Leonardo Da Vinci’s old vineyard in Milan, La Vigna di Leonardo, in Milan, was, until recently, a forgotten treasure. This place was where Da Vinci would go to relax while painting his famous Last Supper. It can be seen just down the road at the Santa Maria delle Grazie basilica.
Da Vinci was given the vineyard in 1448 by his patron, Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan. Coming from a long line of winemakers, it would have had special meaning for Da Vinci. Even when forced to leave Milan during the French invasion, Da Vinci remained attached to it. When he died, he bequeathed the vineyard to his two most loyal servants.
The Vineyard in Modern Times
The estate then passed through various hands, its history largely forgotten, until the 1920s, when the proprietors asked an expert to research it. Luca Beltrami traced it back to the original Renaissance documents. He also photographed the vines and the original wooden pergolas.
This proved to be an unexpected stroke of good luck, as during the Second World War, Allied bombings all but destroyed the plot. Years later, the owners discovered some remaining vine roots. Genetic testing showed them to be Malvasia di Candia, a popular Renaissance era white grape. This allowed the vineyard to be recreated to what it would have been in Da Vinci’s time.
The vineyard in Milan, and the Casa degli Atellani it is a part of, opened to the public in May of 2015. However, it will be a few years before they are able to sell any wines. Now, visitors can also stay in the beautiful villa. Go for a stroll in the lush vineyard, visit the magnificent Last Supper across the road, and retire to a room at the Casa degli Atellani, just as Leonardo Da Vinci might have once done.