Italian Language/Quote of Da Vinci

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Question
Dear Maria,

I'm sort of in love with Italy, and a huge fan of Leonardo Da Vinci, and I found a couple of quotes, most are of the man himself and another one by myself, and I really want to have them in Italian language, the quotes are:

"Men of lofty genius when they are doing the least work are most active"

"The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding"

"The natural desire of good men is knowledge"

Those are the quotes by Leonardo this one is mine:

"without travelling there were no maps"

And please feel free to correct my English, It has to mean: without travelling, there wouldn't be knowledge to draw maps.

(the last quote has to be as short as possible because it will be painted on the wall of my bedroom.)

I hope you can help me.

Kind regards,
Leon

Answer
Dear Leon,

first of all I have to tell you that the English sentences that you mention are nothing but an adaptation of  the original Italian quotations by Leonardo da Vinci who obviously has used the old Italian language which was spoken in his times, i.e  in the 15th-16th centuries as he was born in 1452 and died in 1519.

So, here are the original quotations from Leonardo's "Pensieri"(i.e."Thoughts on Art and Life"):

-“Gli uomini di genio a volte realizzano di più quando lavorano di meno”
("Men of lofty genius when they are doing the least work are most active").

Note that such a  sentence is only a part of a Leonardo’s quote  where he points out that men of lofty genius are most active when they are working the least of all, because they are thinking about inventions, i.e. about something that has never been made before (See below for the full quotation from Leonardo da Vinci).

-“La sapienzia è dell'animo il sommo bene, cioè dell'om saggio"
(The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding)

Note that in modern Italian such a Leonardo's sentence  corresponds to “Il piacere più nobile è la gioia di comprendere”.


-“Naturalmente li omini boni desiderano sapere”
(The natural desire of good men is knowledge)

Note that in modern Italian such a Leonardo's sentence  corresponds to:” La conoscenza è il naturale desiderio degli uomini saggi”.


As for your sentence "Without travelling there are no maps" just in the sense of “Without travelling, there wouldn't be knowledge to draw maps”, you can say in Italian as follows:

”Senza spostamenti, nessuna conoscenza”
(literally, “Without  travels, no knowledge”).

Note that this sentence is as short as possible to mean exactly that without travelling and knowing other countries and persons there wouldn't be knowledge.

Hope this can be helpful to you and your love of my beautiful country.

Best regards,

Maria
________________________________________________________________________________________
P.S. The full quote from Leonardo reads as follows:
«Gli uomini di genio a volte realizzano di più quando lavorano di meno, perché stanno pensando invenzioni e formando nelle loro menti l’idea perfetta che successivamente esprimono con le loro mani».

Lastly, I have to tell you that Leonardo had no surname in the modern sense, as  "da Vinci" , where "da" must be written in small letters, simply means "of Vinci".

His full birth name was in fact "Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci", meaning "Leonardo, son of Messer Piero from Vinci", where "Vinci" is the name of a Tuscan town, in the lower valley of the Arno River in the territory of Florence.

Italian Language

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Maria

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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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