Florence Field Trip: La Specola
Over the next week Florence will quickly become inundated with peacocking menswear types. Making their way over to attend Pitti Uomo (or standing outside in hopes of photo ops), you can bet your instagram feed is in for one hell of a show. One stop not likely to be on anyone’s list while in Florence is La Specola or for all those non-translation folk, the Museum of Zoology and Natural History.
Although they each share over a couple hundred years of history, La Specola is definitely no Cafe Gilli, but worth a stop all the same. That is if you’re into thousands of dead animals. And tucked away across the river near the Pitti Palace, La Specola may be among the few places in Florence where you won’t encounter droves of tourists. It’s also the oldest museum of its kind in Europe; no big deal.
During a recent stop in Florence, I paid a visit to La Specola. Inside was one part creepy, one part Wes Anderson inspiration, and two parts old as hell. The halls, floors and cabinets all look, feel and smell their age. And along with what’s possibly the worst interior lighting throughout the mother country, lets just say the place is old. In a good way.
While not necessarily a stop on everyone’s list, it probably should be. As the first of its kind, aside from dodging tourists, the impressive collection has some significance. And don’t fret, there’s plenty of peacocks, albeit dead ones, on this side of the river too. [La Specola]