Museo di Storia Naturale - La Specola, Florence

#2 of 8 in Childrens Museums in Florence
Science Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Museum of Zoology and Natural History, best known as La Specola, is an eclectic natural history museum in Florence, central Italy, located next to the Pitti Palace. The name Specola means observatory, a reference to the astronomical observatory founded there in 1790. It now forms part of the Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze. This museum is part of what are now six different collections at four different sites for the Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze.HistoryThe museum has deep ties with history; parts of the collection can be traced back to the Medici Family. It is known for its collection of wax anatomical models from the 18th century. It is the oldest scientific Museum of Europe.This museum is located in the former Palazzo Torrigani at Via Romana 17, near the Pitti Palace.The Imperial Regio Museo di Fisica e Storia Naturale (The Imperial-Royal Museum for Physics and Natural History) was founded in 1771 by Grand Duke Peter Leopold to publicly display the large collection of natural curiosities such as fossils, animals, minerals and exotic plants acquired by several generations of the Medici. At the time of its opening, and for the first years of the 19th century, it was the only scientific museum or Wunderkammer of its kind specifically created for the public to view. It opened on 21 February 1775 to the general public.
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Museo di Storia Naturale - La Specola reviews

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  • Children were literally in awe. Huge collection of taxidermy and was frightening as much as just - wow. Not quite sure how I feel about it. Was so sad but at the same time was....  more »
  • The Orto Botánico, part of the Museo is a beautiful setting and respite from the hustle and bustle. We took about an hour to wander through the grounds and enjoy the marked gardens. Plenty of benches....  more »
  • I LOVE freaky stuff like this. Unfortunately got there too late to get a tour round the anatomical wax section but I found it fascinating to go round all the taxidermy. I can’t remember what I paid but it was no more than €6. Would happily go again
  • Fascinating look at both natural history and the history of museums and displays --some of the artifacts and items have been on display at La Specola for over 200 years! Very cool for science, art, and history buffs alike, or anyone in Florence looking for NOT Renaissance art for a few hours. Get there in time for the guided tour of the wax anatomy collection -- can't miss!

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