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- Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci - 110/159 -
VALLEY OF INTROZZO.
This valley produces a great quantity of firs, pines and larches; and from here Ambrogio Fereri has his timber brought down; at the head of the Valtellina are the mountains of Bormio, terrible and always covered with snow; marmots (?) are found there.
Opposite the castle Bellaggio there is the river Latte, which falls from a height of more than 100 braccia from the source whence it springs, perpendicularly, into the lake with an inconceivable roar and noise. This spring flows only in August and September.
Valtellina, as it is called, is a valley enclosed in high and terrible mountains; it produces much strong wine, and there is so much cattle that the natives conclude that more milk than wine grows there. This is the valley through which the Adda passes, which first runs more than 40 miles through Germany; this river breeds the fish _temolo_ which live on silver, of which much is to be found in its sands. In this country every one can sell bread and wine, and the wine is worth at most one soldo the bottle and a pound of veal one soldo, and salt ten dinari and butter the same and their pound is 30 ounces, and eggs are one soldo the lot.
At Bormio are the baths;--About eight miles above Como is the Pliniana, which increases and ebbs every six hours, and its swell supplies water for two mills; and its ebbing makes the spring dry up; two miles higher up there is Nesso, a place where a river falls with great violence into a vast rift in the mountain. These excursions are to be made in the month of May. And the largest bare rocks that are to be found in this part of the country are the mountains of Mandello near to those of Lecco, and of Gravidona towards Bellinzona, 30 miles from Lecco, and those of the valley of Chiavenna; but the greatest of all is that of Mandello, which has at its base an opening towards the lake, which goes down 200 steps, and there at all times is ice and wind.
IN VAL SASINA.
In Val Sasina, between Vimognio and Introbbio, to the right hand, going in by the road to Lecco, is the river Troggia which falls from a very high rock, and as it falls it goes underground and the river ends there. 3 miles farther we find the buildings of the mines of copper and silver near a place called Pra' Santo Pietro, and mines of iron and curious things. La Grigna is the highest mountain there is in this part, and it is quite bare.
[Footnote: 1030 and 1031. From the character of the handwriting we may conclude that these observations were made in Leonardo's youth; and I should infer from their contents, that they were notes made in anticipation of a visit to the places here described, and derived from some person (unknown to us) who had given him an account of them.]
The lake of Pusiano flows into the lake of Segrino [Footnote 3: The statement about the lake Segrino is incorrect; it is situated in the Valle Assina, above the lake of Pusiano.] and of Annone and of Sala. The lake of Annone is 22 braccia higher at the surface of its water than the surface of the water of the lake of Lecco, and the lake of Pusiano is 20 braccia higher than the lake of Annone, which added to the afore said 22 braccia make 42 braccia and this is the greatest height of the surface of the lake of Pusiano above the surface of the lake of Lecco.
[Footnote: This text has in the original a slight sketch to illustrate it.]
At Santa Maria in the Valley of Ravagnate [Footnote 2: _Ravagnate_ (Leonardo writes _Ravagna_) in the Brianza is between Oggiono and Brivio, South of the lake of Como. M. Ravaisson avails himself of this note to prove his hypothesis that Leonardo paid two visits to France. See Gazette des Beaux Arts, 1881 pag. 528:
_Au recto du meme feuillet, on lit encore une note relative a une vallee "nemonti brigatia"; il me semble qu'il s'agit bien des monts de Briancon, le Brigantio des anciens. Briancon est sur la route de Lyon en Italie. Ce fut par le mont Viso que passerent, en aout 1515, les troupes francaises qui allaient remporter la victoire de Marignan.
Leonard de Vinci, ingenieur de Francois Ier, comme il l'avait ete de Louis XII, aurait-il ete pour quelque chose dans le plan du celebre passage des Alpes, qui eut lieu en aout 1515, et a la suite duquel on le vit accompagner partout le chevaleresque vainqueur? Auraitil ete appele par le jeune roi, de Rome ou l'artiste etait alors, des son avenement au trone?_] in the mountains of Brianza are the rods of chestnuts of 9 braccia and one out of an average of 100 will be 14 braccia.
At Varallo di Ponbia near to Sesto on the Ticino the quinces are white, large and hard.
[Footnote 5: Varallo di Ponbia, about ten miles South of Arona is distinct from Varallo the chief town in the Val di Sesia.]
Notes on places in Central Italy, visited in 1502 (1034-1054).
Pigeon-house at Urbino, the 30th day of July 1502. [Footnote: An indistinct sketch is introduced with this text, in the original, in which the word _Scolatoro_ (conduit) is written.]
Made by the sea at Piombino. [Footnote: Below the sketch there are eleven lines of text referring to the motion of waves.]
Acquapendente is near Orvieto. [Footnote: _Acquapendente_ is about 10 miles West of Orvieto, and is to the right in the map on Pl. CXIII, near the lake of Bolsena.]
The rock of Cesena. [Footnote: See Pl. XCIV No. 1, the lower sketch. The explanation of the upper sketch is given on p. 29.]
Siena, _a b_ 4 braccia, _a c_ 10 braccia. Steps at [the castle of] Urbino. [Footnote: See Pl. CX No. 3; compare also No. 765.]
The bell of Siena, that is the manner of its movement, and the place of the attachment of the clapper. [Footnote: The text is accompanied by an indistinct sketch.]
On St. Mary's day in the middle of August, at Cesena, 1502. [Footnote: See Pl. CX, No. 4.]
Stairs of the [palace of the] Count of Urbino,--rough. [Footnote: The text is accompanied by a slight sketch.]
At the fair of San Lorenzo at Cesena. 1502.
Windows at Cesena. [Footnote: There are four more lines of text which refer to a slightly sketched diagram.]
At Porto Cesenatico, on the 6th of September 1502 at 9 o'clock a. m.
The way in which bastions ought to project beyond the walls of the towers to defend the outer talus; so that they may not be taken by artillery.
[Footnote: An indistinct sketch, accompanies this passage.]
The rock of the harbour of Cesena is four points towards the South West from Cesena.
In Romagna, the realm of all stupidity, vehicles with four wheels are used, of which O the two in front are small and two high ones are behind; an arrangement which is very unfavourable to the motion, because on the fore wheels more weight is laid than on those behind, as I showed in the first of the 5th on "Elements".
Thus grapes are carried at Cesena. The number of the diggers of the ditches is [arranged] pyramidically. [Footnote: A sketch, representing a hook to which two bunches of grapes are hanging, refers to these first two lines. Cesena is mentioned again Fol. 82a: _Carro da Cesena_ (a cart from Cesena).]
There might be a harmony of the different falls of water as you saw them at the fountain of Rimini on the 8th day of August, 1502.
The fortress at Urbino. [Footnote: 1049. In the original the text is written inside the sketch in the place here marked _n_.]
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