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Museo Zoologico La Specola

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Via Romana 17, Florence, Italy
Phone Number:
+39 055 275 5100
09:30 - 16:30
Closed now
See all hours
Tue - Sun 09:30 - 16:30
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes

This fascinating natural history collection can be traced back to the...

This fascinating natural history collection can be traced back to the Medici family. Full of taxidermied animals of all types, skeletons and wax anatomical models, it is a must for the curious, as well as science and history lovers.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 287 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 58
  • 34
    Very good
  • 6
  • 2
  • 0
Most interesting museum ever, bring your kids!!!!!

So lucky to wander in here... This museum was both my dad's and my 15 year old brother's favorite museum in Italy. An awesome collection of oddities- from room after room of... read more

Reviewed 11 August 2014
Ariana L
Atlanta, Georgia
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287 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 100: English reviews
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2014

So lucky to wander in here... This museum was both my dad's and my 15 year old brother's favorite museum in Italy. An awesome collection of oddities- from room after room of hundreds of leering stuffed animals (I hate stuff like that usually but its just so strange here that it became interesting) and- perhaps one of the highlights of... More 

4 Thank Ariana L
on tour
Level Contributor
101 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2014

We were there to see the wax anatomical exhibits and so were disappointed to arrive at the end of the museum to discover 2 of the rooms were closed for renovation. They could tell you this when you buy the tickets. Very little information is in English regarding the exhibits. The quality of the waxworks is amazing and they seem... More 

1 Thank KangaOnTour
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level Contributor
56 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Animals collected from around the world. Think long before a world with television and internet to those who collected these specimens. Truly amazing. But the greatest part of La Specola was the human wax figures built long ago to help scientists study the human body. I loved this museum.

1 Thank Brian B
Cornwall, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2014 via mobile

This museum is so unusual, it's in the former university building, a bit run down but so so interesting. First you go through room after room of stuffed animals, not everyone's taste but fascinating because they are so old and you can imagine the amazement of people seeing foreign flora and fauna for the first time. We have so much... More 

Thank Maggie F
Geelong, Australia
Level Contributor
89 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2014 via mobile

I loved this gallery, but if your not into natural history, taxidermy and anatomy then it's not for you. You can tell the displays are a bit old but that just adds to the charm. Vast collection of birds! The anatomical wax figures are absolutely amazing. Loved it.

Thank Mel414
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
779 reviews
362 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,306 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2014

In Oltrarno past the Pitti Palace and before the Porta Romana is a wierd, unique and fascinating museum. La Specola is a fascinating collection of taxidermy and wax recreations. Art classes flock to this place and one visit will show you why. It is not really busy (unless you have a class going through) and the collection is fascinating. It... More 

Thank JamesII
Sherwood Park, Canada
Level Contributor
122 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2014 via mobile

Interesting, but if you have limited time Id skip it. They have almost any animal you could imagine and the wax bodies are unique. However you can find similar things in other parts of the world. Id opt for something more cultural and unique to Italy. If you visit florence frequently its worth a few hours.

Thank bmisk
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2014 via mobile

It is a nice trip that provides a bit of contrast in Florence away from all the art. It is bizarre, but interesting and something a bit different. It's only ?6 in, which it is definitely worth.

1 Thank jada m
Level Contributor
35 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2014 via mobile

Must be the biggest collection of stuffed animals in the world! Giving a 4 as not all rooms were open. The last 5 or 6 rooms were dedicated to human anatomy. Bit spooky, wax models cut open with entrails hanging out. Saying that was really interesting especially the age of the models.

Thank Lisa B
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2014

From a scientific/medicine point of view this museum was perfect for us. The old wax models of organ systems were amazing, especially looking back at some of the dates being as early as 1775, when dissection was still very much illegal. The museum is kind of hidden, but it's a nice break from the crowds of Florence.

Thank KelleyBean

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Staying in Pitti

Neighbourhood Profile
Pitti is a neighborhood characterized by art and history. Renaissance architecture such as Pitti Palace, which houses five museums alone, introduces visitors to the green lungs of spectacular Boboli Gardens. Any visitor can wander through statues, fountains, and panoramic viewpoints. Around the garden, treasures like the Museum of Natural History of the Specola and Villa Bardini guide guests through Florence as the cradle of the Renaissance. End the day with an aperitif in Piazza della Passera or the more romantic Forte di Belvedere, which offers an amazing panoramic view of the entire city.
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