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Accademia dei Fisiocritici

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Founded in 1691 by Pirro Maria Gabrielli, a professor of medicine and botany, the Accademia dei Fisiocritici was originally housed in the library of the Spedale di Santa Maria della Scala. In 1694 the academy moved to the Casa della Sapienza, then the seat of the university and now the Biblioteca Comunale degli Intronati, where it collaborated with the university according to an agreement that had been drawn up between the two institutions.
The term fisiocritici, used to define the members of the academy, derives from the union of the Greek words physis (nature) and criticos (judges).

In the 18th century an earthquake, coupled with a succession of political disasters in Siena, heralded a period of decline for the academy, which only ended in 1816 when it moved to its current headquarters, a former Camaldolese monastery donated to it by the Grand Duke Ferdinand III. Originally built in the 12th century, the monastic buildings were refurbished by the academy to house its library, archives and natural history museum.

The academy’s natural history museum dates back to when the academy was founded in 1691. From the second half of the 18th century the museum’s collections grew considerably thanks to a number of private donations, among which were the bequests of the doctor and natural history professor at Siena University Giuseppe Baldassarri and that of Biagio Bartalini. Since 1996 the museum became a member of the Sistema dei Musei Senesi body of Senese museums, known today as the Fondazione dei Musei Senesi.

The museum is divided into three sections: zoology, geology and palaeontology. The zoology section is housed in the upper floors of the monastery and includes collections assembled in the 19h century, featuring molluscs, insects, birds, mammals, fish and reptiles. The geology section is housed in the lower floors of the monastery and includes an assortment of minerals and rocks, including samples of a meteorite that fell near Lucignano d’Asso in and an unusual collection of terracotta mushrooms. The palaeontology section comprises fossils from all eras, including Palaeozoic ferns, ammonites and Jurassic belemnites.
The academy also houses a library that includes some 800 manuscripts and 15,000 books and pamphlets dating from the 15th century to the present day.

Exhibitions are held periodically at the academy, which also organises conferences and meetings for up to 155 people in its Aula Magna, a finely frescoed hall decorated by Vincenzo Dei in 1816 with The Triumph of Science. At least twice a year the academy hosts public scientific assemblies focussing on research carried out by academicians.

The academy also publishes the periodical Atti dell’Accademia delle Scienze di Siena detta dé fisiocritici, the Memorie series, the scientific periodical Etruria natura and the Quaderni scientifico-naturalistici del Sistema Musei Senesi.
 

All'inizio

  General information
Town map 
Siena in the Renaissance 
Siena in the Middle Ages 
Siena in Antiquity 

  Transport in town
Town Map Siena 

  Transport out of town
Train services 

  Where to Stay
Historical Residences 
Hotels 
Farm Holidays and Country Houses  
Residence, Apartments 
Bed & Breakfasts 

  OFFERS & LAST MINUTE
Reservation Services Siena 
Last Minute Siena 

  Where to eat and drink
Disco Dancing 
Restaurants 
Pubs & Wine Bar 

  Education
Siena University 
University for Foreigners 

  Art and monuments
Palazzo Piccolomini and Palazzo delle Papesse 
Palazzo Chigi-Saracini 
Palazzo d’Elci degli Alessi 
Loggia della Mercanzia 
Palazzo Sansedoni 
Palazzo Chigi-Zondadari 
Fonte Gaia fountain 
Carthusian Monastery of Pontignano  
Forte di Santa Barbara 

  Art and religion
Church of Sant’Agostino 
The Duomo – The Cathedral of the Assunta 
Church of the Osservanza  
The Oratory of San Bernardino 
Church of San Francesco 
Short Biography of St Catherine of Siena  
St Catherine Sanctuary 
Church of S. Niccolò al Carmine 

  Museums and galleries
The Museo Civico 
Bologna-Buonsignori museum 
Accademia dei Fisiocritici 
I Musei Senesi 

  Art and tourist attractions
Cappella di Piazza 
The Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia 
Piazza del Campo 
The Montagnola Senese and the Fortified Village of Sovicille 
The Castles of Belcaro and Quattro Torri 

  The Palio of Siena
The Origins 
The July and August Palio 
The Contrade 
The Days of the Palio 
The Drappellone 
The Eve of the Palio 
The Corteo Storico Procession 
The Race 
The Patron Saint and Oratory of Each Contrada 
Weekly Appointments in each Contrada from April onwards 

  Sightseeing
Via di Città (formerly Via Galgaria), Siena’s Most Elegant Street 
Croce del Travaglio Place 
From Piazza del Campo to the Duomo Along Via di Città 
The Curves of Piazza del Campo 
Costarella dei Barbieri street 
Borgo d’Ovile 
The Terzo of Camollia – main streets 
Casato di Sopra e Casato di Sotto 
Terzo di San Martino district  
The Terzo di Città District - Via Stalloreggi, Via San Quirico 
The Terzo di Città District – The Pinacoteca Nazionale 

  What to see & do
Wedding in Siena 
Golf courses in Siena and Tuscany 
Wedding in Tuscany - Siena area 
San Casciano dei Bagni 
Chianciano Terme 
Bagni San Filippo 
Bagno Vignoni 
Rapolano Terme - Baths of San Giovanni and Baths of the Antica Querciolaia 
The Countryside around Siena and its Thermal Water Springs 

  Monte Amiata
Monte Amiata - nature tourism the year round 
SkiPass Monte Amiata 
WebCam sul Monte Amiata 
Meteo Monte Amiata 

  Specials - Out of town
Gift Ideas for traveling 
The Val d’Orcia and Its Main Towns 
Pienza - the old town centre 
Montepulciano - the old town centre 
San Quirico d’Orcia - the old town centre 
Montalcino and the Land of Brunello 
The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and the Crete 
The Crete Senesi 
Castellina in Chianti and the Via Chiantigiana Towards Siena 
Siena and Southern Chianti - from the Castle of Montalto to the Castle of Brolio and on to the Castle of Meleto 
The Chianti Hills - Monte Calvo, Monte Luco and Monte San Michele 
Cortona and the Valdichiana 
San Gimignano - The old town centre and its major sights 
The Val d’Elsa - Monteriggioni and Colle di Val d’Elsa 
Along the Old Via Francigena 

  Typical products
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