Galileo Museo, museum hallway signage

Museo Galileo

Duomo & Piazza della Signoria

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.

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Nearby Duomo & Piazza della Signoria attractions

1. Galleria degli Uffizi

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Home to the world's greatest collection of Italian Renaissance art, Florence's premier gallery occupies the vast U-shaped Palazzo degli Uffizi (1560–80),…

2. Corridoio Vasariano

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This 1km-long covered passageway, currently closed for restoration work, connects Palazzo Vecchio with the Uffizi and Palazzo Pitti. Vasari designed it in…

3. Loggia dei Lanzi

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What makes Piazza della Signoria so utterly gorgeous is its wealth of fountains and statues, climaxing with this 14th-century loggia where works such as…

4. Via de' Bardi

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Walking east from Ponte Vecchio, the first stretch of Via de' Bardi shows clear signs of its recent history. This entire area was flattened by German…

5. Palazzo Vecchio

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This fortress palace, with its crenellations and 94m-high tower, was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio between 1298 and 1314 for the signoria (city government…

6. Ponte Vecchio

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7. Fontana di Nettuno

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Recently restored thanks to a €1.5-million investment by Florentine fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo, Ammannati's monumental fountain is impossible to…

8. Piazza della Signoria

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The hub of local life since the 13th century, Florentines flock here to meet friends and chat over early-evening aperitivi (predinner drinks) at historic…