The Natural History Museum is divided into two exhibition areas.
One includes the Aquarium and the Temporary exhibition.
The second includes the Permanent exhibitions: Historical Gallery, Museum Garden, Amphibians and reptiles, Mammals, Archaeocetes, Cetaceans, Human evolution, Minerals, Hall of biodiversity, “The Earth: myths and science”, Geological eras, Evolution of birds, Dinosaurs.
The two upper floors of the Museums are devoted to Mammals. The firs floor houses the Mammal Gallery and the Archaeoceti room, while the second floor houses the Cetacean Gallery. The Mammal Gallery, organized according to a systematic criterion, houses specimens both of the Museum’s historical collection and of recent acquisitions, mainly the Barbero collection.
This exhibition area introduces to the Cetacean Gallery by explaining the origins of the evolution of this water Mammal group. This area has been recently reorganized according to universal design criteria, with informative panels, tactile maps, audio sources, tridimensional models, Braille writings and embossed signs to make the access easier for every type of visitors (children, adults, elders, differently abled people).
As we go upstairs we arrive into the Carthusian Gallery which hosts the spectacular collection of present cetaceans skeletons. This collection, one of the most important in Europe, was set by Sebastiano Richiardi during his direction (1871-1891), even though written documents testify that in 1626 some cetaceans finds were already in the Museum. In all, the Museum possesses 53 skeletons, 23 of which are here exposed.
The mineral collection started to take form in 1844, when Leopoldo Pilla brought from Naples the Vesuvian collection. The mineral collection remarkably enlarged among the end of the 19th century and the beginning of 1900 with the contribution of Antonio D’Achiardi and its son Giovanni. The mineral gallery was opened to the public in 1994, redisigned in 2002, after the aquiring of the Cerpelli and D’Amore collection, and set up again in 2014 including new collection.
This rooms go over the geological and biological evolution of our territory, through a 500 millions years travel divided into three steps, on the basis of the fossils found in the Pisa area. These steps are represented by three full-size dioramas, recreating three past habitats. Every diorama is introduced by an entrance hall provided with informative panels and stone and fossil samples; other remains are kept into the showcases along the route and every diorama also includes a multimedia corner for additional information.