Museum of Natural History in Florence
Few museums in Italy can rival, by quantity and quality, with the collection of fossils and rocks of the Museum of Geology and Paleontology
Few museums in Italy can rival, by quantity and quality, with the collection of fossils and rocks of the Museum of Geology and Paleontology in Florence, in Giorgio la Pira, one of the six sections of the Museum of Natural History in Florence, His fortune to the far-sightedness of Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo; In fact, he sponsored the sciences and was the animator of Specola's Museum, then the Imperial Royal Museum of Physics and Natural History, which was the first nucleus of fossil collection.
The visit route allows to reconstruct, with evolutionary criteria, the entire paleontological history of Italy. Starting from the stromatolites dating back to 3.5 billion years ago in Precambrian (the sedimentary structure finely laminated by the activity of the first microorganisms) to pass to the Paleozoic marine invertebrates; Then follow in the various epochs such as Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian, Mesozoic and Cenozoic, on a journey through time showing the first vertebrates, algae and ferns, the first amphibians and Reptiles and dinosaurs, coming to mammals.
Among the most interesting curiosities, the "African" species that at that time inhabited the Tuscan areas such as antelopes, crocodiles, monkeys, primate anthropoid Oreopithecus bambolii, similar to a gibbon and found in a lignite mine in Baccinello, a truly unique example in the world; And still the Canis etruscus and above all the two mastodons of the Pleistocene, the gigantic elephants from the long fangs found in the Valdarno.
The first one, Anancus arvernensis, was found at the monastery of Monte Carlo by Nesti himself, the second, an Archidiskodon meridionalis, was nicknamed "Pietro" and retrieved by Professor Azzaroli. You can also admire some fossils coming from outside Italy, such as the great American dinosaurs, African birds, Chinese canines, Siberian mammoths.
But there are so many curiosities that can fascinate both the experienced visitor and the curious one: for example the fossils of the sirenids, now represented by the manatees and dugonghi and probably the basis of the legend of the sirens. The Museum of Geology and Paleontology is But rightly so famous for his collection of Equids. All the main family representatives are exhibited, from the small Eohippus of the Eocene to the Oligocene Mesohippus, reaching to Merychippus of the Mycene and the current Equus diffused from the Pliocene.
On the second floor there is also a collection of fossil invertebrates, open to the public by appointment: trilobites, graptolites, brachiopods, ammonites and shellfish here come from all continents and from all geological eras. The paleobotanic collection has about eight thousand finds showing the evolution of the vegetable world from the swamp flora to that of the big trees to today's forests.
However, the material kept in the museum is continually enriched with fossils recovered during new excavation campaigns; The other great activity of the museum, in addition to those of recovery and exhibition, is that of the restoration carried out in the laboratory and consists of a series of delicate operations aimed at removing the findings from the rock, cleansing and consolidating it with particular substances.
Include this excursion during your visit to Florence! We will give you information on how to get there. Book your stay at our hotel and visit Tuscany most exciting!
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