- Type: Museums
NileGuide Expert Says:
In the world of astronomy, how could you not want to see how Galileo was able to discover the smallest of stars.
The mainframe computer and multifunction calculator don't hold a candle to this collection's beautifully engraved intricate mechanical instruments. Galileo and his ilk practiced a science that was an art form of the highest aesthetic order. The cases display such beauties as a mechanical calculator from 1664 -- a gleaming bronze sandwich of engraved disks and dials -- and an architect's compass and plumb disguised as a dagger, complete with sheath.
In the field of astronomy, the museum has the lens with which Galileo discovered four of the moons of Jupiter (which he promptly and prudently named after his Medici patrons) and, alongside telescopes of all sizes and complexity, a tiny "lady's telescope" made of ivory that once came in a box of beauty products. There's also a somewhat grisly room devoted to medicine, with disturbingly realistic wax models of just about everything that can go wrong during childbirth. And what Italian institution would be complete without a holy relic? In this case, it's the middle finger of Galileo's right hand, swiped while he was en route to reinterment in Santa Croce. He was allowed burial in a Christian church only in the 18th century, after he was posthumously vindicated against the Inquisition for supporting a heliocentric view of the universe.
- © Frommer's 2013
Ask a local about Museo Galileo (Science Museum)Locals have answered 73 questions about Florence.
Ask Florence Locals about Museo Galileo (Science Museum)
- Recommended 2010
- visit website
- tel: 055-265-311
- fax: +39 055 265 3130
- Piazza dei Giudici 1
- Next to the Uffizi at the Arno end of Via dei Castellani
- Florence 50122
- June-Sept Mon and Wed-Fri 9:30am-5pm, Tues and Sat 9:30am-1pm, last Thurs of June and Aug, and 1st Thurs of July and Sept 9-11pm; Oct-May Mon and Wed-Sat 9:30am-5pm, Tues 9:30am-1pm, and 2nd Sun of every month 10am-1pm
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