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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
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 298 reviews
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Favourite Florence attraction

This was by far my favourite activity in Florence. I googled "florence off the beaten track" and it came up with "La Specola". This natural history museum has some really weird... read more

Reviewed 13 January 2015
Brisbane, Australia
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298 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 104: English reviews
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
Reviewed 13 January 2015

This was by far my favourite activity in Florence. I googled "florence off the beaten track" and it came up with "La Specola". This natural history museum has some really weird specimens, dating back hundreds of years, it has a great bird and sea collection. It is suitable for any age group and would be an interesting family outing. Don't... More 

Thank Luci90Br
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
949 reviews
305 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2014

Never have seen some of these animals, I think they might be extinct. Some of the specimen we very, very old. Clever arrangement in simian room. Old and new world exhibit. Number of birds, quality of specimens and scope of avian collection was at time overwhelming. Many endangered specimens we would never kill and stuff now. Like a Lyre bird.... More 

Thank tiredandtravelled
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 November 2014

There is so much to see in ths place it's unbelievable. Really disturbing at some points. Dinosaur bones, the skeletons of whales and so many other animals, jars upon jars of weird and really horrible things and creatures that date back to the 16th Century, stuffed animals and goodness knows what else. Definitely worth visiting. Nothing related to Florence but... More 

1 Thank Alwaysinlove84
Lancashire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2014

It was almost a relief to visit a museum in Florence with no religious paintings, as beautiful as they are it's easy to get an overload. I'm still not sure wether I enjoyed it or not, it's definitely wacky. Think Victorian gentleman's collection, stuffed animals and birds that were stuffed 150 years ago! (I'm sure it's definitely not PC, there's... More 

1 Thank gill k
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
104 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 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 45 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
781 reviews
362 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,307 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

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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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