La Specola (Zoological Museum)

Address: Via Romana 17, Florence, 50125, Italy
Telephone: 055 2288251

- Budget


A charmingly old-fashioned zoological museum with a surprise in store at the end.

A great place for blood-thirsty kids and one of Florence’s more bizarre attractions, this fascinating museum houses an important zoological section and a collection of anatomical waxes. Examples (stuffed or pickled or both) of just about every bird or beast known to man - some of them really old - are displayed in wonderful, old-fashioned glass cases.

Sensitive kids should be steered well clear of the section dedicated to anatomical waxes (it comes at the end of the tour), which includes dozens of gruesome examples dating from the 18th century created for Cosimo III by Gaetano Zumbo, a Sicilian priest. Other waxes (horribly realistic bodies and dismembered bits of them) are on show in a laboratory that would not be out of place in a Hammer Horror flick; these were used as teaching aides in the 19th century.

Value for money

Expert tips

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Families with teenagers
  • Families with younger children
  • Education
  • Nature / wildlife