Leonardo 500: events in January 2020

One year of events to celebrate 500 years since the death of Leonardo da Vinci

Various locations

Here you can find all the events that are part of the Leonardo 500 programme that will take place during the month of January 2020.



Castello Sforzesco, Museo d’Arte Antica, Sala delle Asse

Leonardo’s Sala delle Asse is once again open to visitors after the removal of scaffoldings that were used for the restoration works. A catwalk offers a close view of the so-called Monochrome and of the preparatory drawings that have surfaced on the walls. A multimedia installation guides visitors through the interpretation of the grandiose work conceived to celebrate Ludovico il Moro.


16 May 2019 - 19 April 2020


Castello Sforzesco, Museo d’Arte Antica, Sala delle Armi

A virtual tour guides the visitor along places associated with Leonardo in Milan, underscoring, after five centuries, the social composition and the aspect of urban spaces, palaces, gardens and sacred buildings. A georeferenced visual map allows to identify what has survived of those places.


16 May 2019 - 19 April 2020

L’atelier di Leonardo e il Salvator Mundi

Castello Sforzesco, Sala dei Ducali

In continuity with the celebrations for the death of Leonardo da Vinci (1519-2019), a new drawing from the atelier of the Master will be shown, for the first time. The sheet presents, on one side anatomical studies, and on the other a mysterious inscription referring to the Salvator Mundi, a composition that will be exhibited in the version painted by Gian Giacomo Caprotti, a pupil of Leonardo (1511).


24 January 2020 - 19 April 2020

Intorno a Leonardo. Opere grafiche dalle collezioni milanesi

Castello Sforzesco, Museo d’Arte Antica, Sala dei Ducali

Through a selection of graphic works from the collections of the Sforza Castle and the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, this small, yet precious exhibition illustrates some successful themes connected with Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions. The focuses presented concern: the weaving of ropes and knots (a clear reference to the motif painted on the vault of the Sala delle Asse); horses and projects for equestrian monuments; studies of heads and the caricature.


11 September – 5 January 2020

Leonardo in Lombardia. Presentation of the itineraries about Leonardo in Lombardy

Sala degli Scarlioni - Castello Sforzesco

Multimedia presentation of Leonardo’s places in Lombardy:


  • Around the Naviglio Grande 
  • Leonardo between Brescia, the valleys around Brescia and the Orobic valleys 
  • The Lakes of Brianza, along the Adda river and the Martesana Canal
  • Leonardo between Lario, Valsassina and Valtellina
  • Leonardo and Isabella d’Este in Mantua and Cremona
  • Leonardo in Pavia
  • The pattern of the Vergine delle Rocce: the embroideries at the Sacro Monte in Varese
  • Leonardo in Vigevano


16 May 2019 - 19 April 2020

Leonardo and the Madonna Litta

Exhibition at Museo Poldi Pezzoli

The Madonna Litta, one of the most famous paintings in the world, and a masterpiece of the Ermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, has a Milanese origin. It comes from one of the most important Milanese private collections of the 19th Century, hence its own name. The famous painting is now displayed next to another work from the Litta Collection, the Madonna della Rosa by Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, the best of Leonardo’s pupils in Milano. Through the comparison with other fine paintings and drawings, it will be possible to reconstruct Leonardo’s Milanese workshop activity in the late 15th Century and the relationship between Leonardo and his pupils. 


7 November 2019 - 10 February 2020


Pinacoteca Ambrosiana

These exhibitions explore various aspects of Leonardo’s art and the art of his entourage, such as the different drawing techniques the artist introduced in Milano, the engineering architectural and scientific studies, and the artistic activity during the French years.


Here is the schedule of events:


Leonardo and the secrets of the Codex Atlanticus

First part till March 17th 2019, second part March 19th – June 16th 2019


Leonardo in France. Sheets from the French years of the Codex

From June 18th till September 15th 2019


Leonardo and his legacy: the artists and the techniques. Drawings from the Ambrosiana collection

From September 17th 2019 till March 1st 2020

i.lab Leonardo

Interactive laboratory at Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci

At the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia (Science and Technology Museum) an interactive laboratory is dedicated to Leonardo. In the new i.lab visitors can discover Leonardo as an artist who loved experimenting as well as an engineer dealing with the construction sites of the Renaissance. Exploring first hand how Leonardo worked might stimulate everyone to find new ways of acting and thinking.


