Italy Piazza Galvani

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Sue Wolfe

About this spot
The square has gone by numerous names but was finally named Piazza Galvani after the 18th century Bolognese scientist Luigi Galvani who was a pioneer in bioelectromagnetics. Galvani, born into a wealthy family, became part of the “illuminated Catholicism” movement who tried to find the link between scientific evidence and the old Sacred Texts.

The statue in the square shows Galvani holding a frog on a stone slab, and for a good reason. Galvani used frogs for his experiments. His discovery regarding biological electricity happened by accident. After performing the experiment, he determined the animals and humans could produce the necessary quantity of electric energy for life.

The piazza is located between the Basilica of San Petronio and the Palazzo Archiginnasio. The arches that face the piazza are known as the Portico of Pavaglione. At one time a market dedicated to the sale of silkworms was held in this location. The silk market was tied to the textile industry which made Bologna a very rich city.

The statue was created by Italian sculptor Adalberto Cencetti.

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