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Galileo Museum

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    Visit: Museo Galileo - Institute and Museum of the History of Science, Piazza De' Giudici 1, 50122, Florence Italy

    The Institute and Museum for the History of Science is heir to a tradition of five centuries of scientific collecting, which has its origins in the central importance assigned by the Medici and Lorraine families to scientists and scientific instruments.

    The Medicean collection of scientific instruments was begun by Cosimo I (1519-1574), who housed it in the “Wardrobe” of the Palazzo Vecchio, known today as the "sala delle carte geografiche" (Map Room). With the foundation of the Accademia del Cimento (1657), inaugurated by Ferdinand II (1610-1670) and Leopold de\' Medici (1617-1675) for the purpose of conducting the experimental investigation of nature, the collection was enriched with new instruments designed mainly for thermometric, barometric, and pneumatic research. The Accademia was located in the Pitti Palace where all the instruments in the Medici collection were subsequently moved. After their decline during the Napoleonic occupation (1799-1814), the museum and its workshops were reorganized upon the return to power of the Lorraine Family. After the Unification of Italy, the collections were dispersed among several university departments. In 1922, thanks to the promoters of the "Group for the Preservation of National Scientific Heritage," the collections were rescued from abandonment. In 1927, thanks to their commitment, the Istituto di Storia delle Scienze (The Institute of the History of Science) was founded, with the goal of "collecting, cataloging, and restoring" the scientific collections. In 1929, the newborn Institute organized the First National Exhibition of the History of Science in Florence. In 1930, following the show, the University of Florence opened the permanent exhibition of the Istituto di Storia della Scienza at Palazzo Castellani to the public. It included the Medici-Lorraine collection of instruments. After the damage caused by the bombings that destroyed the bridges of the Lungarno at the end of the Second World War (1944-45), another hard blow was dealt to the collection by the flood of 1966. The instruments that were stored in the basement and ground floor of the Museo were seriously damaged. Thanks to international solidarity and the efforts of Maria Luisa Righini Bonelli, then-director of the Museum, it was possible to quickly carry out recovery of the instruments, reopen the exhibition rooms to the public, and focus again on library collecting and research activities.
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    1 - 5 of 10 reviews
    Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

    My wife and I loved this museum. It was not crowded. It is full of history, not just in a variety of Renaissance inventions but how they played into history and art. Fascinating when you try to imagine that these were created by hand and...More

    Thank McWett
    Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

    A great museum not only for Galileo but if you have a passion for the history of science. A really interesting visit

    Thank LoveTravel601681
    Reviewed 8 July 2019 via mobile

    This is really a great museum with a phenomenal collection. Good break from the traditional academic exhibitions/collections around town. You must go!

    Thank Taylor R
    Reviewed 8 June 2019

    This was an interesting little museum and a must see if you are a science fan. I was surprised there wasn't more in terms of the life and history of Gailieo. We enjoyed our time here. There was also a bonus Leonardo Da Vinci library...More

    Date of experience: June 2019
    Thank BeachSeekers123
    Reviewed 4 June 2019 via mobile

    Loads of old telescopes , barometers , thermometers, scientific measuring devices etc. Cons- I thought the museum could have been put more in the context of the trajectory of modern day science rather than just a wardrobe of old equipment. I.e - it’s interesting to...More

    Thank gogotomgo
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