Le Clos Lucé
Lonely Planet review for Le Clos Lucé
Leonardo da Vinci (pronounced van-see in French) took up residence in the grand manor house at Le Clos Lucé in 1516 on the invitation of François I, who was greatly enamoured with the Italian Renaissance. Already 64 by the time he arrived, da Vinci spent his time sketching, tinkering and dreaming up new contraptions: the house is jammed with scale models of many of his inventions. The expansive, beautiful gardens wind through forest and stream and are dotted with full-size replicas of his inventions including a protoautomobile, tank, bridges, hydraulic turbine and even a primitive helicopter. He died here on 2 May 1519.