The castle of Vinci
This castle dominates the whole town of Vinci. Its structure dates back to the Late Middle Ages, when the Counts Giudi decided to build their residence there. Over the centuries, the original building has undergone much restoration work and alterations by its various owners. In 1919, Count Giulio Masetti da Bagnano gave the castle back to the town of Vinci. Known as ‘Castello della nave’ (the ship castle) because its shape which is similar to a boat, it still has the coat of arms, the frescoes, and some works of art such as the magnificent ceramic piece, ‘Madonna col bambino’ (Madonna with Child) by Giovanni Della Robbia". This castle is the seat of the "Museo Leonardiano" opened on April 15th 1953 at the end of the celebration of the 5th centenary of Leonardo's birth. On the square, in front of the castle, visitors can admire a large, wooden structure "L'uomo di Vinci" (The Man of Vinci) by Mario Cerioli. This artist drew inspiration from Leonardo's Vetruvian Man.
Not far from the castle is the church of Santa Croce, which has also undergone many restorations. The interior and the façade date back to 1289, the bell tower to 1852 and the baptistery to 1952. The font is of great interest, where according to local lore, Leonardo was baptized.
Rebuilt, on the site of a pre-existent farmhouse, by Architect Adolfo Coppedé between 1927 and 1928, this building is an interesting example of restoration in the eclectic- revivalist style. The central part of the Villa, which still belongs to the Martellis, is placed on a high loggia, sustained by columns, and has a characteristic balcony with large, wooden decorated brackets.
Villa del Ferrale
Built on the site of an ancient building, this villa shows a late nineteenth century style due to its imposing volumes and spacious annexes, including a noble chapel. The epigraph, situated on the façade, reminds us that in 1867 Giuseppe Garibaldi was a guest of this villa. Inside, visitors can admire a monumental fireplace made of stone, which comes from Leonardo's house, and some characteristic stoves in carved ceramic.
Known as Villa "degli inglesi" (Villa of the English), this building first belonged to the Caffarelli family, then in the XVI century to the Medicis who made it into a shooting lodge. Today, this villa is in good condition, it is surrounded by a park and is set at the end of a characteristic cypress tree lined path. It is composed of two different buildings, both overlooking a courtyard which contains a well.
Surrounded by secular Holm-oaks, firs and horse chestnut trees, in ancient times this villa was property of the Medicis. It is difficult to date the villa precisely though because the building has undergone many restorations and alterations. Last century it was property of the Fucini - Torrigiani family; here the poet Renato Fucini wrote "Le Veglie di Neri" and was buried inside of the chapel-oratory .