The Leonardo Interactive Museum in the historic center of Florence, Italy is a permanent exhibition (there are traveling exhibitions around the world).
Leonardo – the Renaissance Man – was a painter, sculptor, inventor, architect, musician, and more.
Leonardo’s museum in Florence contains wooden models of his inventions that you can interact with. In fact, the official name of the museum is ‘Leonardo da Vinci Interactive Museum.’ This is part of what makes it a perfect visit for children – who love to learn by touching and doing – but it’s also interesting for adults!
The two main ways to ‘interact’ with Leonardo’s works:
- interactive machines – try out some of his machines
- interactive work stations – try to build some of his projects
You can also see some of his original sketches and life-size digital copies of his most famous paintings.
Good To Know: There are actually two Leonardo da Vinci Museums in Florence. If you just want to see one, we recommend this one (Leonardo Interactive Museum), which focuses on his machines.
Is the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Florence Worth a Visit?
The Leonardo Interactive Museum is highly recommended for kids and adults. It’s fun and/or informative, depending on what you’re looking for and how you spend your visit.
It’s worth visiting for adults who are curious about or interested in Leonardo da Vinci and his drawings and inventions. It’s also a great stop for kids (around 7 or 8 and up).
It’s a perfect visit when it’s hot in Florence because it has air-conditioning, and it’s a good rainy day option as well.
I would put some of the other museums ahead of it (like the Accademia and Uffizi Galleries), but if you have children, this will most likely be a big hit.
What’s in the Florence Leonardo da Vinci Museum?
The small museum contains interactive machines that Leonardo da Vinci invented during his lifetime. Some of the machines are modeled on his creations, while others were built based on his sketches.
There are also workstations where visitors can try to construct some of his creations, like his self-supporting bridge.
The models are in a few rooms and they’re on stands, on the walls, and hanging from the ceiling.
Good To Know: The explanations are in English and other languages. Some of them are quite technical.
How Long Does of a Visit to the da Vinci Museum Take?
It takes about an hour but depending on your interest, you could stay longer. We recently spent about an hour with three kids but would have spent longer with our 8-year-old.
Don’t forget to add extra time for the bookshop.
Florence da Vinci Museum – Location, Hours and Tickets
The Interactive da Vinci Museum is located between the Duomo (Florence Cathedral) and the Accademia Gallery in the historic center of Florence. Its location means you don’t need to ‘go out of your way’ to get to it. But, remember you need to book a time slot, so you can’t just casually show up if you’re in the area.
Address: Via dei Servi, 66/r, Florence
Phone Number: +30.055.282.966
Remember: There is a second Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Florence, and it’s only 80 meters away. You’ll reach it before the Interactive Leonardo da Vinci Museum if you’re coming from the Duomo, so pay close attention to the address.
Ticket Info and Opening Hours
You need to purchase your ticket ahead of time through the official website. The tickets are sold through a 3rd party (currently GetYourGuide), so if you have any problems, you
Up-to-date prices, ticket info, and museum hours can be found on the official website.
Good to Know: Last entrance is an hour before closing.
Where to See More of Leonardo da Vinci’s Work in Florence
The Uffizi Gallery
The best place to see Leonardo’s works in Florence is at the Uffizi Gallery. Inside you’ll find his:
- Adoration of the Magi
- Sketches in ‘Prints & Drawings’ Collection
Next door to the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio supposedly contains Leonardo’s partially-completed fresco ‘The Battle of Anghiari,’ which is likely covered by another fresco.
Fun Fact: You can see a statue of Leonardo da Vinci in the Piazzale degli Uffizi.
Fun Fact: Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo (most likely the model for Mona Lisa) was from Florence.
Visiting the Leonardo da Vinci Interactive Museum in Florence with Kids
The official age recommendation of the museum is 7 or 8 years old and up. Don’t worry – younger kids can enter! But, keep in mind that younger kids may not understand what they’re looking at or use the models in a gentle way.
Your preschooler may or may not be able to play well with the machines. We recently visited with our 8, 4, and 1-year-olds and if we go back, it will only be with the 8-year-old.
