Museo di Palazzo Poggi, Bologna
Tel: 39 051 209 9398
Concierge.com's insider take:
The present-day home of the University Rectorate as well as a number of faculties, Palazzo Poggi is a huge frescoed pile that dates back to the mid-16th century. On the upper floor, a series of museums and exhibition spaces chart the history and scientific pursuits of the university. Highlights include naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi's herbarium and collections of natural wonders (including giant tortoise shells), and an extraordinary (and often gruesome) collection of wax anatomical and medical models. The Museo della Specola, housed in a purpose-built observatory that dates back to 1721, features astrolabes, sundials, and armillary spheres. The spiral staircase that leads to the top of the tower was the site of a 1790 experiment that allowed Gian Battista Guglielmi to prove that the earth spins on its axisby observing the tiny vertical deviations of objects dropped from the top.
Open Mondays through Fridays 10 am to 1 pm, Saturdays 2 to 4 pm, and Sundays and public holidays 10:30 am to 1:30 pm and 2:30 to 5:30 pm.