Inside back cover

This sketch is probably a villa destined for the governor of Milan, Charles d’Amboise, but of still greater interest are the few words and numbers that appear on the upper right part of the cover.
These are notes about domestic finances, a kind of shopping list.
The final entry regards a chicken that cost two soldi.
This provides a glimmer of the everyday life of the greatest genius of the Renaissance, who here set aside his mirror-image handwriting, evidently used as a code to protect his work from prying eyes.
The final words of the little notebook are memorable:

«Piglierà il primo volo il grande uccello sopra il dosso del suo grande Cecero, riempiendo l'universo di stupore, riempiendo della sua fama ogni scritto, e gloria eterna al luogo dove nacque»
(The great bird will take its first flight from the back of the great [Monte] Ceceri, filling the universe with wonder, filling all writings with his fame, and bringing eternal glory to the place where he was born.)

NOTE. For each page of Leonardo’s Codex we provide a brief summary, with the quotation of one that page’s most significant passages edited in modern Italian, with an English translation.

translation by Kim Williams