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Natural History Museum

Dinosaurs, whales and a few pygmy elephants all share one room at one of the oldest Natural History Museums in southern Europe.

The Natural History Museum (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano) has 23 rooms and features dedicated exhibitions on mineralogy, paleontology, humanity, vertebrates and invertebrates. The museum is housed inside a classic example of 19th-century Italian construction. Architecture enthusiasts will love the intricate design both inside and out. Since this is one of the most important natural history museums in Europe, a visit is a must for anyone with an interest in the natural world.

When the Italian naturalist, Giuseppe de Crisforis passed away, he donated his vast collections of artifacts to the city of Milan. The next year, in 1838, the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano was born. Today the museum prides itself on its accessibility. The information provided is engaging to a range of academic levels. A child will take away as much from the museum as a teacher, with a carefully curated selection of information provided in both English and Italian. A guide to the museum is available, offering detailed information about the exhibits in all its rooms.

Stroll among the huge dinosaur skeletons in the paleontology collection. See casts of the stegosaurus and the plateosaurus. The skeletons of two pygmy elephants are included in the collection; both were found on the Italian island of Sicily.

Discover vertebrates and invertebrates in the zoology collections. The giant clam and Japanese spider crabs are crowd favorites. The second floor of the museum is dedicated to a large taxidermy collection. See the 40-foot (12-meter) sperm whale, as well as a range of creatures from across the European continent.

The Natural History Museum is located in central Milan, within the grounds of Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli. Reach the museum by metro, or find metered parking in the nearby streets for a fee. The museum is closed Mondays and some holidays. Entrance is subject to a small charge.


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