Vecchio at dusk, Florence  The iconic Duomo in Florence  Visitors outside the renowned Uffizi Gallery. Credit: John Kellerman/Alamy  Some of the many treasures in the Uffizi Gallery. Credit: Art Kowalsky/Alamy  Leonardo's birthplace, Anchiano  Milan's renowned cathedral  The cathedral in Pavia  Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan

The Genius of Leonardo da Vinci

Celebrating 500 Years

8 days from $4,995

Explore the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci in Florence and Milan, immerse yourself in creations by his contemporaries, and come to understand the role of collaboration and shared ideas among the great thinkers of his day.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Leonardo da Vinci was the essence of a Renaissance Man. In addition to the arts, he excelled in science, engineering, anatomy, writing, and many other disciplines. In 2019, the 500th anniversary of his death, join us to celebrate his genius and explore his life and work. On this eight-day journey to Florence and Milan, explore the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci, immerse yourself in creations by his contemporaries, and come to understand the role of collaboration and shared ideas among the great thinkers of his day. The program is led by Smithsonian Journeys Experts Elaine Ruffolo and Ross King.

Highlights Include

  • Florence: Begin your journey where Leonardo spent his early life and some later years. View works by Leonardo, his teacher Andrea del Verrocchio, and his contemporaries during an in-depth tour of the Uffizi and see the Leicester Codex, one of his important scientific journals. Explore the Palazzo Vecchio, once home to his mural The Battle of Anghiari, and meet the director at the Galileo Museum. 
  • Vinci: Traveling into the Tuscan countryside, visit the home where Leonardo was born and see a museum collection of technical and scientific models based on his drawings.
  • Milan: Learn about Leonardo’s life, projects, and patrons in this northern city. You’ll view his masterpiece The Last Supper at Santa Maria delle Grazie and tour the Castello Sforzesco, where he lived and worked, made evident by the Sala dell Asse. Delve into his scientific mind with a curator-led tour of the Museum of Science and Technology, featuring models of his inventions. Plus, admire art by Leonardo’s contemporaries and followers at the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana and the Brera Art Gallery. 

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Depart the U.S. for Florence.

Day 2 — Arrival / Florence, Italy

Meet your Smithsonian Journeys Experts, Ross King and Elaine Ruffolo, for an orientation walk through the center of Florence. Stop and visit the Palazzo Vecchio to explore the apartments and inner chambers, which highlight Renaissance art, and learn about the legend of Leonardo’s fresco, The Battle of Anghiari. Join your fellow travelers for a welcome reception followed by dinner at the hotel. (R,D)

Day 3 — Florence

Gather for an introductory presentation on the Genius of Leonardo presented by Ross King, noted author and Renaissance history expert. Following the presentation, take an in-depth tour of the Uffizi Galleries. Your focus will be 16th-century masterpieces with particular attention to works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Enjoy a privileged look at the famous Leicester Codex, one of Leonardo's important scientific journals, on loan to the Uffizi during the anniversary.

This afternoon by special access, visit Orsanmichele to see sculptures that inspired and influenced Leonardo da Vinci. (B,D)

Day 4 — Florence / Vinci

Visit the Bargello, the National Sculpture Museum of Florence which holds masterpieces by Leonardo’s precursors and contemporaries, including Donatello, Verrocchio, and Michelangelo.

Depart for an excursion to the Tuscan hamlet of Anchiano near Vinci, where Leonardo was born. After visiting the birthplace museum, see the house where he was born and the church where he was baptized.

After a quintessentially Tuscan lunch in a local restaurant, return to Florence. Meet Paolo Galluzzi, director of the Galileo Museum and enjoy a workshop focusing on science and inventions during the time of Leonardo da Vinci. (B,L)

Day 5 – Milan

View the beautiful countryside and enjoy a presentation on the history of Leonardo’s The Last Supper as you take the two-hour train journey from Florence to Milan. Upon arrival, transfer by private coach to the Renaissance church and convent, Santa Maria delle Grazie, a World Heritage Site.

Then behold Leonardo’s masterpiece, The Last Supper. This fresco received a complete restoration, which took 20 years and was completed in 1999. While following in the footsteps of Leonardo this afternoon, you will visit the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia. Found in a 16th-century monastery, this is one of the most important museums of science and technology in the world. Its collections, featuring cars, aircraft, ships, scooters, trains, reconstructions of ancient workshops for metalworking, and clock-making right through to electronics, textiles, and astronomy, explore the relationship between men and machines starting from the ingenious inventions of Leonardo. This evening, dine in a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 6 — Milan

Begin today with a guided visit to the Castello Sforzesco, where Leonardo lived and worked. View his famous frescoed wall and ceiling in the Sala delle Asse as well as works by Leonardo’s contemporaries including Michelangelo’s last Pieta. Continue to the unique Church of Santa Maria presso San Satiro to see the influence Leonardo had on Bramante. Finish the morning at the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, an art gallery which boasts works by Botticelli, Titian, and Caravaggio, and is home to Leonardo’s The Musician.

After lunch, visit the Brera and meet with museum director, James Bradbourne, to admire the fine collection of Renaissance masterpieces. (B,L)

Day 7 — Pavia / Milan

This morning drive out to the sublime Certosa of Pavia, built by Leonardo’s patrons, the Sforzas. Enjoy a last Tuscan lunch in the countryside. Unwind late this afternoon at the newly restored La Vigna di Leonardo, a gift from Ludovico il Moro to Leonardo. This vineyard became a sanctuary to the artist as he was finishing The Last Supper. Toast your journey with a farewell aperitivo at the end of the visit. (B,L,R)

Day 8 — Return to the U.S.

After breakfast, transfer to the Milan Airport for individual flights home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)