Museo Galileo
Virtual Museum
Inscription on the case with Galileo's finger
Inscription on the case with Galileo's finger

The case containing the finger consists of a cylindrical alabaster base, surmounted by a glass cup with gilt decorations and cover. On the base are engraved the following verses by Tommaso Perelli (1704-1783):

"Leipsiana ne spernas digiti, quo dextera coeli

Mensa vias, numquam visos mortalibus orbes

Mostravit, parvo fragilis molimine vitri

Ausa prior facinus, cui non Titania quondam

Sufficit pubes congestis montibus altis

Nequidquam superas sonata ascendere in arces."

[This is the finger, belonging to the illustrious hand

that ran through the skies,

pointing at the immense spaces, and singling out new stars,

offering to the senses a marvelous apparatus

of crafted glass,

and with wise daring they could

reach where neither Enceladus nor Tiphaeus ever reached.]