What’s in this guide?
- What to see at Leonardo da Vinci Museum
- Leonardo da Vinci Museum history and facts
- Restaurants, bars and shops nearby
- Opening times and ticket prices
Getting to the Leonardo da Vinci Museum
On the eastern outskirts of Milan, next to the Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore and Sempione Park, the Leonardo da Vinci Museum is easy to reach.
If you’re staying close to a metro station, we recommend making the most of this fast and efficient transport. It’s the quickest way to travel around Milan. You can get the M2 to Sant’Ambrogio or the M1 to Conciliazione, just a 10-minute walk.
Alternatively, hop on the bus or tram. Number 58 and 94 busses drop you right at the entrance, while the number 10 tram will take you to Viale San Michele del Carso, another 10-minute walk.
If you’re planning to use public transport often during your time in Milan, you might want to buy a 48-hour or a 24-hour travel ticket. This lets you use any mode of transportation within a 90-minute window.
What to see at the Leonardo da Vinci Museum
Housed in a former Olivetan monastery, the Leonardo da Vinci Museum boasts Italy’s largest science and technology exhibition, divided into seven departments: materials, transport, energy, communication, new frontiers, science for young people and Leonardo da Vinci’s Art and Science gallery.
The collections date back to the 1930s and today contain 16,000 objects, including tools from the astronautics and iron and steel industries, and around 2,500 artistic works, such as sculptures, drawings and photography.
Visiting the Leonardo da Vinci Museum promises an interactive journey through Italy’s scientific evolution. Let’s dive deeper into just a few of the exhibitions you can discover in the museum.
Enrico Toti’s submarine S 506
Enrico Toti’s submarine was the first built in Italy after WWII. It was launched in 1967, becoming operative a year later to detect and destroy other submarines, particularly Soviet ones.
After 30 years of activity, the Italian Navy gave the Leonardo da Vinci Museum the submarine. It remains an integral part of the exhibition today.
The rail transport exhibition will take you back in time to the first locomotives and urban public transport. The pavilion is set up like an actual railway station, with life-size platforms, railways signals and locomotive convoys.
In the building, you’ll find the E 490 locomotive (the first electrically driven), the GR 552 steam locomotive, as well as the FS 691 (the fastest steam locomotive reaching up to 150 kilometres an hour). You’ll also get to discover the first urban transport, including the Omnibus and the Gamba de Legn, used to bring employees to Milan’s factories.
If you’re interested in learning the production, transport, distribution and consumption of energy and how it can change our lives, this exhibition will impress you. Here you’ll find multimedia stations, video installations and objects such as turbines, alternators and engines that explain the energy system structure and the process.
Leonardo da Vinci Art and Science
This is the largest exhibition dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci’s genius, both as a Renaissance Master and a revolutionary creator. The gallery follows da Vinci from his time in Florence during the 15th century to Milan, where he worked for Francesco Sforza.
The collection is home to 170 historical models, artworks and installations displaying da Vinci’s drawings on civil matters, such as the pile driver, diving suit and revolving crane. The gallery also houses digital restorations of da Vinci’s Time Machine, the Mechanical Dragonfly and his greatest masterpiece, the Last Supper.
Leonardo da Vinci Museum history and building facts
The Leonardo da Vinci Museum is housed in the former San Vittore al Corpo Olivetan Monastery, built in the 16th century. The monastery was used as a hospital and military ward during the Napoleonic period.
During World War II, the place was severely damaged. In 1947 Guide Ucelli obtained the area and made it possible for the monastery to be restored. Architect Piero Portaluppi, alongside Enrico Griffini and Ferdinando Reggiori, renovated all the rooms, floors, the cloister’s arches and the undergrounds.
The Leonardo da Vinci Museum was inaugurated in 1953, including a library, a conference room and two cafés. The museum was home to another library, a cinema-conference room and an adjacent office building a year later.
The museum is one of Italy’s principal scientific and technological centres today.
Restaurants, bars and shops near Milan’s Leonardo da Vinci Museum
Feeling hungry after you visit the museum? There are plenty of restaurants and osterie in the area, no matter if you fancy a quick bite or want to settle in for a couple of hours.
In Milan because you know it’s the fashion capital? You’ll be pleased to know that there are endless opportunities to shop in the area. Milan has it all, whether you love browsing for home décor, jewellery or presents.
Best restaurants near the Leonardo da Vinci Museum
To save you some legwork, we’ve shortlisted our favourite restaurants within walking distance of the museum.
- C’era una volta una piada
- Vento di Sardena
- Ristoro Monterosso
- Il Mosto Selvatico
- Bright Ristorante
- Zibo – Campo Base
Best bars near Leonardo da Vinci Museum
In the mood for a cocktail? Or a fan of the refreshing aperitivo? Here are some of our best bars near the museum.
- Wave Cocktail Bar
- Rufus Cocktail Bar
- Café de Amicis
- Bar il Cenacolo
- Al Confine
- Foresta Woodbar
Best shops near Leonardo da Vinci Museum
As we all know, Milan is Italy’s fashion capital. And it’s no wonder! Every prestigious designer has a shop here, or maybe more. If you know where to look, you can find everything, from upscale boutiques to hidden vintage gems.
- Amedeo D. Milano
- Gioielleria Vintage
- Dictionary Milano
- Porquoi Moi Vintage
- Abbigliamento Vintage Milano Darsena
- Special Milano
Da Vinci Museum Opening times and ticket prices
The Leonardo da Vinci Museum is open from Tuesday to Friday between 09:30 and 17:00, and Saturday and Sunday between 09:30 and 18:30.
General admissions cost €10, and concessions begin at €7.50. They are available for visitors aged between 3 and 26, over 65, groups of more than ten, school groups, media professionals and Milano Card holders.
Travelling by train to Milan?
If you want to spend some time in Milan, why not travel by train? Getting the train to Milan is easy due to the high-speed rail connections operated by Trenitalia and Italo. You can travel to Milan from some of the most popular cities in Italy, including Rome to Milan (2h 52m), Venice to Milan (2h) and Florence to Milan (1h 40m).
Need more information about travelling to Milan by train? Check out our dedicated page to trains to Milan.