Permanent activity at the Museum

LA MISURA DEL PARADISO. Leonardo alla corte del Moro

Docufilm by Fondazione Milano - Civica Scuola di Cinema L. Visconti

Leonardo five hundred years later. Thousands of pages have been written about him as an artist, an engineer and a scientist. There is yet a lesser known part of his artistic activity. The documentary wishes to tell the story of Leonardo as an entertainer: a musician, a scenographer, a costume designer for parties, tournaments and banquets at the Milanese court.

After Leonardo. Installations by Ettore Favini and Eugenio Tibaldi

Museo del Novecento

The Museo del Novecento collection will be enriched in 2019 by two contemporary works of art dedicated to Leonardo. Ettore Favini and Eugenio Tibaldi are the winners of the 2018 contest for an original production inspired by the Master. The installation Atlantico by Favini has as topic the fog and will be on display at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna. Giardino Abusivo (Unauthorized Garden) by Tibaldi is a site-specific work where natural elements like plants bring a reflection on consumption in contemporary society. It will be on set up at the Museo di Storia Naturale.

19 September 2019 – 12 January 2020

Nel segno di Leonardo. Artisti Leonardeschi a confronto

Exhibition at Castello di Vigevano

This exhibition shows, through the display of 10 paintings, the artistic production of Vigevano, at the centre of a complex net of references and cultural exchanges regarding not just Milano, but also the nearby region of Piedmont. The catalogue, including essays and files from renowned scholars and specialists on the subject, will start from the indisputable presence of Bramante and Leonardo in order to study and define the vast range of influences over the most diverse artists, with high quality works from public and private collections some of them little known or never before seen.


4 October 2019 – 6 January 2020

Una scrittura allo specchio. I segreti della "sinistra mano" di Leonardo

Exhibition at Castello Sforzesco, Sala del Tesoro

The exhibition analyzes some phases of the formation of the Da Vinci Genius through an exam of his writings: a mirror that can give us back the basic components of a personal culture developing between family, laboratory activities and life at court.


From January to April 2020

Maurizio Galimberti. Il Cenacolo di Leonardo da Vinci

Gallerie d’Italia - Sala delle Colonne, Piazza della Scala 6

In his project dedicated to Leonardo’s masterpiece, Maurizio Galimberti creates his own personal interpretation of the wall painting, interpreting its greatness and recomposing its splendour in a mosaic with Dadaist and Cubist overtones through a series of polaroids taken over a period of several months of work.


21 November 2019 - 12 January 2020

Nero su Bianco. Carte d’archivio raccontano Leonardo

Exhibition at the Milano State Archive

A multi-sensory narration of Leonardo's life, works and places based on documentary sources preserved in the Archive: an emotional walk accompanies the visitor through the halls of the Palazzo del Senato. The exhibition, which uses 2D and 3D technologies, presents the only Leonardo's handwritten signature known until today.

16 January - 28 March 2020

The Duomo during Da Vinci’s Time

Exhibition at Museo del Duomo di Milano

Among the initiatives promoted to celebrate the five hundred years since Leonardo’s death, the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo is paying homage to the Florentine genius by telling the story of the Cathedral's construction site at the end of the 15th century, the years in which Leonardo was called upon to solve one of the most fascinating challenges of its history: the construction of the Lantern.


22 November 2019 - 23 February 2020




Street art in the NOLO-Via Padova area

Three permanently visible public art/street art interventions. Created by Associazione Atelier Spazio Xpò as good renovation practices, within an "urban" itinerary to important spots of the city loved by the Milanese, with Leonardo as the main character.


