Science in Tuscany: ancient and modern

Tuesday 2nd October 2018 @ 00:00
to Sunday 7th October 2018

Prof John Burland, Prof Francesco Fidecaro and more

We are organising guided tours of interesting science sites in Tuscany including the Leaning Tower of Pisa; the European Gravitational Observatory; European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy, Florence University; Galileo Museum.

We are delighted to be running another Members-exclusive Friends Science in Tuscany Tour, from Tuesday 2 October to Sunday 7 October 2018.
While we are refining the finer details of some small elements of the tour, the programme is: 

Tuesday 2 October - Pisa

Pisa hotel for three nights – Grand Hotel Duomo 4* Pleasant hotel within a few yards of the Piazza dei Meracoli and having wonderful views of the Duomo and Leaning Tower from its roof terrace.

EVENING – Welcome drinks and dinner at La Pergoletta in a lively local restaurant. Friends will be joined by guests including Professor John Burland.

Wednesday 3 October - Pisa

MORNING – Piazza dei Miracoli and a talk by Professor John Burland about his work on stabilising the Leaning Tower and a personal introduction to the monitoring instruments within the tower. Guided tour of the Leaning Tower, Duomo, Baptistery and Cemetery.
AFTERNOON – Two hour guided tour of historic Pisa, including Galileo’s birthplace and the Palazzo Reale (National Museum of the Royal Palace).
EVENING – Leisure time to explore the ancient city of Pisa.

Thursday 4 October - Pisa

MORNING - European Gravitational Observatory, EGO – guided tour of the instrument which is now operational and observing gravitational waves.
AFTERNOON - Guided tour of Museo degli Strumenti per il Calcolo (Museum of Computing Machinery) "A fascinating journey into the history of computing" – the museum is home to a unique collection of machines that made computer science, and antique scientific tools related to Italian scientists.
EVENING – Ciao to Pisa dinner and drinks at Ristorante Enoteca La Clessidra, Via del Castelletto.

Friday 5 October - Florence

Hotel in Florence for two nights – FH Grand Hotel Meditarraneo. Centrally located 4* hotel on bank of River Arno, close to the Ponte san Nicolo Lungarno del Tempio.
MORNING – Private coach from Pisa to Florence, visiting LENS – European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy, a research centre providing advanced laser and spectroscopic facilities. Prof Paul French, Imperial College London, is on the Scientific Advisory Board and has made arrangements with Lorenzo Tombaresi for us to visit LENS on the outskirts of Florence.
AFTERNOON - Visit LABEC, LAboratorio di tecniche nucleari per i BEni Culturali, University of Florence which applies nuclear techniques to cultural heritage and environmental problems including finding fakes.
EVENING – Leisure time to explore the ancient city of Florence.

Saturday 6 October - Florence

MORNING – Guided tour of the treasures of the Uffizzi.  
AFTERNOON – Guided visit to Museo Galileo, formerly known as the Institute and Museum for the History of Science, filled with scientific instruments that date back to 13th century, including telescopes used by Galileo.
EVENING – Farewell drinks and dinner for the group at a local restaurant.

Sunday 7 October - Florence

The formal tour ends. Guests can depart for their own adventures in Italy or return to London. 


The cost of £825 per person includes 5 nights’ accommodation (sharing a double/twin room, including breakfast), transport by coaches, museum entry fees, welcome and farewell drinks and dinners at Pisa and a drinks and farewell dinner in Florence as well as guides of history in Pisa and Florence. It also includes a charge to cover Friends administration costs plus hosting speakers in Pisa. Friends staying in single rooms will have to pay a single occupancy supplement of £175.

Travel to and from Tuscany
The event fee does not include flights. You will need to make your own travel arrangements to and from Pisa (or Florence), arriving on Tuesday 2 October and departing on Sunday 7 October or later.

Pisa airport is easily accessible by train from Florence. There is a bus every 20 minutes between Florence Airport and Pisa Airport – journey time 70 mins. There is train between Florence Central Railway Station and Pisa approximately every hour – journey time 60 mins.

There is a new 5 minute rail shuttle between Pisa airport and Pisa central station, itself a short taxi ride or walk to and from our Pisa hotel.

Florence airport is about 20 minutes by bus or 15 minutes by taxi to and from central Florence.

As a guide, British Airways and EasyJet fly from Gatwick, Ryan Air from Stansted to Pisa. British Airways, EasyJet, Air France, Iberia, City Jet and Vueling fly from London to Florence.

If you find you have to cancel before the trip, we will do our best to fill your place. If we are successful then we would simply ask for a cancellation fee of £100 in order to cover administration costs. If we are not able to fill your place then we will have to charge the full amount minus the dinner costs. Also, please make sure you take out adequate insurance to cover not being able to travel through illness or other eventualities.

Venue: Pisa and Florence

Campus Map reference n/a
on the Imperial College London Map