Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'm back -- now with more science!!!

I'm back from my trip to Italy -- with so many stories and pictures!!!

First stop was the science museum! Yes, even if we didn't bring our kids this time, and yes even with one of the most famous art museums in the world right next store, our first stop in Florence was the Galileo Museum, showcasing the most advanced science and technology of the renaissance! The high point: they have some of the earliest machines that were invented to study electricity and magnetism -- and they're so simple that you can understand them even if you know very little about electromagnetism! The low point? They have Galileo's finger in a jar. No, I am not kidding. You can even buy a book about Galileo's finger, oddly enough.

Unfortunately, we couldn't take any pictures in that museum, but we got a few pictures in the Leonardo da Vinci science & tech museum in Milan, where they have the history of early telecommunications technology. (To the left, that's me with an ancient, pendulum-based fax machine.)

I wrote an overview of my various science museum adventures at Science-Based Parenting here. (Note that Rational Moms merged with Science-Based Parenting, so I'm over there now.)

At least we got a picture of Galileo's tomb. It turns out he's buried in a Catholic church (which surprised me a bit, considering the trouble he got into with the Catholic Church...). (He's mostly buried in a Catholic church, that is -- not his finger.)

Before we set off on our trip, my husband's mildly-Catholic mom asked him to be sure to light a candle in one of the churches. So, naturally, we lit one for Galileo's monument. We wanted to light one for Machiavelli too (he's buried in the very same church! So's Michelangelo!), but Machiavelli's tomb didn't have one of those little candle-stands set up by it.


Aerin said...

This is awesome - I am impressed. Galileo is a hero of mine....I don't have a terribly insightful comment to make except that I am jealous! And of course Galileo's museum is just as important as all that art (to my mind).

Were there more tourists at the Galileo or da Vinci museums or the art museums?

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Aerin!!!

There were more at the art museums, but the science museums were definitely holding their own. :D