Vinci – Home of Leonardo di Vinci and medevil characters…

Finding Vinci was a lovely drive through what we would call the picture postcard views of Tuscany.  Rows of olive trees and grapevines all neatly running up the hills to big stone houses that have been there since the beginning of time. It is just beautiful.
Vinci is a lovely little village set around a commune on the top of the hill where the main museum dedicated to Leonardo Di Vinci is located.  This is the view from the top of castle which is part of the Di Vinci Museum.  One of the few museums we have been through and thoroughly enjoyed it.  

He was an incredible inventor more so than anything else, except the Mona Lisa painting of course.  He also painted a fair few others, but his life mainly consisted of inventing unbelievable things like the cart that lead to one of the first designs for cars.  One of his friends invented the first bicycle, a far cry from the carbonite ones of today.  All sorts of canon firing apparatus, machine gun things as well as optical light projections, spinning wheels, weaving machines and on goes the list.  Would love to have snuck some photos but couldn’t. Dad would have loved it, he would still be there intrigued with all the workings of his machines that were all made to scale.  A smart little fella for an illegimate child born just 50km away in Empoli. 

On our way out of Vinci we tried to find the house he actually lived in as a child, but Juiletta couldn’t figure it out with the roads closed for the festival.  He was an incredible man and the world certainly is a better place for him having contributed what he has.

In the church were these very cute and simple bronze statues which were quite neat. 

We have seen lots of great churches but after a while they really do look the same. 

We chanced it that we would be in Vinci for the Di Vinci Unicorn Festival to celebrate the medevil history of Vinci.  See everything happens for a reason and if we had arrived when we should have, maybe we wouldn’t have stayed for the festival.  This gorgeous creature was painted by the folks behind him which was right behind our lounge room window. Once again, we chanced it in a cottage right opposite the Di Vinci museum and it was literally in the middle of the square where the festival was taking place on the top of the hill.  

It extended to the main street, but hundreds of people walked past our front door and looked in.  Some thought it a museum and just wanted to wander through.  Perhaps there was a business opportunity missed here. 

This coot was unbelievable.  Meditating with crystal balls balanced on this head and then had three in each hand was and working them around in a circle but he was in a trance.  Then he did the odd yoga pose with the ball still on his head and then walked down the street with it in place. Very neat.  

There was alot of noise but I just had to have a quick look to make sure all was good in the square.  My name is Chesi – so much like Cocoa so we had to have a quick chat. 

This is an english guy who has lived and worked in South America for years.  On one of the mangrove trees, long skinny woven kind of seeds grow to about four foot long.  He then picks them and dyes them all sorts of colours and sells them. They are very pliable and you can turn them any which way to look fabulous.  
Of course I had to have one.  

My next Amateurs outfit…  and it is true ‘money really does grow on trees’. 

There were all sorts of stalls selling all sorts of interesting stuff.  The usual painted pottery pots and funny chunky jewellery, plus you could easily pick up the latest in medevil fashion as well.  Any one for a throw hammer with spikes? 

This is a stall from a very unique kind of chick.  Looked like something from Kuranda. These are paper mache puppets.  One had to find a new home in Australia. Not sure where she will live, but she is on her way.

This little fellow was also part of the festival.  He and three of his falcon friends were on display with their owner.  Very beautiful eyes that did miss a trick. 

There was a display of tents and tools that they used in the medevil times which was interesting. Much the same as in a Robin Hood movie really without Russell Crowe. 

If you are bitten by the hunger bug – then why not try some -roast wild boar.  This is Italy’s idea of fast food.  They are into the boar here.  You can have it on an panini (bread with no butter) maybe with an assortment of sauces home made by Mumma.  Then cook it all day and have as a ragu on your spaghetti.  Have it cold with tomato and more spag.  Everywhere you go there is a boar to you suit you!

You also need to remember, this is all in about 40 degree heat.  Just like home, but hotter and a tad drier, but 40 degrees is still 40 degrees – it was bloody HOT!!!

Just after this photo a whole bunch of really nasty scary looking guys walked past us and went ‘ ha ha ha ha!!!’  Nearly jumped out of our skin. 

Allby loved these two.  The ghostly cheerleaders…  

The costumes continued on for the whole day and well into the night.  Not the quietest place we have stayed, but then you can’t expect to be in the middle of a festival and it to be quiet.  The vibe far outweighed our need for sleep.   

The next day as we drove around trying to find Vinci’s house, a whole load of tractors in a park suddenly roared into gear and took off.  They were all smoking, coughing and farting as they left the park and went up the road, obviously in some kind of race.  It was incredible. 

Took me back to being a kid on the farm with the smell of diesel and the noise.  

We are now off to Greve (pronounced Greve’ – like gravy, but with an ‘e’) through the vineyards and more olive trees.  What a spectacular drive. Mind you, everywhere we drive here is like a different beautiful postcard.  Sometimes green and lush, sometimes, drier and less trees and more hay in golden colours – we just love it all and want to stay forever. 
Lots of huge houses that obviously house lots of families that run the vineyard and olive groves.  

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