What a Mathematician should visit in Florence

Long time since I last posted something like this, but I do remember you enjoyed it a lot, so I thought that I should finally do this one. Yesterday was the 1st day of spring and soon it’s summer and most of us (including myself ^_^) still have to plan their summer holidays. As you remember, last summer I had time to visit some interesting cities ( you can see more about it on the post : Holiday part 1 ). I decided to start with Florence and present you some of the nice things you could visit if you are a math lover like me.

1. History of Science Museum. Museum Galileo hides a lot of wonderful and interesting mathematical instruments and the most attractive records of contemporary mathematics. Also in 2008 Professor Jim Bennett (Director of the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford at that time; he retired in 2012) held the presentation Mathematics and the Medici instruments from late Renaissance about the instruments that can be found in the Museum. But the Museum has also nice manuscripts, such as Michael of Rhodes‘ one which contains 180 pages of written mathematics. Here are some photos [from their website]:

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2. Brunelleschi’s dome (45 meters wide) is the largest masonry dome ever built and it is the coverage of the Cathedral of Florence. It is a great architecture piece and the construction of it was hard, long and interesting – the problems they had encountered and the solutions they found make it even more interesting ( you can read more about it in the post Il Duome by National Geographic). It is a great example of applications of mathematics (especially geometry). Here are some photos I took there:

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3. Michelangelo’s Works are an incredible beautiful to see. Even though he was born in Tuscany, Florence played and important part in the artist’s life and a considerable amount of his works are in Florence (for a list of this places in Florence, read this article ). Michelangelo’s David is considered a masterpiece and, believe it or not, it incorporates a lot of mathematics – proportion and perspective. Moreover, he found a way (mathematically) to balance the weight of the statue down through the legs, achieving the unusual achievement of balancing a 5.17 meter tall statue weighting 5.6 tonnes through the support of David’s legs alone.

What I have seen in Florence and read about it showed me how much mathematics is in art. Everything from proportion to perspective (and geometry) uses mathematics a lot and it is interesting to see the artistic part of mathematics or how mathematics makes our life more beautiful through art. And what it is more interesting is that the sculptures, in this case, don’t have to be maths related as are Ashley Zelinskie’s.

I was so happy to see that the organisation Diverse School Travel, which is offering educational tours that inspire and educate students, have a 5 day trip about maths and art in Italy. I think this kind of tours are very useful and I would like to organize something like this in the future. What do you think about this type of education?

Thank you for your help and support.  Thank you for reading. You can find me on FacebookTumblr, Google+,  Twitter  and  Instagram. Don’t forget that maths is everywhere especially in art! Enjoy the weekend! ^_^

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7 thoughts on “What a Mathematician should visit in Florence

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    1. thank you for your comment… I wanted to do this kind of post for a long time, but I find it difficult to write about cities I have not visited and properly seen the things I am talking about. If you have time I have done something similar for London and I will try to do more in the next period for other cities I have visited 🙂

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