Itineraries in Tuscany

  • Archaeology

    Leonardo's manuscripts do not contain many drawings relating to ancient monuments and archaeological finds, but his interest in the long archaeological past of Tuscany and more generally for ancient models is evident: references to classical art are often present in his production, and the study of classicism is undoubtedly detectable also in the context of architecture.

  • Leonardo in Piombino

    Leonardo was summoned to Piombino in 1502 to serve as the military engineer to Cesare Borgia, and in 1504 to work for Jacopo IV Appiani. Among the many drawings and projects that he produced during this period, of particular interest are the plans for the Citadel, the Ravelin of Porta a Terra, walls and bastions to reinforce the town’s defenses, a new quadrangular fortress and tower, underground passageways, and projects for a new port and the Rocchetta nella Piazzarella (today Piazza G. Bovio). It is probable that of all of these projects only two were actually realized at the time – the walls and defensive fortifications facing the Citadel (which served as the ruler’s residence) ­– while construction began on one of the two towers for defence of the castle and the citadel.

  • Paleontology and geology

    Leonardo succeeded in developing a specialized expertise that was quite unusual for his time in what are now the disciplines of paleontology and geology. In the former, careful examination of fossils found by himself led Leonardo to a re-evaluation of the story of the Great Flood recounted in the Bible. He also studied rock formations and incorporated many geological elements in his paintings that have the centuries sometimes been subject to rather forced iconographic interpretations.