SHARE
COPY LINK

CULTURE

Major Rome exhibition opens celebrating Leonardo Da Vinci

A major exhibition dedicated to the scientific genius of Leonardo Da Vinci opened in Rome on Wednesday, part of a programme of special events across the country to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of the artist and inventor.

Major Rome exhibition opens celebrating Leonardo Da Vinci
The 'Science before science' exhibition in Rome. Photo: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP

The show at the Scuderie del Quirinale palace, entitled “La scienza prima della scienza” ('science before science'), traces the technological and scientific work of da Vinci and reflects on how “the myth of Leonardo” was developed.

More than 200 pieces will be on display including some of his most famous works, which are credited with developing the parachute, helicopter and tank, the museum said ahead of the launch.

The exhibition runs until June 30th and tickets are €15.00. Admission is free for under-18s.

A visitor looks at the exhibits in Rome.. Photo: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP

Da Vinci was a “European citizen of the world,” said exhibition curator Claudio Giorgione.

The polymath was a driving force behind the Renaissance and worked in numerous fields, including painting, sculpture, architecture, science, mathematics and astronomy.

His most recognisable artworks include the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.

The exhibition devotes an entire room to Da Vinci's “military genius” with several reproductions of his designs, including his famous “giant crossbow”.

Da Vinci was born in the Medici-ruled Republic of Florence in 1452. He died in France in 1519 and is the most famous left-handed painter in history.

READ ALSO:

 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

CULTURE

Why Friday the 13th isn’t an unlucky date in Italy

Unlucky for some, but not for Italians. Here's why today's date isn't a cause for concern in Italy - but Friday the 17th is.

Why Friday the 13th isn't an unlucky date in Italy

When Friday the 13th rolls around, many of us from English-speaking countries might reconsider any risky plans. And it’s not exactly a popular date for weddings in much of the western world.

But if you’re in Italy, you don’t need to worry about it.

There’s no shortage of strongly-held superstitions in Italian culture, particularly in the south. But the idea of Friday the 13th being an inauspicious date is not among them.

Though the ‘unlucky 13’ concept is not unknown in Italy – likely thanks to the influence of American film and TV – here the number is in fact usually seen as good luck, if anything.

The number 17, however, is viewed with suspicion and Friday the 17th instead is seen as the unlucky date to beware of.

Just as some Western airlines avoid including the 13th row on planes, you might find number 17 omitted on Italian planes, street numbering, hotel floors, and so on – so even if you’re not the superstitious type, it’s handy to be aware of.

The reason for this is thought to be because in Roman numerals the number 17 (XVII) is an anagram of the Latin word VIXI, meaning ‘I have lived’: the use of the past tense apparently suggests death, and therefore bad luck. It’s less clear what’s so inauspicious about Friday.

So don’t be surprised if, next time Friday 17th rolls around, you notice some Italian shops and offices closed per scaramanzia’.

But why then does 13 often have a positive connotation in Italy instead?

You may not be too surprised to learn that it’s because of football.

Ever heard of Totocalcio? It’s a football pools betting system in which players long tried to predict the results of 13 different matches.

There were triumphant calls of ho fatto tredici! – ‘I’ve done thirteen’ – among those who got them all right. The popular expression soon became used in other contexts to mean ‘I hit the jackpot’ or ‘that was a stroke of luck!’

From 2004, the number of games included in Totocalcio rose to 14, but you may still hear winners shout ‘ho fatto tredici’ regardless.

Other common Italian superstitions include touching iron (not wood) for good luck, not toasting with water, and never pouring wine with your left hand.

SHOW COMMENTS