This museum, which has no egual in Italy, was founded by the engineer Guido Uccelli. It was inaugurated in 1953 with the great exhibition held for the Vth centenary of Leonardo’s birth.
The idea of creating a museum of this kind goes back to 1930, but it was not until 1947 that it was given the site, the suggestive Olivetano Monastery of St. Vittore. The claustral rooms — partly built on a Rom an fortified enclosure which defended the mausoleum of Valentiniano II — were furnished with furniture of the period and decorated with paintings of the Lombardy school.
Two rooms, chosen on an artistic basis, the monastery refectory on the ground floor and the Olivetian library, and the “Hail of Columns” on the first lloor capable of seating 600 people, are often used for conferences, congresses and rallies.
The museum itself, divided into section, winds through rooms especially built for it, one part is dedicated to Leonardo, this collection offers an unsurmountable collection of material which gives a complete synthethis of Leonardo’s work and experiments in so many different fields, there are reproductions of his designs and plastics and mechanical models ol his inventions; we can also find an experimental physics laboratory; a naval section; the museum of the history of aviation; the land transport section which has recently been enlarger by the addition of the material which was once housed in Rome’s Terminal Station; there is a section dedicated to typewriters which contains the famous “Cembalo scrivano” patented by Giusepe Ravizza in 1885.
There a section dedicated to clocks founded with the Parisi and Pinardi collections; the Mauro collection of silver and gold ware. The library contains 15,000 volumes on the history of science and technology. The museum is continually developing because it is often enriched by private donations and generous patrons. It is open to the public every day except Monday.
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