Art and culture Sara  Martinez

Europe through Da Vinci

It’s been 500 years since the passing of the Renaissance genius Leonardo Da Vinci, and several European cities have joined to pay tribute.

In Italy alone, nearly 80 events have been prepared to celebrate the Year of Da Vinci. This route through Europe takes you to the top exhibitions in Italy, France and England, organised exclusively to celebrate the 500th anniversary of his death, and you can fly to them from 13,000 Avios (return flight).

Milan, home of the Codex Atlanticus

The Codex Atlanticus is the most complete collection of designs and projects from all the disciplines Da Vinci cultivated. The original manuscripts have been safeguarded by the Ambrosian Library since 1637. The institution has prepared a series of four unprecedented exhibitions lasting until 2020. The third, Leonardo da
Vinci: Studies and Drawings of the French Period from the Codex Atlanticus,
exhibits 23 pages from the manuscript of the period when the artist was carrying out projects for King Francis I of France, and can be visited until 15/9.

La tercera exposición, “Leonardo in Francia: Disegni di epoca francese dal Codice Atlantico” en la Biblioteca Ambrosiana para celebrar el V centenario de la muerte de Leonardo Da Vinci
Recipe for a Turkish drink, a letter to the King of France, geometric designs related to the transformation of curved areas into straight lines and vice versa, Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-11519), Codex Atlanticus, sheet 482 / Courtesy of the Veneranda Ambrosiana Library – Mondadori Portfolio.

More places to visit in Milan...

In Vinci, his hometown, the National Science and Technology Museum is also taking part in the celebration with the exhibition of a selection of models built based on the genius’s drawings by 16th-century artists from Lombardy in Leonardo Da Vinci Parade.

Paris’s Louvre Museum has a large part of Da Vinci’s work

The four usual paintings in the museum besides the Mona Lisa – a resident of the museum since 1797 – 200 drawings, manuscripts and a number of sculptures will be part of this singular retrospective of Da Vinci’s artistic career: Leonardo da Vinci. It can be visited from 24/10/19 to 24/2/20 in the museum housing the world’s largest collection by the master: the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Léonard de Vinci, exposición en el Museo del Louvre con motivo de los 500 años de la muerte de Leonardo Da Vinci
The newest pieces will be exhibited along with the Portrait of an Unknown Woman (shown), The Virgin of the Rocks, The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, and the Mona Lisa.¬ Image by Michel Urtado / Courtesy of RMN-Grand Palais (Louvre Museum)

How to visit the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition at Louvre...

Visitors must book one of the schedules that have been organised to ensure the best possible conditions for the tour on

On tour in the United Kingdom

Until 13/10, you can enjoy Leonardo Da Vinci: A Life in Drawing at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London. Accompanying the exhibition of 200 of his drawings is an extensive programme of events that include yoga classes inspired by the artist’s concept of anatomy, dance workshops and an escape room. This is the continuation of 12 exhibitions held simultaneously across the United Kingdom. In November, 80 of the drawings will be moved to Edinburgh for what will be the largest exhibition on the master in Scotland to date.

“Leonardo Da Vinci: A Life in Drawing” en la Galería de la Reina del Palacio de Buckingham hasta el 13 de octubre.
Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing at the Queen’s Gallery, one of the 14 special exhibitions on the artist in 2019 – Image from the Royal Collection Trust / Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019.

What you can’t miss at Leonardo da Vinci: A life in Drawing at the Queen´s Gallery...

The Escape Room, Leonardo Artmergency! is open on Fridays and Saturdays only until 5/10, with games at 6.15pm, 6.45pm, 7.15pm and 7.45pm.

The last brushstrokes of the Mona Lisa, in the Loire Valley

Da Vinci spent his final years in Château du Clos Lucé in the heart of the Loire Valley, two and a half hours from Nantes. The towns along the bank of the Loire have taken up the spirit of the anniversary and prepared a year filled with events. The Last Supper – one of da Vinci’s most enigmatic (and controversial) paintings – will leave the Vatican, its usual residence, for the very first time. You can have a go at deciphering the mysteries in the work in Château du Clos Lucé until 8/9.

El Castillo de Clos Lucé en pleno Valle del Loira, donde Leonardo Da Vinci pasó sus últimos años, se une a las celebraciones del V centenario de su fallecimiento.
Tour Leonardo da Vinci’s workshops in Château du Clos Lucé – Image by Léonard de Serres / Courtesy of Château du Clos Lucé.

What to do with the kids in Château du Clos Lucé...

Stroll through the gardens and places where da Vinci created his last pieces. They are currently filled with the recreations of his inventions made based on his drawings and on translucent canvasses that show different parts of his work.