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Museo di Storia Naturale "La Specola"

Florence | Zoology, Natural History
€3 - €6
6 18 Votes
Several generations of the Medicis had collected with passion great artistic treasures, but also a wide range of natural treasures like fossils, animals, minerals and exotic plants. This material and the new addition, which includes also a very large collection of books from all over Europe, was used by the enlightened Pietro Leopoldo di Lorena, with the aid of the abbot Felice Fontana (1730-1805) to create a Museum of Natural History opened to the public. For this reason, the prince purchased in 1771 the block of buildings situated next to the Pitti Palace, which still is the present-day location of the museum. "La Specola" was officially inaugurated in 1775; until the early years of the l9th century it was the only scientific museum specifically created for the public, with opening hours, guides and keepers. Today the philosophy of the museum is very much the same.

Today visitors have access to 34 rooms: 24 are dedicated to zoology and 10 to anatomic waxes. The zoological section displays both recently acquired and old examples of animals preserved with the technique of taxidermy, such as the hippopotamus that was apparently given to the Grand Duke in the second half of the 17th century and lived for a few years in the Boboli Gardens.

The interior of the museum also houses a very special area: the so-called Tribune of Galileo designed and built in 1841 by the architect Giuseppe Martelli to celebrate the famous Tuscan scientist and to display his instruments together with those belonging to the Accademia del Cimento.

10:30 - 17:30

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Other information

Contact details

  • Name: Museo di Storia Naturale "La Specola"
  • Address: Via Romana, 17 - 50125 - Florence - Italie
  • Phone: (39) 055 275 6444 / 275 5100



Getting there

  • By bus : ligne n°11

Kristina Gringogidget


Wolfgang Bremer