A tiny Tuscan town of Vinci is known all over the world because it is the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci, who made the name of his hometown famous.
The town appeared in one of the most picturesque areas of Tuscany. The settlement is located on the slope of the Monte Albano hill. One part of it stretches down to the Florence, to the water gap of the Arno river. The other part of the town goes up to the rocky ravines, which are split by caves and streams. Fields and vineyards spread over the slope of the hill. The air in Vinci is so pure, that you can see the Mediterranean Sea which is sixty five kilometers away from the Monte Albano hill. Picturesque and diverse nature of Vinci surroundings had a great impact on the development of Leonardo da Vinci personality at the time when he was just a curious boy.
Leonardo da Vinci was born in the year of 1452 as an illegitimate child of a rich and respectable notary, Piero da Vinci. Unfortunately, we don't know a lot about his mother, Catherine. She was of humble origin, probably a peasant woman. The father acknowledged his child, though it is most likely that their relationship was never really close. Di Ser Piero gave his son education, and, having noticed his talent, allowed him to become an apprentice at an artist's workshop. That was the time when the future Renaissance titan started to develop gradually. Leonardo approved himself in painting, sculpture, architecture, made outstanding discoveries in such fields as mechanics and optics.
The ancient earl castle of Gwidi (the XII century) dominates in the downtown. Today it houses the museum of Leonardo da Vinci. Its funds show the variety of the famous Renaissance genius' talents. Engineering ideas of the master, even those that were implemented by him just in sketches, found their realization here. About fifty models were constructed according to Leonardo's drawings. Among them you can find an aircraft, a parachute, water skies and flippers, a diving suit, a bicycle with chain driving and many others.