Galileo goes hi-tech

Museum dedicated to famed astronomer reopens

Editorial Staff
June 17, 2010

After two long years of restoration, Florence's institute and museum of the history of science, renamed the Galileo Museum, has reopened to the public. The lengthy overhaul, which cost more than eight million euros, coincides with the 400th anniversary of the publication of Galileo's Sidereus Nuncius, the first treatise on observations made through a telescope. 

The new facility, hailed as one of world's most high-tech, cutting edge museums, will showcase a collection of over 1,000 items, ranging from treatises, telescopes, maps, compasses and a wealth of other instruments. The museum also showcases Galileo's thumb, a finger and a tooth, relics that went missing for over a century and were recently found by a Florentine art collector.


The museum boasts multimedia tools throughout, a hands-on area where children and adults can handle copies of some of the items in the collection, a new website and portable interactive video-guides that link to hypertext pages, 3D animations and biographies and itineraries tailored to visitors' specific interests. The building, located next to the Uffizi Gallery, also gives visitors free Wi-Fi access around its perimeter so they can check museum information, day and night.


For more information, see



Did you know?

When Galileo's remains were transferred to Santa Croce 95 years after his death in 1642, one o y. Documented by one of the attendees, Galileo's thumb, two fingers, a vertebrae and a tooth were removed with a pocket knife during the ceremony. Galileo's body still lies opposite the tomb of Michelangelo in Santa Croce. 


more articles