The Museo di Storia della Scienza (Museum of the History of Science), located on the bank of the Arno River, just past and behind the Uffizi Museum, was a real treat. Having visited the major museums and church attractions on previous trips, this was our first visit to this museum. To our great surprise, this museum was an absolute gem, the top 'Wow' experience in Florence this time around.
We visited expecting this to be just an average experience, similar to the Di Vinci Museums (exhibits) that have popped up all over Italy. Instead, we were treated to a world-class display of historical artifacts and items of scientific nature. There was so much to enjoy and learn about. Thankfully, they do let you take pictures here as well.
We enjoyed so many of the displays and scientific instruments within this museum. Some of the highlights include the amazing globe room, filled with large globes from the 16th and 17th century as well as the 1459 map of the world that is so interesting to look at. We spent probably 15 minutes scanning this map trying to locate various countries and regions. It was a real highlight for us, surely something to be enjoyed by anyone interested in maps (or traveling).
This museum also housed some fantastic scientific instruments that much amused us. We enjoyed seeing the early 17th century calculators, early thermometers, microscopes, telescopes, compasses, physics experimentation on momentum and slopes (which came with some videos for explanation) and early home science kits that were sold to private homes in centuries past. The collection was really something else.
We also felt the displays were child-friendly, something not easily found in museums. Children seemed to be having a very good time looking at the many interesting gadgets and what must have seemed like ancient toys to them.
Overall, we were just thrilled with the Galileo Science Museum and will put it near the very top of our list for a repeat visit when we return to Florence next time. It was one of those big surprises for us during our recent trip.
Hint: We suggest visiting the Galileo Science Museum along with the Uffizi Museum, collectively. This way you can mix art and science, seeing what the Uffizi houses today in the form of art and what it housed in the past in the form of scientific instruments and devices for experimentation. Together, we felt these two museums, complimented each other very well and made a great way to spend a few hours.
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