Leonardo was born in Anchiano, close to Vinci, on the southern slopes of the green Monte Albano in an area covered by vineyards and olive groves. Here, you can visit the house where he was born, a 15th-century farm attached to the town of Vinci by the so-called Strada Verde (green road), an old footway about 3km long which is part of the Associazione Case della Memoria and its museum itinerary related to Leonardo.
Vinci's Leonardo Museum holds one of the largest, most original collections dedicated to Leonardo's numerous interests: technology, architecture, science and, more generally, the history of Renaissance technology, taking us through the key stages of Leonardo's formation. Palazzina Uzielli and the Castello dei Conti Guidi also house an extensive and original collection, dedicated to Leonardo the engineer, architect and scientist, and also to the history of Renaissance methodology. Machines and models have been faithfully reproduced according to the artist's sketches, accompanied by animated digital reconstructions and interactive facilities. Beyond the ticket office, Palazzina Uzielli has rooms assigned respectively to construction-site machines, with Leonardo's revised version of Brunelleschi's plans for the dome of Florence's cathedral, textile technology and clock mechanisms. The Castello dei Conti-Guidi provides space for various machines and for the results of Leonardo's flashes of inspiration, in diverse areas: from scientific instruments to military engines and construction machines, all to full scale, and intended for use in the air, water, and on land. The exhibition in the Castello finishes with the section 'Leonardo's optics between Alhazen and Kepler', devoted to his studies in optics.
You can also see the 15th-century font where Leonardo was baptised, near the Church of Santa Croce. In the heart of the town, the church originates from the 13th century and survives with its neo-Renaissance architectural features intact. The little baptistery still holds the 15th-century font in which it is said that on April 16, 1452 the parish priest Piero di Bartolomeo Cecchi gave the sacrament to the child from Vinci. An engraving records the event with words that his grandfather Antonio da Vinci put on a registry. In honour of the baptism of the great genius, the artist Cecco Bonanotte made a cycle of sculptures depicting the story of Salvation, which highlights the spirituality of the place.
It is worth visiting the Biblioteca Leonardiana, the centre of documentation on his works and a point of reference for anyone, from any part of the world, who is studying or simply interested in Leonardo. It contains facsimile reproductions of all his manuscripts and sketches, in addition to all editions of his works printed after 1600. Opened in 1928, the Biblioteca Leonardiana has ever since then been an essential reference point for students and researches, Italian and foreign.