500 Years of Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo’s Life By The River

Discover the spot of paradise along the river Adda where Leonardo da Vinci spent few years of his life. Vaprio d’Adda is just 30 km east of Milan; immersed in art, history and nature, you’ll visit the place where the Renaissance Genius made many detailed studies and, according to some scholars, Mona Lisa was painted…

Vaprio, landscape

On the banks of Adda river and the canal, named naviglio in Lombardy, Leonardo studied nature and the movement of water.  He created a series of sketches, drawings and manuscripts, which are now collected in the famous Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex.

In addition, Leonardo planned a canal system connecting Milan with the main rivers, the large lakes in northern Italy, and finally with the sea.  The resulting network of canals and the transport by ship made the fortune of Milan, with an enormous commercial importance.

Villa Melzi

Leonardo stayed at Vaprio from 1508 to 1513, at Melzi’s Villa.  His pupil was the young Francesco, the son of this noble family and a painter himself.

Besides Melzi’s Villa, walking along the Martesana Canal and surrounded by a gorgeous nature, we’ll see many other holiday residences of the Milanese aristocracy, learning about their glorious past.

In our walk we’ll continue visiting the 17th century building where the Duke of Milan’s authority ruled the canal system and the use of water.

Notably, the building offers some exhibits about Leonardo and a Multimedia Gallery with interactive copies of the Atlantic Codex sketches

We’ll continue to follow Leonardo’s steps, reaching a beautiful panoramic viewpoint.

Actually, this is probably the location from where he drew one of his famous sketches: the project of a chain ferry crossing the river Adda.  You can even imagine Leonardo at work, with his tools and his creative genius.

All these drawings belong today to the Windsor collection (England).

The chain ferry at Vaprio d'Adda

A hidden gem of art, history and nature, apart from the most popular touristic trails. Leonardo is waiting for you!

Bernardo Bellotto, a view of Vaprio


3 hours

If you would like to book the special tour in Vaprio and discover one of Leonardo’s most beloved places, please write to Guided Tour Milan or use our form.