A much-deserved curtsy to Milan’s most beloved Renaissance Man
“Art is never finished, only abandoned,” Leonardo da Vinci once spoke, but when he abandoned his art, he made sure they were in their utmost supreme form. But before he painted the soft smile on Mona Lisa’s lips, or the peaceful gaze of the Lady with an Ermine, Leonardo da Vinci stepped into Milan with a handful of dreams. Bearing in his hands a paintbrush, earthen colours and an animated imagination, he makes a trail in the sentimental city, illustrating works of art inside chambers before he found his way into frames.
500 years after da Vinci’s passing, Milan found it fitting to celebrate the hero’s life in a journey that narrates his creative, philosophical spirit. The artistic adventure begins in Hotel Principe di Savoia Milan, who opens a three-way serving of remarkable da Vinci-inspired tours, with exclusive guided visits and suites ranging from €300 to €2,420.
One may find themselves immersed in the silent conversations of the Last Supper. The nostalgic trip puts on spotlight the beloved painting while luring art enthusiasts and refined wanderers inside the bosom of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Here is the original artwork, a tapestry of brickwork and earthy colours narrating the final feast of Jesus shared with his disciples before his death. There is a morose atmosphere to it, gently carved inside the melancholic faces of him who will be nailed to the cross, and him who will betray. While the walls bear the effects of time, it couldn’t be denied that da Vinci’s genius overcome the centuries after him, and this remains one of the most breath-taking art pieces in the world no museum could house.
Long walks trail after In the Footsteps of Leonardo da Vinci, an atmospheric immersion to what Milan was to da Vinci. This intimate four-hour jaunt takes note of the artist’s favourite corners in exclusive guided tours. Follow his traces in the haunting Sforza Castle. Indulge in the bustling local community inside the Mercanti Square. But the most opportune moment, perhaps, is a peek into da Vinci’s personal books, the twelve-volume Codex Atlanticus, which contains pages of his own sketches and scribbles preciously lodged at Pinacoteca Ambrosiana. Gape at his genius, and perhaps nurture your own. After the marvellous spectacle, the tour caps off with a delightful Italian hospitality—a romantic glide through the city’s canals.
There is no doubt that Leonardo da Vinci was a visionary as he was an artist, a man who discovered the world in multi-disciplinary approaches that exceeds the mind of the common man. Cartography, geography, botany and mathematics were among his languages; he has seen stars and the possibilities that reside in the uncertainties of the cosmos. Through the Ultimate Leonardo Experience, the journey heads deep into da Vinci’s scientific angle, taking the curious seekers into a rare exhibit that showcased his brilliantly wrought prototypes. This may stir some genius in everyone. Then, hop into the pop-up exhibition before exploring more of da Vinci-inspired homage by the Lombardi artists inside Pinacoteca di Brera. www.dorchestercollection.com ◼
© This article was first published online in Sept 2019 – World Travel Magazine.