A Few steps from the Grand Hotel Mediterraneo you can find this fascinating museum hosted in an ancient palace that once belonged to the Castellani family. It contains a priceless collection of scientific instruments that clearly demonstrate the interest in science, equal only to the arts, that flourished in Florence from the 13th century onwards. Much of the collection is the result of the collecting mania and curiosity of the Medici and the Lorraine Grand Dukes, among them Cosimo I and Francesco de’ Medici, who were fascinated by natural sciences, physics and mathematics. The latter encouraged research in artistic techniques in the Medici workshops. He was followed by Ferdinando II and Cardinal Leopoldo, who promoted and experimented in physics, on the basis of the theories of Galileo. Francesco and Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine later added to the collections, setting up a Museum of Physics and Natural History in Via Romana in 1775 (today the Specola Museum). Many of the mechanical, electrostatic and pneumatic instruments on display on the second floor of the History of Science Museum were made in this first museum’s workshops and are arranged alongside instruments from the older Medici collections. Other sections are dedicated to clocks, sextants, chemical and pharmaceutical apparatus and medicine, which boasts a display of rare obstetric models in wax and terracotta and a collection of surgical tools. The 11 rooms on the first floor are dedicated to the Medici collections with sextants, astrolabes, sun and night clocks, compasses and armillary spheres, real works of art carried out by great Tuscan and European craftsmen. Theoriginal instruments used by Galileo, thermometres, microscopes and meteological instruments, are also on display here.
Tanzini Tommaso – Chef Concierge – Grand Hotel Mediterraneo
LE FOTO SONO DEL MUSEO DELLA STORIA DELLE SCIENZE DI FIRENZE
History of Science Institute & Museum
Piazza Giudici, 1 – tel. 055.265311. www.imss.fi.it