These premises, once the town slaughterhouse, were entirely renovated in the second half of the 1990s and now house the Museo degli Strumenti per il Calcolo (Museum of calculating machines). The important museum marks Pisa as one of the uppermost centres for the history of calculating machines and information technology.
The first Italian computer machine was made in Pisa in 1961: the Calcolatrice Elettronica Pisana (CEP- Pisan Electronic Calculator. And still Pisa was in 1986 the first Italian city to be connected to “what now we call Internet”. For this reason, every year in October the Internet Festival takes place here covering many locations in the old town.
The museum occupies two buildings and its collection spans 500 years of history, past abacus and adding machines, proportional compasses and slide rules up to the earliest calculators and personal computers, through the main stages in the evolution of calculating machines.
It is divided into three sections (scientific instruments, calculators and large calculators) with a rich archive of notes, manuscripts and letters of famous scientists like Antonio Pacinotti, Enrico Fermi and others. The scientific instruments range from the 17th century to the present days; each provided with description and historical notes. On show, a geometrical compass invented by Galileo Galilei (born in Pisa) that probably belonged to him. It was one of the first instruments capable of carrying out complex mathematical and geometrical calculations.
One of the most famous pieces in the museum is : it was one of the first big computers to be built entirely in Italy.