Leonardo da Vinci’s Newly Discovered Descendants Include an Oscar-Nominated Director


Genealogy is so hot right now. It’s so hot it’s all over our TV screens. There’s Who Do You Think You Are?, Finding Your Roots, Genealogy Roadshow, and Long Lost Family. All of these shows involve a person trying to find where they’ve come from. In a shocking twist, historians have gone and found the multi-generational descendants of a very famous person. And that famous person is Leonardo da Vinci.

The Guardian reports that selfless historians, represented by Alessandro Vezzosi and Agnese Sabato, have traced the roots of Da Vinci and found nearly three dozen Italian folks who very likely share DNA with history’s first multi-hyphenate. They can’t guarantee anything, though, because DNA from Da Vinci was lost along with his body — this genealogy is based entirely on paper trails, family names, and maybe even whether or not these people can read da Vinci’s secret language. At any rate, the possible descendants have been notified, and they include an architect, named as Elena Calosi, and Oscar-nominated director Franco Zeffirelli.

Calosi was happy, and she said as much. She told the paper, “How does it feel to be descended from Leonardo da Vinci? Obviously I’m surprised, but happy, happy also for my grandmother who is no more, who was proud to have the name Vinci.”

No word yet on the descendants of Leonardo DiCaprio, or whether or not he himself is related to Da Vinci, but, as of now, there’s no reason to believe he’s not related to the man who painted the Mona Lisa.