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Galileo Museum

On tuesday March 31st, we went to the Galileo museum.

At the beginning of the visit we walked into the room where there was a Medici family’s collection of scientific instruments.

In this room there was also an optical truck:the wooden frame carried a board holding wooden sticks of triangular section. If we viewed the board from the top, toward the lower front, the row of visible sides of the painted sticks displayed the portrait of Charles III, Duke of Lorraine; observing the arrangement from the opposite side,using the mirror placed in front, we could see the portrait of the Grand Duchess Christina of Lorraine, daughter of Charles III and wife of Ferdinand I de’ Medici.  The author of this board is Ludovico Buti.

The second room we entered contained several instruments for the time measurement as the astrolabe, sundials and nocturnals.

In this room there was also the the oldest arab celestial globe of the world (1.086) .

In the next room there was the Armillary Sphere. 

This large armillary sphere was built under the supervision of Antonio Santucci requested by Ferdinando I de’ Medici.

The sphere represents the “universal machine” of the world according to the concepts developed by Aristotle and perfected by Ptolemy.

The terrestrial globe was placed in the center.

In the adjacent room we saw four Terrestrial and Celestial Globes

The globe provides a true, non-distorted image of our planet and the universe.

Usually made in pairs, terrestrial and celestial, globes were formed of paper segments called gores, glued to a wooden and papier-mâché support.

In front of the globes there was the world map by Fra’ Mauro.

Fra’ Mauro, a Camaldolese monk, was active in Venice toward the mid-fifteenth century. His world map depicts the image of the Earth prevailing before the discovery of America.  This world map is drawn “upside down”—the lower part of the Italian boot is at the top, while Asia is placed on the left. This profusely detailed map gives the first known representation of several lands still unexplored at that time, drawing mainly on travel narratives such as Marco Polo’s.

The heart of the museum is the room dedicated to Galileo.

Here we saw many instruments built and used by Galileo as two telescopes, the geometric and military compass.

In the middle of the room there was the marble bust representing Galileo Galilei and some of his relics as three fingers and a tooth.

Caterina Carboni

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