On the Arno river next to the Uffizi in 12th-century Palazzo Castellani – look for the sundial telling the time on the pavement outside – is this state-of-the-art science museum, named after the great Pisa-born scientist Galileo Galilei, who was invited by the Medici court to Florence in 1610. Don't miss two of his fingers and a tooth displayed here.
A visit to the museum unravels a mesmerising array of astronomical and mathematical treasures (telescopes, beautiful painted globes, barometers, watches, clocks and so on) collected by Cosimo I and other Medicis from 1562 and, later, the Lorraine dynasty. Allow plenty of time for the interactive area where various hands-on exhibits allow visitors to discover first-hand how and why some of the historic instruments actually work. Temporary exhibitions are equally compelling. Save your ticket to get a €3 discount on admission to Museo di Storia Naturale – Zoologia La Specola.