The Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa is at the foot of Monte Pisano, in the setting of the splendid Certosa di Calci.
The museum, collections among the oldest in the world
Founded at the end of the 16th century, it boasts some of the oldest collections in the world and offers the opportunity to admire fossils, minerals, skeletons and naturalised animals. Of particular note are the historical gallery with its reconstruction of the 17th century ‘chamber of wonders’, the biodiversity room and the mammal gallery with around 300 specimens on display.
The Cetacean Gallery, the most important in Italy
Don’t miss the marvellous Cetacean Gallery, the most important in Italy, set up in the loggia of the Certosa from which there is a beautiful view of the monastery’s green spaces on Monte Pisano.
The exhibition includes a spectacular collection of skeletons of present-day cetaceans, as well as fossils of species that lived millions of years ago and life-size models of dolphins and whales. Among the specimens is the blue whale, the largest animal ever to have existed. From its belly it greets Pinocchio, a reminder that the museum is also designed for children.
The Aquarium, the largest freshwater aquarium in Italy
The Aquarium, the largest freshwater aquarium in Italy, houses 39 tanks with around 100 species swimming in 60,000 litres of water, offering an overview of freshwater biodiversity around the world. The permanent exhibitions are periodically flanked by major temporary exhibitions