Galileo, the great Italian physicist, astronomer and philosopher born in Pisa, finished his life in Arcetri, a region south of Florence, blind, suffering from insomnia, but ever prolific.
Galileo's support of heliocentrism, the model that placed the sun at the centre of the solar system, had earlier so graveled the church that he was investigated by the Roman Inquisition, forbidden to speak of his beliefs and found ‘vehemently suspect of heresy’.
Spending the last 9 years of his life in Villa il Gioiello under house arrest near what is now an Astrophysical Observatory, he wrote ‘Two New Sciences’, a work that received high praise from Albert Einstein. In remembrance of Galileo or simply for a unique view of the heavens above, visit the Observatory.
When: Group tours are organized for nighttime visits in the week of the first quarter moon at 9 p.m. from April to October for groups of up to 35 people. On Saturday evenings ‘Open Observatory’ visits and requests from individuals or groups of up to 5 people are welcome.
Cost: €7/adult & €4-5/child
Additionally, the Museo Galileo, in Piazza dei Giudici along the River Arno, celebrates Galileo's life, scientific achievements and the Renaissance instruments used in his discoveries.