Lying about four kilometres to the south of Trezzo, Vaprio too is obviously on the Adda and it is linked to the other main roads by an unmade towpath closed to motor vehicles, of great ecological significance, which runs between the Martesana Canal and the river. If possible, Vaprio is even prettier, although the sudden drop in altitude of its streets may trigger an impression of being in a closed-in area compared with the open spaces. This is particularly true if you look at it from Canonica d’Adda, the twinned town on the other side of the river, in the province of Bergamo. The bridge linking Vaprio to Canonica is in a narrow pass of the Adda Valley where it is believed a passage already existed at the time of the Celts and later, the Romans. Proof of this is also the ancient name of the place, Vadulum, which means low water or ford. Just like Trezzo, already in the Longobard era, Vaprio had a front line of fortifications along the river and was later the object of clashes between the Visconti and Torriani families.
Francesco Melzi d' Eril was the man who gave hospitality to Leonardo da Vinci in Vaprio, welcoming him into his family villa, was a member of a high-ranking family. Born in Milan around 1491, he died in Vaprio probably between 1568 and 1570 and belonged to a dynasty which, over the next few centuries, was to include among its members Grandees of Spain, Dukes of Lodi, Counts of Magenta, statesmen and exponents of the cultural world. Francesco himself was a highly educated person, very close to da Vinci - indeed a pupil of his from 1506 - and a gifted painter in his own right. He accompanied the maestro on his journey to Rome in 1513, and followed him to France in his final years starting from 1517.
Francesco Melzi was also da Vinci’s heir in both a material and literary sense: it was he who drew up the so-called Treatise on Painting generally attributed to da Vinci himself, collecting various notes of the maestro’s in a codex currently to be found in the Vatican Library. These and many other hand-written notes of da Vinci’s were left in the villa in Vaprio, including the ones which, when later bound in a format known at the time as Atlantic, were to be purchased in the mid-1600s by the Ambrosiana Library in Milan, and still make up the greatest collection of writings by da Vinci to be found anywhere in the world."
The most important festive event in Vaprio takes place in winter: it consists of a series of carnival activities that last about a month. It is an unambiguously folksy experience, actively involving the inhabitants of Vaprio and the nearby villages in a whirl of merry-making and fun. On the most important day, a multi-coloured line of revellers winds its way through the streets dancing and making music.