Itinerari Tematici

The Scale Trail around Italy

Throughout the Bel Paese, beyond the Museum of Campogalliano, there are places worth a visit because they house major collections dedicated to scales and weights. While travelling along our peninsula, you may encounter other instruments for weighing and measuring in the many museums dedicated to agriculture and its traditions and practices.

  • Florence – Institute and Museum of History and Science. This institute conserves the Medici and Lorraine collections of instruments of medical sciences; here you may consult the records online of the objects conserved:

  • Milan – the ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ National Museum of Science and Technology. On the site of the greatest Italian technical-scientific museum, the catalogue of objects exhibited for the purposes of research into scales may be accessed.

  • Naples – National Archaeological Museum. This museum conserves many finds originating from Pompeii, Stabia and Herculaneum; within the Numismatic Collection there are exhibits of a weights and measures bench and some examples of steelyard balances and weights. Unfortunately, many others are kept in storage.

  • Udine, Aiello del Friuli – Museum of Peasant Civilisations of Imperial Friuli. The Weights and Measures section of the museum displays pre-metric scales and measures starting from the 1500s, through the Austrian period up to the introduction of the metric system.

  • Trento, San Michele all’Adige – Museum of the Traditions of the Trentino Peoples. In the section dedicated to wrought iron, there are two displays with antique steelyard balances and weights.

  • Lucca, San Pellegrino in Alpe – ‘Don Luigi Pellegrini’ Ethnographical Museum. The museum is part of the museum system of the Province of Modena; and an entire wall is covered with steelyard balances and weights.

  • Bologna – Museum of Physics of the University. Contains some laboratory scales.

  • Arezzo, Monterchi – Scales and Weights Display. Currently closed, it houses a collection of about 500 scales and weights.


Photo: coin-weighing scale of the ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ National Museum of Science in Milan.