Leonardo da Vinci, italian genius, and the history of his life are the protagonists of the new fiction on Rai 1, “Leonardo”.


Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most famous italian characters all over the world. He has really made a revolution in science and art, he was an innovative artist for that time.

Leonardo was born in 1452 in Vinci, in the heart of Tuscany, and was one of the most important personalities of the Renaissance. The village of Vinci is located in the north of Tuscany (40 kilometres from Florence), where also Fratelli Borgioli was born and still has its production site. Today it claims the orange flag for being one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. It rises on the slopes of Montalbano, a hilly area full of vineyards and olive groves.

Leonardo is also considered today one of the greatest geniuses of humanity for his ingenuity and universal talent.

To celebrate this great talent Big Light Productions, Lux Vide, Rai Fiction, Sony Pictures Television has decided to produce a new fiction about him and his life. Frank Spotnitz and Steve Thompson have conceived this television product and the direction has been entrusted to Dan Percival and Alexis Sweet.

Given the international production, the cast is also made up of international actors but there is no shortage of Italian ones. The 8 episodes, on air from March 23rd, are broadcast for 4 evenings in world premiere on Rai 1.

There are very high expectations for this international production. The amount for the fiction production also suggest it: the estimated budget is 30 million euros, there are 2,500 dresses made for the 3,000 extras and actors and a record set.

The protagonist is Aidan Turner who plays the genius of the Renaissance, while Matilda de Angelis plays Caterina da Cremona, a mysterious muse of Leonardo who is not known if she really existed. In the role of Andrea Verrocchio, master of Leonardo Da Vinci, there is the great Giancarlo Giannini.

Leonardo is not a simple biography of the Renaissance genius and not even a documentary. It is proposed as a crime mystery and thriller TV series that begins with the investigation of the murder of Caterina da Cremona, but other detective stories appear during the episodes.

The show also tries to discover the Leonardo da Vinci man, what lies behind his imagination, going beyond what we all already know about him as an artist. His complex personality, his unknown character and the thirst for knowledge accompany the creation of his greatest masterpieces.

As we have already said, Leonardo is a kolossal production and the reason also lies in the preparation of the set and the scenographies. In fact, they were created to reproduce all environments in the most authentic way.

Although Leonardo da Vinci’s association with Tuscany is natural, the creators Spotnitz and Thompson have geolocated the history of the great artist in over 50 places mainly in Lazio. Even the cities of Milan and Florence at the time of the Renaissance are the result of very detailed reconstructions.

Much of the TV series was filmed in an area adjacent to a film studio, a blacklot near Lux Vide studios in Formello (Rome). With an area of about 20 thousand square meters it is one of the largest sets in Western Europe.

The scenography is the work of Domenico Sica who handed over the sets for the indoor and outdoor environments. He has reproduced all the streets, squares, hovels and halls of the Florentine and Milanese Renaissance palaces.


Even if this fiction is located mainly in Lazio, there are a lot of movies set in Tuscany. Fin out more in our article about the 7 best movies set in Tuscany!