VINCI, birthplace of Leonardo, is situated in the heart of Tuscany, on the slopes of Montalbano, in ancient times the land of the Etruscans and then the roman "castrum".
THE TERRITORY of Vinci is located in the Lower Valdarno, on the slopes north-west of Montalbano, a 30 km. from Florence, close to the major tuscan cities of art: Lucca, Pisa, Pistoia and Siena. The ancient nucleus, with the castle and the parish church, stands on a slight hill (m.97), while the town deals with the decline of the hill: several hamlets are scattered among the east, south, and west. The protected area of the Montalbano extends for 16.000 hectares in the north of the Town until you reach the town of Montecatini Terme and Florence. The dominant landscape is hilly with the screw that continues to be grown near the ground or in some terraces, olive trees spread in the highest areas and the woods of chestnut trees, a typical example of vegetation-induced, on the top of it. The area is particularly suitable for walks and excursions. You can make them thanks to an extensive network of pedestrian and cycle paths that reach the hill towns surrounded by greenery, archaeological sites, ancient woods such as the oak trees of Pietramarina. Don't miss the opportunity to get to the top of the Montalbano. On the ridge, opens a wonderful view: on one side the valley of the Arno, on the other, the Pistoia, the Florentine until the Appennio.
HISTORICAL The construction of the Castle dates back to the middle Ages and was dominated by the conti Guidi (1164), isolated from the village, maintains the original structure to the ellipse (known in popular tradition as "castle of the ship" the elongated shape that recalls the shape of a boat with a sail) and is partly surrounded by walls. In 1254, was subjected to the dominion of Florence and transformed into a borough. Located on the western border of the state, Vinci was contended on the part of the enemies of Florence and lived the events which plagued the political life of florence. In 1315, under the walls they fought the troops led by Uguccione della Faggiola; in 1320-26 Castruccio Castracani; in 1364 Jona Hakwood, the head of the mercenary companies of the English, in the pay of Pisa. The castle was returned to the town of Vinci in 1919 by Count Giulio Masetti da Bagnano. Since 1953 it houses the Museum of Leonardo. Various restorations have occurred over the years, the last one of the 1986 to accommodate the new layout of the Museo Leonardiano.