Following in Indy’s Footsteps and Meeting Da Vinci in Venice

What does wold-renowned fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones and Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci have in common? As it turns out, the church of San Barnaba in Venice, it seems.

Gareth and I, film buffs that we are, wanted to find where X marks the spot in one of our favourite movies, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, so when we had some extra time in Venice we set out in search of the church (or library as depicted in the movie) from which Indy descends into the sewers and discovers the knight’s rat-infested tomb.

We were both delighted and disappointed to find that the church was playing host at that time to an exhibition of the works of Da Vinci. It meant we would not be able to experience the setting as seen in the film, but since we didn’t get the opportunity to visit the Da Vinci museum while in Tuscany, which was actually on our to-do list, we didn’t mind too much to pay the entrance fee and kill two birds with one stone, figuratively speaking of course.












A large part of the exhibition was interactive and it was both fun and interesting to wander from one invention to the next, pulling on ropes, testing out pulleys and generally being amazed by the inventiveness of this man that had been so ahead of his time, and to whom we owe so many scientific discoveries.

He recorded his ideas in journals written in mirror-image cursive – I wonder why?














Da Vinci is probably best known as a painter and copies of some of his most celebrated works were also on display. We had the opportunity to have a closer look at the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, the Vitruvian Man and a famous self-portrait.

The morning’s outing had turned into a classic case of travel serendipity. Have you had such moments where time and place collide to present you with a pleasantly unexpected discovery?

For more posts in the Ciao Italy 2014 series, click here.

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