THE FISIOCRITICI MUSEUM
The Geological section is preserved in the ground floor and is composed of a great collection of different minerals, most of them coming from diverse mines located in the south of Tuscany, nowadays in extinction but started to work by the Etruscans and being in operation until the last centuries, as well as rocks and fossils and a unique collection of 1.800 ca. mushrooms in terracotta, brought together and granted to the Museum by Francesco Valentini Serini in the 19th century.
This section also displays some fragments of a meteorite’s rain fallen in the proximities of Cosona and Lucignano d’Asso, both pretty mediaeval hamlets in Siena’s province, on June 16th 1794, at 7pm. The impressive event was observed and afterwards deeply studied by Ambrogio Soldani (Pratovecchio, 1736 – Siena, 1808) Abbot of the Camaldolese Order, who after meticulous researches around those “stones on fire” dropped from the sky established one of the first right scientific theories of the history about that phenomenon.
Abbot Soldani - follower of the Emilian Jacopo Bartolomeo Beccari (Bologna, 1682-1766) illustrious doctor in medicine, chemistry, mathematic, physic and philosopher, discoverer of the gluten - is believed one of the fathers of the Micropaleontology.
Soldani consecrated more than 40 forty years of his life to study and collecting sediments mainly coming from the Tuscan territories. He was nominated General Secretary of the Accademia dei Fisiocritici and granted to the Museum his splendid private collection of micropaleontology fossils.
The section displays also a superb collection of ancient Tuscan marbles.
The section of Zoology is hosted in the upper floors of the former religious site and comprises an outstanding collection of stuffed animals, including an important assemblage of reptiles and birds, most of the species now extinguished or in danger of extinction, which was started and realized in the 19th century in the even now operatives taxidermy laboratories of the Accademia.
Other important collections housed in this section are the ones of insects and marine mammals, run up on the beaches located on the coasts of Tuscany and examined by the Italian Center of Cetecean Studies with the cooperation of the Accademia dei Fisiocritici.
The sections of Palaeontology and Anatomy are displayed in different areas.
The first one houses fossils from different eras, flora from the Palaeozoic era and rare exemplars of belemnites from the Jurassic era, as well as an important collection of lithium, copper and bronze objects and tools.
In the Pale-ontological area is also hosted an impressive Teratological collection, which comprises some monstrous animal deformations.
The latter one is principally housed in the room devoted to Paolo Mascagni (Pomarance, 1755- Florence, 1815) doctor in medicine and chemistry. Mascagni is mainly noted for his research on lymphatic vessels, which made him a celebrity all over Europe. In 1801, he was designated to hold the chair of anatomy, physiology and chemistry at the University of Florence.
Paolo Mascagni was also teacher of pictorial anatomy at the Accademia di Belle Arti (Fine Arts Academy) of Florence.
This room displays human anatomic preparations with lymphatic vessels, as well as Mascagni’s library and his scientist’s manuscripts.
The Accademia dei Fisiocritici has a beautiful and immense Aula Magna where congresses and scientist meetings are frequently held. Regularly, the institution maintains open assemblies concerning the research and findings accomplished by its members.
The Museum of the Accademia dei Fisiocritici is opened from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 1pm and from 3pm to 6pm, except on Thursday afternoon.
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What to See
The Cathedrals : Duomo di Siena
Main Monuments : Piazza del Campo , Palazzo Piccolomini
Main Museums : Museo dell' Opera di Siena , Museo dei Fisiocritici
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