La Specola, Florence

La Specola, Florence

Amidst the historical churches and architectural marvels surrounding Florence is the oldest science museums in Europe, The La Specola.

The Museum of Zoology and Natural History or better known as La Specola, was opened in 1775 by the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo di Lorena. The Prince envisioned a museum which was open to public. This is why he purchased a block of building very close to the Pitti Palace and converted it into a museum. The museum was inaugurated in 1775 and was officially opened to the public and has been ever since. Up until the 19th century, La Specola was the only scientific museum in the world with open admission, opening hours, guided tours and museum curators.

Spread across 34 rooms, the La Specola boasts a vast collection of fossils, natural resources, minerals, animal specimens, exotic plants and rare books. Many exhibits in the museum date back to fourteenth and fifteenth century and the Medici family. The Medici family had a passion and tradition of collecting artefacts from all over the world which is displayed very proudly at the La Specola.

However, the prized possession of the museum was, and still remains, the collection of anatomical wax models, an art form introduced by Ludovico Cigoli. The wax models were made for teaching anatomy without having to cut open a cadaver.

Operation hours: October 1 to May 31: Tuesday - Sunday: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm; June 1 to September 31: Tuesday - Sunday: 10:30 am - 5:30 pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Florence, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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La Specola on Map

Sight Name: La Specola
Sight Location: Florence, Italy
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) containing this sight: Arno South Bank Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Florence, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Florence

Create Your Own Walk in Florence

Creating your own self-guided walk in Florence is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Arno South Bank Walking Tour

Arno South Bank Walking Tour

Arno South Bank, also known as Oltrarno, what literally means "beyond the Arno", is a magical place, though not everyone knows about it. The many historical places located in this part of the city will amaze you. Take this tour to see some wonderful sites that you will never forget.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 km
City Orientation Walking Tour

City Orientation Walking Tour

Florence, located in Italy, is believed to be the cultural capital of the world. Sometimes called the Athens of the Middle Ages and the birthplace of the Renaissance movement, Florence attracts millions of tourists every year. Don't miss the chance to visit some of its most alluring attractions.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 km
Dante's Florence Walking Tour

Dante's Florence Walking Tour

Dante Alighieri is considered one of the greatest poets of all times. He was born in Florence and spent most of his life there until he was exiled. Many of the structures in the city were built according to his greatest epic poem Divina Commedia. This tour will take you on a trip through Dante's life and work in Florence.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
Novella Walking Tour

Novella Walking Tour

Florence is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages". This city has to offer a lot of wonderful places to admire. Take this tour to walk along the Arno embankment and explore the south-eastern part of the Santa Maria Novella quarter.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 km
Duomo Souvenir Shopping

Duomo Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Florence without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Florence, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Michelangelo's Masterpieces Walking Tour

Michelangelo's Masterpieces Walking Tour

Michelangelo spent over 20 years of his life in Florence during which he created some of the most beautiful masterpieces this city had ever seen. The most famous of them, the David, is also located in Florence along with a few copies. Take this tour to discover the Florence side of Michelangelo's artistic mastership.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km

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