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Questions about Da Vinci and Mona Lisa in Rome

Madison, Wisconsin
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Questions about Da Vinci and Mona Lisa in Rome

I will be in Rome in April with my husband and 10-year-old daughter. I see there is both a Da Vinci museum in Piazza del Popolo and a temporary Da Vinci exhibit in Palazzo della Cancelleria. I'm wondering which one is better. Also, I see mention of a Mona Lisa museum at Piazza Navona which also looks interesting, but I can't find any reviews of that. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Le Marche, Italy
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1. Re: Questions about Da Vinci and Mona Lisa in Rome

I've been to the Da Vinci museum in Piazza del Popolo, and we (my husband and I) enjoyed it very much. A few years later, I took my granddaugther there, and she also enjoyed it. The museum has working hands-on models of many of Da Vinci's inventions, and full-scale models of others, which can't be manipulated.

I haven't been to the "temporary" exhibit, which I think has been around for several years. I had never even heard of the Mona Lisa museum; I don't think it would interest me much. Since the Mona Lisa's in Paris, I don't see that they could offer much more than what you could get from Wikipedia.

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2. Re: Questions about Da Vinci and Mona Lisa in Rome

I've been to the exhibit in the Palazzo della Cancelleria and found it interesting and do think kids would love it; barely a soul there - which is the case for many wonderful sites not on the tourist trail and the palazzo is lovely as well. Great area, you could combine it with a look around the open market in Campo de'Fiori first, then go to the exhibit.

Le Marche, Italy
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3. Re: Questions about Da Vinci and Mona Lisa in Rome

Momcat, does it also have working models that the visitors can operate?

One of the things I thought could be improved at the museum in Piazza del Popolo is that the museum bookstore had no books for children; I would have loved to get a book about da Vinci for my granddaughter.

Edited: 10 February 2014, 16:31
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4. Re: Questions about Da Vinci and Mona Lisa in Rome

It did when I was there - I think I went about 3 years ago (temporary? ha!) Just can't recall exactly when I went but you could operate some of the models - not all.

Madison, Wisconsin
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5. Re: Questions about Da Vinci and Mona Lisa in Rome

Thank you both! I see from the website, that the exhibit claims to have about 50 models of Da Vinci's inventions. The museum website doesn't provide a number. Momcat, does that sound correct based on your experience and Bvlenci, did the museum have about that many as well? The reviews on Trip Advisor seem slightly better for the exhibit than the museum but it's difficult to tell as they're both lumped into the museum thread.

Le Marche, Italy
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6. Re: Questions about Da Vinci and Mona Lisa in Rome

I found this page in Italian that gives details for the museum.

www.romeguide.it/museidiroma.php?id=12314

They don't have these details translated into English, so I've translated the pertinent parts myself:

75 interactive models of machines and inventions by Leonardo da Vinci, to scale or full size, faithfully reconstructed from the plans and drawing of da Vinci.

75 explanatory tables in 7 languages (Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian).

5 of the da Vinci codices (journals of his scientific ideas and inventions) faithfully reproduced in facsimile

10 illustrative didactic panels

60 anatomical tables

20 drawings reproduced at full size

10 paintings reproduced at full size

2 plasma multimedia stations

4 interactive multimedia stations

1 large multimedia touch screen station

a video hall with a 50-minute documentary

a didactic laboratory for student

If you want to get a fair translation of the whole page, you can paste the above URL into translate.google.com.

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7. Re: Questions about Da Vinci and Mona Lisa in Rome

Honestly, you could torture me and I wouldn't be able remember that detail - I have no idea how many items there were - from the description that Bvlenci posted, it would seem that the museum had more on display and to interact with than the exhibit I saw. But - actual details - long gone and buried in my memory; it was not something I was smitten by and it is the sort of thing that does not stick with me for long.

Sorry - maybe someone else will answer more specifically. And, now that I think of it, I think it was more than 3 years ago - more like 4, I think - oh, who knows, it all runs together a tad.

Le Marche, Italy
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8. Re: Questions about Da Vinci and Mona Lisa in Rome

Well, my memory told me that 50 sounded about right for the museum, but when I looked it up, I saw it was a lot more.

I'm questioning the information on that page, though. It says "75 interactive models". However, not all the models were interactive; for example, there was a fairly large model of the "flying machine" hanging from the ceiling, which wasn't interactive. Yet the page doesn't mention any other models that aren't interactive. I suspect that 75 is the total number of models, and that there were fewer than 75 that were interactive.

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9. Re: Questions about Da Vinci and Mona Lisa in Rome

The "Secrets of Mona Lisa" exhibition effectively comes from Paris anyway: http://grandeexhibitions.com/ - this company, which is also responsible for the Da Vinci Collection (or "Da Vinci: the Genius") own and operate permanent museums in Rome and also take touring versions of the exhibitions to other countries (the Da Vinci one was in Brussels last year). The Mona Lisa exhibition apparently focuses on the techniques used to produce it and by scientists and curators to analyse the painting - at least, that is the description of the travelling version: grandeexhibitions.com/traveling-exhibitions/…

Madison, Wisconsin
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10. Re: Questions about Da Vinci and Mona Lisa in Rome

Wow! Thank you, Bvlenci, for translating all that for me about the museum! Much appreciated!