240 million years old, but it doesn’t show

  • 11 November – 13.30
  • 14°
  • 583 m
  • Nostalgic

The Monte San Giorgio Fossil Museum in the heart of Meride, renovated by the local architect Mario Botta, not only exhibits a fascinating range of finds from the primordial sea, but it also lets you discover secrets from remote eras along the Monte San Giorgio geo-palaeontological trail.

Do those rocks really come from the bottom of the sea, Daddy? How did the shell get into the stone? How long is 240 million years? Did a Ticinosuchus really live hereabouts?

The world of fossils is truly fascinating and not only for your son, as it will enthral you too. What started out as a simple excursion will end up as a journey into another world.

First, you’ll walk along the trails between Meride and Serpiano, where fossils - evidence of a time long gone: the Middle Triassic - lie buried. Later, you’ll find the answers to all your questions at the Museum.

It will be no surprise to learn that Monte San Giorgio has been declared a Natural Heritage of Humanity site by UNESCO. It is indeed a precious casket of fossil wealth.

Monte San Giorgio, layers of history

Monte San Giorgio, layers of history

To recreate the past along the geo-paleontological path

To recreate the past along the geo-paleontological path

Fossils Museum, reconstruction of the Ticinosuchus sauro

Fossils Museum, reconstruction of the Ticinosuchus sauro

Didactic laboratory of the museum

Didactic laboratory of the museum

You’ll feel part of the history of the world and it will be gratifying for you to watch your son engrossed by the science. You’ll begin your visit by holding in your hand an object that, until today, you would have identified as a simple stone and you’ll end up by stroking the head of a saurian as you leave the Museum.

That’s because, when the time comes, the Museum has to close and you’ll be back again in your own world. And it doesn’t seem at all that 240 million years have passed in the meanwhile.


Geo-paleontological didactic trail


Lunch break in Brusino Arsizio


Visit of the museum


Chalk riproduction of the fossils at the workshop

What to put in your backpack

You can’t travel back in time empty-handed! So take a camera, a magnifying glass and a pad for notes and drawings with you. The fossils may be very small, so you’ll also need enlarging glasses to observe the rocks and fossils more closely, as well as accurate and complete documentation.