1) Via Mosso 4
2) BELL NETT, radio Nolo, Largo Fratelli Cervi corner Via Veniniu 
3) STREET ORT, via Esterle corner via Palmanova


Mural at Ponte delle Milizie Alzaia Naviglio Grande

The artist Elisabetta Mastro wanted to pay her personal tribute to the great Renaissance inventor with one of her murals, in which his masterpiece (The Last Supper) is revisited in a new, personal interpretative key, with an essential trait, emphasis on colour and subtle play, segmented by infinite form-suggested nuances.


From 20 May 2019


Digital painting. Il Tempietto Studio di Mataro da Vergato, Via Termopili 25

A work of digital painting, the result of a long creative and research process on the theme and the characters of The Last Supper. Visually started from the point indicated by Leonardo, at the very moment when Christ says “one of you will betray me”. The masterpiece portrays the emotional reaction of the different disciples, each one with his very own characteristics.


By appointment only until January 31st, 2020

Info: ilcenacolonudo@gmail.com +390291664476 – +393471658384

Ornitottero by Leonardo at Milano Malpensa

Installation at Aeroporto di Milano Malpensa, Terminal 1

Volandia-Parco and Museo del Volo in Somma Lombardo hosts a flying machine by Leonardo Da Vinci, the so-called “Ornitottero” with propulsion to arms. It is now on display inside the Malpensa Airport on behalf of the Società Esercizi Aeroportuali (SEA) to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the great Maestro’s death.


Until 8 January 2020

An exhibition of Leonardo's machines

Exhibition and workshops, Cologno Monzese Sala Oriana Fallaci, piazza San Matteo

An exhibition of 30 machines, designed by Leonardo, reconstructed by expert craftsmen from Tuscany. The aim of the exhibition is to stimulate creativity in young people, encouraging the development of new ideas through direct forms of interaction in order to understand what the Genius from Vinci as left us as his legacy. The exhibition allows visitors to have fun and learn the main principles that Leonardo studied, still in use to this day. In the laboratories it will be possible to learn: the construction techniques through activities on mechanics, the mechanisms and the transformations of motions; the artistic techniques especially in painting, and the drawing techniques focusing especially on instruments that create perspective.


From November 9th 2019 to March 1st 2020

Leonardo prigioniero del volo

Palazzo Morando - Costume, moda e immagine

A collective exhibition that brings together several Stylists, Designers, Modelers and Painters, to pay tribute to the great genius inventor Leonardo da Vinci. Fashion as a glue of Art all over the world, projects the splendor of the artist and scientist and gathers different exponents of this discipline to put together various ingredients of design and fashion. This year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, an extraordinary scientist.


11 December 2019 - 5 January 2020

THE BIG LADY di Francesca Bartellini

Palazzo Marino, Sala Alessi

Noi tutti siamo esiliati
Entro le cornici di uno strano quadro,
chi sa questo, vive da grande,
gli altri sono insetti
                Leonardo da Vinci


Una panchina in piazza della Scala. Al buio si intravede la statua di Leonardo che diventerà, mano a mano che il testo avanza, il compagno dell’anima di questa trans che è sola. La statua di Leonardo le starà vicino tutta la notte: il tempo del racconto. Il Leonardo della Gioconda dove maschile e femminile si intrecciano in un viso…altro. Una bellissima giovane donna nata uomo racconta del suo terribile viaggio verso la libertà.


Basata su una storia vera che è emersa durante le riprese di Francesca Bartellini al centro di accoglienza Casa Chiaravalle a Milano, il testo teatrale assume una sua indipendenza nel plot e nell’interpretazione degli eventi, ma rimane fedele all'anima meravigliosa di questa giovane trans. Il coraggio e la determinazione di quest’anima hanno commosso l'autrice e suscitato in lei grande ammirazione.


Legge Francesca Bartellini.


31 gennaio 2020 ore 18:00


Sulle tracce di Leonardo


This documentary by MemoMI, a web TV focused on the history of Milan, follows the tracks Leonardo da Vinci left in the city in almost 20 years. The Last Supper, the Sala delle Asse, the Codex Atlanticus and the “Ritratto di Musico” (“Portrait of a Musician”) in particular.


