Florence in the fall, still warm but with fewer tourists. See the famous sites such as the Uffizi Museum, but what PD was fascinated by was the Galileo museum next door by the river. It was emtpy save a small number of the curious, and at one stage a well behaved school group went through.

Beautifully presented, the museum houses a huge collection of scientific instruments from the days when these were beautiful works of art with wood and ornamentation. It starts with a collection of telescopes and globes. Centre stage in the globe room is a huge one twice the height of a person. There are instruments for measuring everthing.

A medical section includes some of Galileo's fingers mounted and placed under glass.

In this section of the museum there are also wax models for teaching obstetrics - the idea so popular today is far from new! There is also a collection of very fine glass laboratory equipment, some with delicate long necks. Then there is a section of large equipment, wood and brass, for carrying out experiments on electricity and lightning. There is alo a large collection of microscopes.

If you have the slightest interest in the history of science or a ghoulish interest in Galileo's desicated fingers this museum is a must. Allow at least a couple of hours.

PD rating: 5 paws out of 5.

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