In the wine-making sector Italy maintains the record of the world’s top wine producer, almost one-fifth of the wine produced globally comes from this wonderful country. Thanks to its geographic conformation and history, Italy has also the greatest variety of vines in the world. When we hear about the most famous Italian wines, we think of the vines on the soft hills of Piedmont or Tuscany. Well, even in the center of Milan there is a vineyard and it is not just any one but the precious vineyard belonged to the most famous and eclectic genius of all time: Leonardo da Vinci.
Thousands of visitors visit annually Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper but not many of them know that just steps away from his famous fresco lies La Vigna di Leonardo (Leonardo’s Vineyard). I would say this timeless place located in the garden of the Casa degli Atellani, not known by all, can be visited in every season of the year.
La Vigna di Leonardo, already mentioned in 1498 and about 8300 square meters wide, is an ancient vineyard donated by Ludovico il Moro to Leonardo da Vinci as a tribute to his admirable Milanese works. Leonardo’s family owned many vineyards in Tuscany, so with this gift Ludovico il Moro wanted to make Leonardo feel “at home” while working in Milan, where the master spent 18 years of his life. As illustrated in found documents, wine was among Leonardo’s many interests.
Unfortunately during the air raids of World War II the garden was damaged and only in occasion of Expo 2015 it was brought to a new life. After studies on the soil the scientists were able to find the type of vines that were planted there at the time of Leonardo – the Malvasia di Candia aromatica from the hills near Piacenza. Thanks to a few old drawings and schemes discovered in Renaissance texts, the vineyard was restored.
Leonardo da Vinci’s wine, Malvasia di Milano, origins from the first harvest of Malvasia di Candia Aromatica replanted in 2015 in the garden of Casa degli Atellani, is a wine with a color ranging from straw yellow to light golden yellow which has a particularly rich and complex aromatic bouquet, with notes of muscat, including a wide spectrum of primary aromas of orange, cedar, lemon, fruity notes of peach and apricot and floral notes of acacia, freesia and lavender.
💡 Interesting to know about Leonardo da Vinci’s wine:
- Three bottles of the precious Malvasia Milano went to the auction to support the projects of the Matilde Tettamanti Research Laboratory for the diagnosis and monitoring of genetic abnormalities in Italian leukemic children. The first 3 bottles have been auctioned for a total of 28.000 euros.
- La Malvasia di Candia Aromatica – Anno I – was contained into exclusive 330 Decanter inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s sketch in a rebus of the Windsor Code present at the folio 12.690 and produced by Alberto Alessi in his winery Cascina Eugenia. A geometric jewel with a sphere containing the original earth’s 2.2 grams and an anastatic parchment certifyng the Piece’s authenticity are also enclosed inside the glass case where the 1st of 330 is kept.
The house and garden of the Atellani
La Vigna di Leonardo is a true oasis of peace enclosed between the art of the house Casa degli Atellani and the luxuriant nature of the hidden garden.
This wonderful mansion dates back to the Renaissance. In 1490 the house was gifted by the Duke of Milan Ludovico Il Moro to one of his cavaliers of the Atellani family. The house was the center of high society life and remained the property of the Atellani family until the 17th century when it was sold to new owners. Different families have owned the house over time.
Entering Casa degli Atellani you will find yourself in the Zodiac room, one of the most particular of the house which takes its name from the 16th century star-themed frescos on the ceiling.
Then you see the Sala dei Ritratti with some portraits of the Sforza family, after you’ll visit the Sala dello Scalone, decorated with the coat of arms of all the families that have owned the house over time. The last room is Ettore Conti’s study, a magnificent room filled with beautiful objects and decorations.
Lastly you will be enchanted by the small garden of delights that encloses a passage in the middle of the greenery and nature that leads to the vineyard.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am to 6 pm, last entrance at 5.30 pm. For more details visit the official website. In addition to enclosing the vineyard of Leonardo da Vinci, Casa degli Atellani offers its guests a cozy café where it is possibile to taste a glass of wine from the Malvasia di Candia Aromatica grape which is growing by the Castello di Luzzano that was previously owned by the Atellani family.
Adults (with audioguide:): € 10,00; guided tour: € 20,00
Reservation is required at firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Corso Magenta 65, Milan