Francesca Rattegni
An imaginary stroll about the ideal city

Let’s propose a fantastic hypothesis and imagine that Ludovico il Moro asked Leonardo to build an entire city giving him unlimited time and resources. Let’s take an imaginary stroll… It’s nearly dawn, we’d like to sleeping, but something at the end of the bed pulls one of our feet.

We get up and remove the cord tied to our foot and fastened to a bucket at the bottom of our bed that filled with water and forced us to get up early to go meet him, Leonardo. Upon reaching the street, we walk along an elevated street that takes us to his workshop. Below us we see the canals and boats moving in every direction. They are transporting materials to build new houses. We continue walking across the square. The street are wide and the canals are hidden below us.

The street is incredibly clean and is slightly inclined towards the center where there are some gullies; during the night it rained and the water travelled to the middle of the streets. The water took with it all the smells and filth from the houses, flowing into a canal. We arrive at the large stable, this one is special: Leonardo built a series of tunnels that keep it clean, Hay is kept on the upper floor and falls from slits directly in front the horses.

We notice that the workmen who are completing the construction of a church are using gigantic screw-operated cranes that seem magical. Further along there is a washhouse, and women are already working, washing clothes in water that stays clean, flowing from a channel that enters the washhouse hidden in the walls and the runs directly into the sewer. At the inn, the cook is anxious to show us what Leonardo set up for him: we open the door and at the same time a window opens on the other side of the room letting the smoke out and air light in.

Before we leave he gets us to wash our hands. We approach and suddenly water comes out; we move away, and it stops flowing. This is another mechanical device connected to the footboard in front of the sink. We reach Leonardo’s workshop, but he is not there, he has gone to Milan to see about his design for a large equestrian monument.