Between nature and fossils
Straddling the Italian and Swiss borders, Monte San Giorgio is a lush mountain covered in dense forests of oak and chestnut. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, its true treasures lie underground. This pyramid-shaped mountain, standing just over 1,000 metres high, is considered to be the best site for studying fossil fauna from the Triassic period.
During the Triassic, this area was a tropical lagoon, inhabited by reptiles, fish, ammonites, echinoderms, invertebrates and plants. The fossils in this mountain are known for their variety and exceptional state of preservation, and their excavation and analysis date back to 1850. Studies by the palaeontological institutes of the Universities of Milan and Zurich have made it possible to reconstruct the evolution of many groups of marine organisms.
To begin the journey of discovery of this fascinating world and this unique mountain, the ideal starting point is the fossil museum, the Museo Civico dei Fossili in Besano, in the province of Varese, where the major finds are on display. Here you can discover the charms of a lost world of incredible beauty from many centuries ago.