Rock may be dead, but rocks are cool

By Colin McFadden
This post is part of a series called Florence 2014
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On my last visit, I went to La Specola, the taxidermy museum. La Specola is run by the University of Firenze, and they run a few other museums as well. Today, we ticked some off the list – the Geological and Paleontological museum, the Mineralogy museum, and their botanical gardens. These were new to me, and new to Kat.

These museums very much reflect their University parent. They’re a bit low rent – nothing showy, nothing in English – but with a solid scientific core, and some very cool (presumably student-created) dioramas and diagrams. There was a degree of genuine playfulness that I appreciated.

The mineralogy museum had a particularly impressive collection, reflective of a long history. When you’re around to get the rocks and gems the Medici don’t want, you end up with some pretty nice specimens.

Next up, we hit the Archaeological Museum. This museum has gotten a major makeover in recent years, and is well worth a visit. It also continues to have unfathomable opening and closing policies. They tried to kick us out, explaining that they were closing – we said “bbbbut archaeology!” and suddenly they weren’t closing anymore. Again, the ability to steal things from Egypt during the 15th century really gives Italy a leg up over museums in the States…

Full of science and history, we set out for the Church of Santa Maria Novella. Important news! There are now a whole bunch of food stalls in front of the church. They sell many delicious things.

As fine as the Church is, the real action is at the perfumery – one of the classier stores I’ve ever been in. Perhaps a little too classy for some kids from Minnesota…

That’s more or less our been our Sunday. Now it’s time to cook some dinner and head to an organ recital. So yeah, a pretty good week.

3 thoughts on “Rock may be dead, but rocks are cool

  • Deb Marsh April 27, 2014 at 6:34 pm Reply

    Love reading about your adventures! And I’m so excited that we’ll have a geologist in the family. Hilary and Ioan went to Flourissant Fossil Beds yesterday in Colorado Springs–you need to get to Colorado sometime. So I saw a picture of the beautiful ring–is it peridot? Birthstone? Emerald? Is there a story behind that choice? Loved it–I’ve always been a fan of colored stones.

    • Kat April 28, 2014 at 7:12 am Reply

      Hi Deb! It’s actually a green sapphire (the mineral is corundum, which includes sapphires and rubies). Colin knew I didn’t want a diamond and green is my favorite color. It’s lovely and reflects different colors depending on the light! He had it made at a local jeweler and I’m excited to go back and meet them.

  • Judy Shekmar April 29, 2014 at 2:29 am Reply

    We loved Santa Maria Novella as well and the pharmacy was awesome ! So glad you are having such a great time 🙂

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