Leonardo recalls Monte Ceceri and Fiesole in his Codex on the Flight of Birds: first for having sighted there a cortone "bird of prey" on March 14, 1505 or 1506, and again for his prophecy on human flight from Monte Ceceri. In the clearing at the top of this mountain, the prophetic words of Leonardo are inscribed on a pillar: «The great bird will take its first flight on the back of Mount Cecero, filling the universe with amazement, filling with its fame all writings and bringing eternal glory to the nest in which it was born.»
Below Monte Ceceri, at the curve known as Il Regresso, on the wall that runs along the provincial road connecting Fiesole to Florence, another plate recalls the same Leonardian project. Legend has it that one of his followers, Zoroastro from Peretola, tried to fly from Monte Ceceri, but the attempt ended in a disastrous fall.
Leonardo's first drawing of a flying machine dates from his first Florentine period, around 1480.

Texts by
Alessandro Vezzosi, in collaboration with Agnese Sabato / English translation by Catherine Frost