Wax Anatomical Museum – La Specola

La Specola, just past the Pitti Palace, is the Natural History Museum in Florence that contains a large collection of taxidermy specimens that date back to the Medicis. You can tell that they are that old because many of them are in very rough shape. They even have the hippopotamus that the Medicis kept as pet in the Boboli Gardens and apparently they fed it like a dog. Given the amount of people in the museum, I felt like I had the museum all to myself 😀 This was not your typical tourist hot spot but it was totally up my alley.

I really wanted to see the wax anatomical models from the 17th and 18th centuries because it ties in perfectly with my interest in sideshow and the anatomy classes that I am taking here. There are 3 “splayed venuses” which may be disturbing for some viewers (as may be the entire exhibit). Unfortunately, the wax anatomical models depicting The Effects of Syphilis and The Plague were unavailable because they are being restored. Darn. The hard cover book with all of these wax anatomical images has also been long out of print…

Pisa and Bologna also have museums with wax anatomical models…..must go 🙂

Museo de Palazzo Poggi Anatomy & Obstetrics Collection

Museum of Human Anatomy

A website called Atlas Obscura, lists all of the curious and weird places to see all over the world. There are several more now added to my list.



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