Museo Galileo
Virtual Museum
Benvenuto della Volpaia

A clockmaker, instrument maker, skilled mechanic and topographer, Benvenuto - with his brothers Eufrosino (late 15th C. - 16th C.) and Camillo (1484-1560) - continued the business of his father Lorenzo (1446-1512). In 1524, he designed a grain mill and a coal mill for the town of Pisa. During the siege of Florence in 1529, he built a scale model of the city and its surroundings for the assailants. In 1531, he moved to Rome at the invitation of Cardinal Giovanni Salviati (1490-1553). In Rome, the Pontiff granted him an apartment on the Belvedere courtyard, where he entertained Michelangelo (1475-1564). A sincere friendship developed between the two men. Benvenuto's annotations and drawings - a crucial documentary source - are contained in a manuscript notebook preserved in the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice.