The Italian Almanac

A page from the Alantic Codex

Italian News - January 12

More than half a millennium after Leonardo Da Vinci designed some of the world's greatest inventions a new exhibition has put the Renaissance master's foresight on display.

"Leonardo Da Vinci: A Curious Genius" seeks to crack the code of Leonardo Da Vinci's mind and show what enabled the Italian to design diving suits, a bicycle and a car centuries before people even had the tools or skills to make them.

"Leonardo was beyond time. He designed most of these things 500 years before they could even be built," curator Carlo Barbieri told at the show opening in Rome's "Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei".

These are the gadgets of greatness taken from the "Atlantic Codex", a 1,286 page collection of drawings and writings by the painter, sculptor, inventor and scientist.What makes this show unique is that models of Da Vinci's designs appear alongside their modern incarnations. In many cases there is not a great amount of difference between them.

Barbieri also said that the ultimate experience for the visitor is realizing even a genius like Da Vinci had to sometimes get down to earth: "You find botanical drawings and the sketch of a cannon, a mathematical equation, the design for a glider and then next to it all there is Leonardo's shopping list or a note asking 'Why is my soup cold?"