• Art & Culture

Fossils Civic Museum

Did you know that the sea touched the Province of Varese about 242 million years ago?

The town of Besano (VA) is the basis of the name for a sea reptile that lived during this period: the Besanosaurus. It is one of the most representative fossils of the famous Besano - Monte San Giorgio reservoir.

The fossil that was found was practically whole and in perfect shape. It was 5,8 meters long and weighted around 500 kilograms. Its skull was quite small compared to the rest of the body and had a long, thin beak. Its teeth were small, cone-shaped with a slightly rounded tip.

Just like every other ichthyosaurs, its limbs evolved into paddle-like shapes. Both front and rear limbs featured only four fingers with an increasing number of phalanges. It seems that its long, thin body along with its tail and did not feature a dorsal fin.

The Besanosaurus was discovered during the spring of 1993 at the excavation site of  "Sasso Caldo" in Besano by the volunteers of the Besano paleontology group. The fossil was completely covered by rocks and initially could be seen only with X-Rays.145 radiographs were necessary to fully examinate the contents of the 38 rock slates that enclosed the skeleton.

The specimen was put on display at Milan's Natural History Civic Museum after 16,500 hours of preparations. Another cast can be found at the Besano Fossils Civic Museum.


Other links

Monte San Giorgio
Take me here: Fossils Civic Museum

On the same topic

The Ghost of Manigunda

In Varese the legend of the ghost of Manigunda to the monastery
  • Art & Culture
Legends of Varese: the Ghost of Manigunda at the Cairate Monastery

Angera and the Open Air Museum

A beautiful lakefront and a very picturesque aura in the province of Varese
  • Art & Culture
Visit Angera and surroundings: some tips

San Pietro a Gemonio

This church is one of the points that remain more etched in the memory of the travelers who travel the Varese-Laveno
  • Art & Culture
San Pietro a Gemonio and the Salvini Museum in Cocquio Trevisago

Museum Varese

Mummies, archaeological finds, design, ancient and contemporary art: museums to suit all tastes!
  • Art & Culture
Museum Varese, what to see?

The Cloister of Voltorre

The monastic art of the Cloister of Voltorre
  • Art & Culture
The monastic art of The Cloister of Voltorre

Brebbia and the pipe factory

In the province of Varese, wet from Lake Maggiore, well protected by a hilly setting hidden from the wind and sudden storms
  • Art & Culture
Saints Peter and Paul Church and the Pipe Museum

Varese pursuing new horizons

  • Art & Culture
Varese Villa Panza

Monument Varese

Stately homes, religious buildings, fortifications and UNESCO treasures among the beauties of Varese and its surroundings
  • Art & Culture
Monument Varese, what to see

Spring in Varese

Varese: walks, picnics, secret beaches. In the spring, spend a day outdoors in the land of the lakes.
  • Art & Culture
Plenty of culture and fresh air at the Villa Della Porta Bozzolo

Fossils Civic Museum

  • Art & Culture
Besano's Fossils Civic Museum, the times of sea in Varese