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The italian Genius

Leonardo da Vinci is one of the main reasons why I am proud of being Italian.

He was a world-class artist due to his predisposition for arts and sciences and for the results achieved in both artistic and scientific fields thanks to his ingenuity and talent.

He was borned in 1452 and he started his career in a famous artistic Emporium in Florence where he could train his natural skills in painting activities and in sculpturing.

His talent was rapidly recognised by the noble and powerful family of Medici, which attract the artist to his court and start commissioning some of his paintings.

After that period, Leonardo was sent to Milan where he discovered a stimulating context that allowed him to develop his mechanical and technical studies.

In that period he also focused on portraits and Dukes’ commissions. In 1490 he moved to Pavia where he deepened his architectural research and carried out studies about human body proportions.

In 1494 he started “The Last Supper”, one of his most famous paintings all over the world, where he summarized all his knowledge acquired in the previous years.

From 1499 until 1508 he moved to different courts (Mantova, Venice) until he returned to Florence. In those years he started working on “The Mona Lisa” painting, the artistic goal that made him famous for all eternity.

After that period, he got in contact with Michelangelo but their relationship was not peaceful probably due to the 23 year age gap. Then he moved to Rome and finally to France where he died in 1519.

Leonardo was a well-rounded artist: a painter, a sculptor, an inventor, a project maker, a designer, an art director, an anatomist and a musician.

He is considered the embodiment of the Italian Genius, a symbol of the creative versatility and the illuminating passion that guides our national culture.

Our is a story about beauty and intelligence, genius and free-spirited wildness.

Such as in Leonardo’s works, Italy emanates the charm of the human imperfection and nobody can resist it.

Text written in March 2019.

Short bio of the volunteer:

My name is Cristina, I am 22 and Italian. I am a globetrotter and a student of International and Diplomatic Science. I believe that “your vibe attracts your tribe”, that’s why I am in love with nature, animals and my friends! 🙂


Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.

Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.

In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.

European Voluntary Service

Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.

We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.

Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.