Good to Know: There are a lot of places where little fingers can get pinched – think twice about bringing a curious and active toddler inside!
Best Part of the Museum for Kids
Kids love trying things, so getting to move the levers, and make things go up and down is a blast for children.
They also love the workstations where they can try to build his self-supporting bridge and dome and make a polyhedron.
Our kids also loved the room of mirrors and the water lifting device.
You can bring a stroller, but the museum is tiny (just a few rooms), so you’ll probably end up leaving it in a corner while you walk around (if you carry your baby). Otherwise, you can move it around, but you’ll need to do some maneuvering around the exhibits and other visitors.
There is a bathroom in the museum (toward the back on the left).
You’ll need to get creative in the bathroom – there’s no changing table.
Descriptions and Information Panels
There are descriptions, but a lot of them have technical terms or are difficult for children to understand.
The visit will be more meaningful if you do some prep work:
- Study up on some of Leonardo’s machines so you can explain what you’re seeing in ‘kid terms’
- Or, study a couple of da Vinci’s machines with your child, and then pay special attention to those when you visit.
You pass through the souvenir shop on your way in and out of the museum. There are books, models, t-shirts, knick-knacks, and more. Our kids like the small paper and wooden models that they can assemble.
Nearby Kid Attractions
- Accademia Gallery (300 meters) – You’re just around the corner from one of Michelangelo’s masterpieces, his statue of David. The Accademia is a small museum that you can easily visit with kids. Be sure to book ahead so you don’t have to wait in line!
If you’re planning to see the David statue at the Accademia, you can combine your visit with the Leonardo da Vinci Museum. I recommend seeing David first, because you can’t touch anything at the Accademia. After seeing David, head to the da Vinci Museum and let your kids play with Leonardo’s inventions!
Older kids who have studied art history will enjoy seeing art from two of history’s greats and the similarities and differences of what they created.
Younger kids will love seeing art from two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in one day!
- Gelateria Carabè (270 meters) – Also just around the corner (on the same street as the Accademia Gallery), you’ll find delicious gelato and granite at this gelateria. It’s one of our favorites in Florence LINK.
- Playground in Piazza Massimo Azeglio (800 meters) – Play with local children at one of Florence’s city center’s parks. It’s about a 10-minute walk from the Leonardo Museum.
Leonardo da Vinci Museums – Vinci or Florence?
If you’re in Florence, you have three Leonardo da Vinci museums nearby – there are two in Florence and there is one in Vinci, Leonardo’s birthplace.
If you’d like to remain in Florence, we recommend heading to the Leonardo Interactive Museum.
If you have a rental car (or hire a private driver), make your way to Vinci, about 50 km west of Florence. You can spend the day in the countryside, soaking up the incredible landscapes that Leonardo saw, and visiting the small museum (Museo Leonardiano) in town.
Good To Know: The museum in Vinci isn’t interactive. If that’s what you’re looking for, head to the Leonardo Interactive Museum in the center of Florence.
Locations of Other Leonardo da Vinci Museums in Italy
There are other Leonardo da Vinci museums throughout Italy, including in Venice, Milan, and Rome. You can also visit Leonardo’s hometown of Vinci in Tuscany, which houses another museum dedicated to the artist and inventor.
We hope you enjoy your visit to the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Florence!
Is Leonardo’s Mona Lisa in the Leonardo da Vinci museum?
Leonardo’s famous painting of Mona Lisa is on display at the Louvre in Paris, France.
Is Leonardo’s The Last Supper in the Leonardo da Vinci museum?
Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ is on display at the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent in Milan, Italy.
Is the Leonardo da Vinci museum in Florence interactive?
The Leonardo Interactive Museum if full of models of da Vinci’s inventions. You can spend your entire visit tinkering with them, seeing first-hand how they work, and trying to replicate some of his inventions at small workstations.
Where are other Leonardo da Vinci Museums located around the world?
Italy – Florence, Rome, Venice, Milan
United States – Denver (CO), Boston (MA), Salt Lake City (UT), Allentown (PA), New York City (NY), Phoenix (AZ), Albuquerque (NM)
Belgium – Brussels