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“Yikes! Hair-raising! Totally loved it” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Museo Zoologico La Specola

Museo Zoologico La Specola
Ranked #56 of 408 things to do in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Virginia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Yikes! Hair-raising! Totally loved it”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2012

If you have a dark sense of humor (or, of course, if you're a sober scientist or historian), you won't want to miss this place. Thirty-plus rooms are crammed to the rafters with ancient and somewhat threadbare/moth-eaten specimens of the taxidermist's art, and the place features species that you--or at least I--haven't seen before. Like, for example, a deer with fangs. It also includes a 17th-c. hippopotamus that, during its lifetime, belonged to one of the Medici, who kept it in the Boboli Gardens. There are the usual minerals, skeletons, shells, etc., too, but by far the creepiest exhibits are the exquisitely horrifying 18th c. anatomical wax figures--perfect, and I mean *perfect*--used to train medical students. I have a strong stomach, and even I was feeling queasy by the time I left. Utterly fabulous "if you like that sort of thing."

Visited March 2012
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256 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
216 reviews
88 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Interesting, but...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2012

Only go here if you live or are on an extended stay in Florence. Not a place to go if you're here for a short time.

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Thank tuscanpro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado Springs, Colorado
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“CRAZY!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2012

this place was SICK, very weird to find anything like this in a place like Florence, is a long way walking but it really worth trying since you will get to see a nice part of town not very known by the tourist, prepare for the cold inside, the wax wont aloud heating, take you scarf with you baby

Visited February 2012
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2 Thank fionasweet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
39 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“In a town of art, don't forget the scientific discoveries!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 February 2012

Title sums it up. When visiting Florence for the art, don't forget the scientific discoveries here as well. This was a great museum, with thousands (millions?) of specimens. From coral to animals, reptiles and birds, to stunning wax human anatomy models. And the crystals downstairs were great too. If you love science, don't miss this museum.

Visited February 2012
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1 Thank mcoxpharmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florence
Level Contributor
34 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“How about some natural history?”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2012

The Zoological Museum is one of the great, little joys in Florence. It has a small but encyclopedic collection of stuffed beasties from all over the planet. More importantly, it has a stupendous, unique collection of wax models of human bodies and parts thereof dating back to the 17th century, and reportedly still being used by students of anatomy. They are of immense importance both scientifically and artistically.

The building is of interest to historians of science. "La Specola" was originally an observatory built in the 18th century, and it was here, using Galileo's "great burning glass", that Michael Faraday and Sir Humphrey Davy exploded a diamond.

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Thank Uncletomaso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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