Galileo Museum Tour with Santa Croce

Learn how the Medici family's patronage contributed to scientific discovery
From US$424 privately
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Tour Details
3 hours
Product Type
  • Museo Galileo
  • Basilica of Santa Croce - Pazzi Chapel
Photos & Highlights
  • Focus on the growth of scientific progress and humanism during the Renaissance
  • Led by a social or art historian
Select a date
Tour Description
The rule of the Medici family in Renaissance-era Florence led to an explosion of scientific progress and the rise of humanism. This Galileo and science in Renaissance Florence tour, led by a social or art historian, will introduce you to sites around the city, including the Galileo Museum, that stand as testament to this era of intellectual progress. The Medicis Cosimo I and Ferdinand I were fervent patrons of the sciences, especially astronomy. Under their rule, Florence became a shining beacon for experimentation, which the Roman church was frantically trying to suppress with the Inquisition. At the same time, humanism, stemming from the study of ancient Greek and Latin texts, was a new way of thinking about a man’s place in the world, and became a recurring theme in Renaissance literature, art and society.

Galileo Museum Florence Tour

We begin our walk at the Museo Galileo, where the most important Medicean collections of scientific instruments are preserved (for more on the great family, see our Florence Medici tour). The greatest among these collections include some of the original instruments that Galileo Galilei, one of the most outstanding figures of the scientific revolution, used for his groundbreaking experiments. Our encounter with Galileo will shed some light on the Medicean systems of patronage, and on the way in which scientists shaped their own image inside a court.

Hitting the Streets

After visiting the museum, we will head to the center of town in order to trace the role of humanism in Renaissance Florence; be it through the poetry of Dante and Petrarch, a discussion of the drastic changes in the art of the period, or of the growing interest in the study of the traditional liberal arts.

To further explore the life of the great author, try our Dante Tour.

Take Aways

This walk is intended, in true humanist ideology, to present an in-depth and well-rounded view of these groundbreaking intellectual developments and the various Florentine characters who played a large role in spurring on this change.

If you are interested in further exploring Renaissance-era Florence, you will enjoy our Renaissance Tour Florence, a look at the daily lives of average Florentines during the era.

Where You'll Start
(4.5) 97 Reviews

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Martino is an excellent guide. We really enjoyed spending time with him—learned a lot!
As usual, we had a great time and feel well-learned after only a few hours! Thank you!
It is likely that we would have gotten more from the Galileo tour by going on our own. The museum and Santa Croce had so much to offer that we feel we missed for the following reasons: Although pleasant and engaging, our guide seemed uniformed regarding the contents of the Galileo Museum. He provided numerous interesting vignettes but they were not relevant to the topics at hand. We did not complete the Galileo tour and we were late to Santa Croce - arriving as the last people to enter and then rushed through and escorted out as the employees were closing. This was an unusual experience for us with Context. Perhaps our guide would be a better fit for a different tour.