With the Galileo Tour in Florence we will see the Galileo Museum, the Florence Museum of Science, and Santa Croce Church, where Galileo’s body rests. What is the relationship between Florence and science? Are you curious and want to see something different from art, paintings and statues? Florence wasn’t only the cradle of the Renaissance, but only the homeland of modern sciences. The Medici left a big footprint in the scientific world too. They were great patrons of the arts, but also magnificently backed the sciences for nearly three centuries, starting with Cosimo the Elder (1389-1464) up to the last Gran Duke Gian Gastone (1671-1737). They encouraged the work of astronomers, mathematicians and doctors.
With the Galileo Tour in Florence we go to the Galileo Museum. First of all, this is the only museum in the world that houses the original scientific tools invented and used by Galileo Galilei. The are two telescopes and the lenses that he used to discover Jupiter’s moons. Galileo Galilei (1565-1642) is the greatest scientist of modern era. He is the first one who grasped the validity of the experimental method, a new way of thinking that revolutionized the world of Science. Even though it’s named after the big genius of the XVII century, the museum is home of more than 1.000 scientific instruments collected by the two dynasties who ruled Florence for centuries, the Medici and the Lorraine. It helps to retrace the European scientific development from the XV to the XIX century.
Due to his heliocentric theory, Galileo Galilei was accused of heresy in 1633 by the Holy Inquisition’s court. In 1614, the Dominican friar Tommaso Caccini, held a furious sermon from Santa Maria Novella’s pulpit in Florence, reproaching certain “modern mathematicians” for contradicting the Holy Scriptures with their astronomic ideas inspired from Copernico’s heliocentric system.
This was the beginning of Galileo’s persecution. Nevertheless, Galileo continued studying the sky with its new invention, the telescope. Thanks to this incredible instrument, he was able to support the theory developed one century before by the polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. He actually wrote his masterpiece “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems” in 1632, stating that the earth was the center of the universe and not the sun, as stated by the Church according to its Bible interpretation. For this reason was accused of heresy and he had to recant all his beliefs.
Galileo died in 1642 and was buried in the Florentine church of Santa Croce, causing the anger of the Pope, since the great scientist was still considered heretical. With our Galileo Tour in Florence we will see his tomb in Santa Croce and find out more about his life and work.