Unipd Museums

The University of Padua was one of the first universities in the world to have a scientific collection for teaching and research purposes. This is due to Antonio Vallisneri, who was Practical Medicine Professor in 1700. The scientist created a collection of objects, and instruments, which became the basis for the creation of scientific laboratories and museum collections at the University of Padua, together with the "Theatre of Experimental Philosophy" inaugurated in 1740 by Giovanni Poleni (first example of a university physics laboratory, equipped with over four hundred instruments).
The current University Museum System is coordinated by the University Museum Centre.

Unipd Museums

Museum of Nature and Humankind
Located in the heart of Padua, the Museum of Nature and Humankind is the largest scientific university museum in Italywith over 4,000 square metres of permanent and temporary exhibition space. Visitors are accompanied on a geological journey through space and timeas they walk among the Baroque stucco and stunning frescoes while encountering ancient collections and interactive displays.  
The museum houses the rich mineralogical, geological, palaeontological, zoological, and anthropological collectionscurated and cared for by University of Padua scholars over the centuries.  

Botanical Museum
A new exhibition centre, where a significant selection of the University of Padua’s historical heritage, until now employed principally for research and teaching purposes and not open to visitors, is presented to the public for the first time. Between botany and medicine, those visiting the Museum can discover the history of the Botanical Garden, its plants and the people who collected them, in a journey through the centuries, from when it was founded to cultivate and study medicinal plants up to the 20th century.

Educational Museum of Veterinary Medicine
The Educational Museum of Veterinary Medicine offers a wealth of insights into the world of vertebrate species and their unique qualities: their size and structure, and their adaptation to the environments they colonised .
Now part of the Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science, the museum is a priceless educational resource for the students of the Agripolis campus and, increasingly, an essential port of call for professional scholars, amateur researchers and school parties, for anyone who wishes to expand their understanding of this fascinating subject.

Enrico Bernardi Museum of Machines
The “Enrico Bernardi” Museum of Machines houses a selection of internal combustion engines, each of which left its own mark on the history of motorised transport in Europe in the second half of the 19th century. All of the engines on display – from the atmospheric engine he built in 1878 and the single- and double-acting cylinders of the Motrice Pia (1882-1884, which worked on the basis of a mixed cycle using atmospheric and direct pressure), to the four-stroke Lauro engines (1887-1896), the engine-driven single-wheel attachment used to propel a standard bicycle (1893, a forerunner of the modern motor scooter) and the iconic 3-wheeled “car” – were built by Enrico Bernardi.

Museum of geography
The Museum of Geography of the University of Padova invites the visitor to explore the fascination and power of Geography, a science which has always been animated by the desire to discover and understand the world through a continuous dialogue between the methods of natural sciences and social sciences.
Characterized by high value items, the collections testify the geographical research and teaching activities which have taken place at the University of Padova from the 19th century onwards and narrate the fascinating developments of the geographic thought, from determinism up to the cultural turn. Through instruments, maps, globes, relief models and photographs, the Museum proposes a three-stage journey, corresponding to the key-words: Explore, Measure, Tell.

Museum of Archaeological Sciences and Art
The Museum of Archaeological Sciences and Art occupies a series of evocative rooms on the top floor of Palazzo Liviano, which were designed especially for the collection by Gio Ponti. It is here that its objects tell their tales: stories of the ancient civilisations to which they once belonged, but also those of the collectors and scholars who discovered them and who contributed, over hundreds of years, to the birth and development of the field of archaeology.

Museum of Astronomical Instruments
1942, the university established the Asiago Astrophysics Observatory, based around what was, at the time, the largest telescope in Europe, a reflector model with a 122-cm-diameter mirror. Using this remarkable instrument, which was dedicated to Galileo, the observatory was responsible for a series of important breakthroughs, above all in the field of variable stars, novas, supernovas and galaxies, and the generation of a precious archive of data. Instruments collected over the decades of research have been brought together in a museum adjoining the telescope with which they were used. The collection is divided into two sections, one dedicated to data-gathering instruments, the other to data-processing devices.

Museum of Education
The Museum of Education houses a collection of books, toys, photographs, notebooks, teaching aids and school furniture, registers and school reports, graduation diplomas and parchments, pens and inks. The collection, however, has not been assembled by chance. Rather, the items have been carefully selected to tell the story of how our younger generations – from their youngest years to their entry into adulthood – have been educated over the course of the last two centuries.
Founded in 1993, the museum is essentially an expression of the University of Padova’s particular and long-standing vocation for the history of education.

Museum of Pathological Anatomy
The pathological study, before Giovan Battista Morgagni (1682-1771), was based on the idea that the human body functions were regulated by four humours - blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile - on which all physiological and pathological processes depended. Diseases were a consequence of the "humoral" imbalance. With anatomical dissection, organic alterations of the body began to be observed casually. For the first time, Morgagni associated the patient's symptom with the lesions of the organs observable in the corpse. By systematically studying the anatomical causes of the diseases, he came to formulate a first classification of the pathologies. Today, thanks to increasingly precise tools, it is possible to diagnose pathologies till to the molecular level.
The collections, often represented by unique specimens, show both the living conditions and the pathologies that affected the population between the XVII and XIX century, and the advances that have been made in the medical field in the prevention and treatment of diseases.

Museum of the History of Physics
The common thread throughout the Museum is the Cabinet of Physics started in Padua by Giovanni Poleni in 1739, famous in Europe at the time, which his successors enriched not only with cutting-edge devices, but also with 16th and 17th century instruments which they used for teaching. The Museum’s objects therefore have "biographies" that are intertwined both with the history of the University of Padua and with the developments of science from the Renaissance to the 20th century and beyond. This is the collection now preserved and studied at the Giovanni Poleni Museum.

Olivi Museum
The museum's collection includes a historical collection of Adriatic zoology that began in the second half of the 19th century and is characterized by an adventurous history, between the two shores of the Adriatic Sea.