Interactive application at Castello Sforzesco in Piazza Castello

A free interactive application, which offers visitors to the Civic Museums of Castello Sforzesco, a new way to visit its rooms, with an interactive edutainment experience that consists of a short film capable of interacting with the visitor's actions and changing accordingly.


From 9 September 2019


You are Leo

Virtual reality guide street tour

A walk around Milan's city center and a journey back in time made possible thanks to innovative immersive technologies allowing the visitor to follow Leonardo's steps from the Duomo area (he had his laboratory near the old Corte Vecchia) to the complex of Santa Maria delle Grazie, passing by the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana and Porta Vercellina. Discover Milan in 1494 with the eyes of Leonardo:  visitors, equipped with very modern VR sensors, will see the area around them come to life, alternating real and virtual vision. 

Meeting point: Piazza Duomo – Piazzetta Reale


Until 31 May 2020


Una storia civile. Dal Naviglio interno all’idrovia Milano-mare

Exhibition at the University of Milano-Bicocca | Building U6, Piazza Ateneo Nuovo 1 and Via Piero and Alberto Pirelli 22 (lobby of floor -1)

Last year there was the public debate promoted by the Municipality of Milan on the project developed by the Milan Polytechnic for reactivation, for tourism purposes, of the ancient navigable internal canal of Milan, covered in 1929. The same fate occurred at the Naviglio della Martesana, designed by Leonardo, also later transformed, in the 1960s, into an artery of rapid penetration in the city (the current via Melchiorre Gioia). Also last year, the European Union financed a project to complete the navigable canal between Milan, the Po and the Adriatic, left unfinished for fifty years.
Conservationism or innovation? The exhibition does not propose to take a position, but to make a contribution of knowledge of the facts.


21 November 2019 - 2 February 2020


Poldi Pezzoli's Ateliers

Craft workshops at the Poldi Pezzoli Museum, Terrazza Pollaiolo, Via Manzoni 10

Three cycles of workshops for adults, during which important and recognized master craftsmen put their knowledge at the disposal of the participants, in order to create a small artifact. The meetings are centered on the multifaceted and ingenious figure of Leonardo: goldsmith, cabinetmaker and calligrapher.
For the goldsmith's workshop Daniela Repetto, professor at the Ambrosian Goldsmith School in Milano, has wax molds made of the particular decorative knot that adorns the dress of the Monna Lisa. Paolo Santambrogio, master cabinetmaker, helps the participants to build a dodecahedron in wood, a platonic solid much loved by the Tuscan artist. Finally Ivana Tubaro and Claire Billotte, calligraphers who collaborate with important brands, guide the subscribers to the creation of greeting cards or short quotes, through the use of a pen in goose down and walnut husk, for a more experience immersive in the pages of the Milanese Renaissance.


23 - 24 November 2019
28 - 29 December 2019
25 - 26 January 2020


Il pensiero luminoso

Along via Fratelli Ruffini

Installation of luminous texts and thoughts written by Leonardo Da Vinci, located in Via Fratelli Ruffini, which leads to the Cenacolo Vinciano. At the end of the event a charity auction of the works is proposed, in favor of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.


7 December 2019 - 10 January 2020

Con i voli della mente, Leonardo torna a scuola

Concorso per le scuole

Fino a gennaio 2020 è possibile partecipare al Concorso "Con i voli della mente Leonardo torna a scuola". Avete realizzato o avete in programma di realizzare un progetto ispirato a Leonardo? Iscrivete la vostra scuola. I temi sono Volo, Acqua, Scienza, Arte. 


Il Concorso è organizzato dall'Assessorato all'Educazione e Istruzione del Comune di Milano, dal Comando 1ª Regione Aerea dell’Aeronautica Militare, in collaborazione con “Ufficio Scolastico della Lombardia – AT Milano”.


Gli elaborati saranno giudicati da una giuria di esperti e da tutti i cittadini tramite voto online.