— a summary of The Scientific Historical Heritage in the Physics Museum of the University of Naples by Edvige Schettino, Director of the Physics Museum and Professor of Physics at the Federico II University of Naples.The Physics Museum of the Frederick II University of Naples came into existence officially in 1983 by combining the inventories of various sites in Naples into one location, the main university buildings at via Mezzocannone 8. The museum has a 700-piece collection of historical scientific instruments. Many of them were acquired from the 18th century through the early years of the 20th century from instrument makers in England, France, Germany and Italy. The museum focuses on the role of such instruments in the creation of empirical scientific knowledge, a consequence of the rebirth of scientific thought, which, following Newton, saw knowledge as gained through observation. The story of the instruments, however, is also linked to the craftsmen who built them. Many of the instruments were luxury items, even works of art, especially during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when collecting was something of a fashion. They were to become more functional in the eighteenth century with the beginnings of a didactic approach to experimental physics.