Casa natale di Galileo Galilei
The exact location of Galileo Galilei’s birthplace has been the object of much debate. One proposal was casa Bocca, a palazzoon a corner in Borgo. Since the birth of this great scientist was registered as taking place in the parish of Sant'Andrea, until mid 19th century his birthplace was presumed to be a house close by the church of S. Andrea at the Fortezza medicea, also known as S. Andrea in Chinzica. This idea was so widely accepted that during the tercentenary celebrations of Galileo’s birth in 1864, a plaque was placed on the walls of the Fortezza with the engraving: “Qui nacque Galileo Galilei nel 1564” (Here Galileo Galilei was born in 1564).
The reason for this misunderstanding was probably the mistaken identification of the church mentioned in the baptismal document. Although no documentary evidence exists to support the unlikely idea, it was erroneously imagined that Galileo’s father, Vincenzo Galilei, having enrolled as a soldier, taught music in the Fortress. It is however more probable that the parish of S. Andrea was not the one in the town quarter of Chinzica, but another St. Andrea - St. Andrea Foris Portam, the parish where the family of Galileo’s mother Giulia Ammannati had resided since the early 1500s and where she and her husband lived.
Galileo Galilei was born on 15 February 1564 in casa degli Ammannati, by the Church of S. Andrea, today marked by a marble plaque. Giulia was assisted during the birth by aunt Dorotea and her maternal grandmother Lucrezia; uncle Leone and father Vincenzo had decided to name the newborn child Galileo at the cathedral font, where a delegate from the Chapter wrote the incomplete record of the baptism “by the chapel of S. Andrea” so for centuries Pisan historians and townspeople tried to solve the riddle