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written by Chiara Guzzetti

Ostuni città bianca

The impressive Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci is a fitting tribute to Milan's revered former resident.

One of the most fascinating halls here displays modern models based on Da Vinci's sketches, in the fields of military theory, ballistics and aeronautics - but this is just one section of a 10,000-item collection.

Originally a 16th-century monastery, the buildings have had various incarnations - military hospital (Napoleon), barracks (Italian army) and rubble (World War II Allied bombs). Established just after the war, the current museum was finally inaugurated in 1953, and is now the largest of its kind in Italy.

The museum's interactive labs, where children can learn, hands on, about the background and application of cutting-edge advancements in science and technology, was expanded for a second time during a temporary closure in 2008, and new galleries were also added.

The museum's biggest draw is the Enrico Toti, the first submarine constructed in Italy after World War II. It was launched on 12 March 1967 as an SSK (hunter-killer submarine), primarily as a deterrent against the nuclear-propelled torpedo-launchers of the Soviet Army. It was discharged from service in 1999, and the following year the Italian Navy donated the vessel to the museum. After transport and extensive preparation, it opened to the public in December 2005.


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