Did anybody else know that Leonardo DaVinci once owned a vineyard in Milan?? And now, that same wine is being produced once again from the same vineyard!?! Such an interesting story and gem of a place to discover: The Atellani House & Leonardo’s Vineyard.
In the late 1400’s, while in Milan, DaVinci worked for Ludovico Sforza (the Duke of Milan) painting, sculpting, and making designs for weapons, machinery, and buildings. It was Ludovico who commissioned “The Last Supper.” As payment for work done, Ludovico gifted Leonardo a vineyard located in the land behind Casa degli Atellani (across from the street from the church that holds “The Last Supper” painting). In the 19th and early 20th centuries, a prominent architect took interest in DaVinci’s life, collecting documents and works about the artist, and he determined the exact position of Leonardo’s vineyard. In the decades that followed, the vineyard was reduced to a small patch of land here near the garden of Casa degli Atellani. It was then covered in rubble from the 1943 air raids and was then left untouched for 70 years. In the 21st century a foundation was launched to try to discover which wine was grown by Leonardo in the 15th century. Since 2007, archeological excavations in the are at the bottom of the garden unveiled the rows of walkways once photographed earlier in history. Samples of organic material were found and compared with other similar specimens cultivated at the time of DaVinci. It was found that the artist grew a kind of vine belonging to the white Malvasia group- ‘Malvasia di Candia.’ In 2015, in compliance with the original grapes’ DNA and the ancient row’s position, Leonardo’s vineyard was finally replanted!! In a matter of months, the first harvest was collected on September 12, 2018- 500 years after Ludovico’s gift to Leonardo!
Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!