Lecco, 15 aprile 2013   |  

Adda, “Leonardo's river”, between Lecco and Bergamo

di Viviana Vestrucci

The Renaissance Genius (Vinci 1452- Amboise 1519) studied water and its currents and worked at hydraulic projects.

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Adda is also known as “Leonardo’s river”, since the Renaissance Genius, while staying at the country residence of the Milanese aristocrat Girolamo Melzi in Vaprio d’Adda during the first decade of 1500, studied the Adda water and currents and worked at hydraulic projects, like the improvements made to the hydraulic locks, known as the “conche vinciane” (Vinci chambers). He also made drawings of places he saw along the Adda and reproduced its rocks in the background of some of his masterpieces, like the “Virgin of the Rocks” and, according to some sources, also the “Mona Lisa”.

The “Adda North Park”, set along the northern part of the river, hosts the “Ecomuseo Adda di Leonardo", an outdoor museum involving several municipalities and taking care of the traces of Leonardo's discoveries and researches on the territory, like the hydraulic machines at the “Stallazzo” museum along the “Paderno Naviglio” (canal) towpath. Also the ferry crossing the river between Villa d’Adda and Imbersago is called “Leonardo’s Ferry” because of the drawing by Leonardo of a similar craft, which connected Vaprio and Canonica d’Adda, kept at the Royal Library at Windsor.

A number of panels are dedicated to Leonardo’s painting and to the countryside around the Adda in the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, near the old dam of Paderno d’Adda.

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