Galileo Galilei was born on this day, February 15th in 1564 in Pisa. In 1583, he began studying medicine at the University of Pisa (where he also tested the laws of gravity from atop the leaning tower), but his interests grew and soon defined his formation as a mathematician, physicist, philosopher, and astronomer. Galileo was quite the Renaissance man! He is considered the “father of modern science” and experimentation based on theory. Not without controversy and initial resistance from the church, his discoveries have contributed greatly to our ability to understand the universe. Galileo’s tomb can be visited in Santa Croce, on the north side of the nave.
Galileo is honored of the façade of SACI’s Palazzo dei Cartelloni. The Palazzo, once known as Palazzo Viviani, was remodeled as a residence in the 17th century for the mathematician Vincenzo Viviani, who had been a pupil of the astronomer and scientist Galileo Galilei. Viviani dedicated his home to his esteemed teacher and placed two large scrolls on the building’s façade that describe the extraordinary work and achievements of his master.
One notices the Palazzo immediately by the bust of Galileo that crowns the palatial entryway. Viviani created this monument to Galileo in defiance of the papal ban that forbade honoring the work of Galileo partly because of Galileo’s assertion that, “The truth of nature is more important than traditional dogma.” SACI’s home is, therefore, a unique monument to a man who is considered “one of the two greatest sons of Florence” (along with Michelangelo Buonarroti), an accolade inscribed on the buildings scrolls. Read more about Palazzo dei Cartelloni and SACI’s facilities.
To celebrate the 450th birthday of this important figure, the Museo Galileo has collaborated to organize several local events, one of which includes the Sulle Tracce di Galileo tour of the façade of Palazzo dei Cartelloni, the Basilica of Santa Croce, and the Museo Galileo — a walking tour of the most significant places in Florence relating to this great Tuscan figure. The cost of €5.50 includes the entrance fee to the Museum. Reservations are required, and dates and times are as follows:
- Saturday, February 22 at 10am
- Sunday, March 2 at 2pm
- Saturday, March 8 at 10am
- Sunday, March 16 at 2pm
In addition, today, the Museo Galileo is presenting a unique afternoon celebration for Galileo’s 450th birthday: extra opening hours until 8pm; with special visits (in Italian only); from 6pm onwards “Galilaean happy hour” by Istituto A Saffi.
Admission fee: € 7.50 (from 4pm to 8pm, special visits and happy hour included).