The Natural History Museum of the Mediterranean in Livorno, housed inside the historic Villa Henderson, is a research centre active safeguarding and conserving natural patrimony, as well as a centre of scientific culture and educational activities for schools.
The Hall of Man illustrates the theme of human evolution from both a physical and cultural point of view, with particular attention on the human settlements in the Mediterranean area. Across an evocative and easily understandable route, visitors will find casts of the most important fossils of hominids, descriptions of biological and paleontological evidence of the long journey from anthropomorphic African apes to the modern man, and stone tools used in Prehistory. Visitors can also come face-to-face with a Neanderthal (reproduced by applying techniques of legal medicine to the skull of a Neanderthal) and admire copies of cave paintings from the famous Lascaux cave and Prehistoric Venus figurines.
The Hall of the Sea is dedicated to the biology and evolution of whales, with an exposition of skeletons and sea animals in the Mediterranean reproduced in dioramas, while the Hall of Invertebrates conserves examples of land and sea invertebrates.
The route also includes the Botanical Garden, filled with samples of Mediterranean scrub, the Planetarium, equipped with a dome five metres in diameter, where educational lessons are held, and a Centre of Environmental Education.