Cava Bomba Museum: Looking for fossils in the Euganean Hills

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Next to Monte Cinto (282 m), in the Euganean Hills, you can find the village of Cinto Euganeo. There in the nineteenth century were active a quarry and a furnace (for the extraction and processing of limestone). In the 1980s they were recovered to create the Cava Bomba Geopaleontological Museum. In fact in 1974 in the quarry were discovered some fish fossils of the Late Cretaceous period (90 million years ago).

Did you know that… Bomba in Italian means bomb. It normally signifies explosive but here it simply indicates the presence of a source of water (called bomba) in the area.

Visit to Cava Bomba

Upon arrival you will find a small parking lot. From there enter through the gate (the pavement is all gravelly), turn right and enter the main building. There is the ticket-office. The room is modern and well-structured.

In this section you can understand the composition of the Euganean Hills and its changes during the geological eras. Plus you admire fossils from around the world, as well as the fish fossils discovered in the area.

Very interesting are the Ichthyosaurus head (the photo wasn’t good at all), the dicranurus monstrosus, the sclerocephalus hauseri, the insect trapped in amber (very Jurassic Park), the Kueichousaurus, the dragonfly and the grasshopper, the egg and the tooth of a Dinosaur (disooor grrrr) and surely the fish fossils. Ah! there is also the jaw of a mammoth!

The cutest thing? A fossil found by a secondary school student while hiking here. But it was 1996, so I guess the boy is now in his 30’s.

At this point go to the two low-rise buildings at the bottom of the area. One (right) houses precious gems, extracting tools and a collection of ancient fossils (not well lit… not lit at all, actually). The other one (left) is a beautiful room where you can see various and colourful minerals.

Just above are there are bathrooms. There is a ramp to get there, but then there is a step to enter!! Going further you get to look more closely at the furnace.

Going back to the main building, to the right of the table with the dinosaur (yes, there is a plastic dinosaur) you can go uphill (2 minutes) and see it all from above. There are some traces of the rails and the mine carts used to transport the limestone. From there you can also admire a huge dinosaur supervising the surrounding hills.

Throughout the museum the explanatory panels are only in Italian but the (very gentle by the way!) girl at the entrance told me that there are sheets in other languages and in any case she and the other girls working there know several languages and are able to give at least a sufficient explanation to foreign visitors. They have also a map useful to make an excursion in the area.

I know that the Museum organizes many initiatives aimed at increasing children’s interest, including “The day of the Paleontologist.” It should be fun! When I was young I never had the opportunity to do such things!

I liked the museum. The location is definitely striking. Surrounded by the hills and with the furnace beside that reminded me of Bernd and Hilla Becher. I think that kids would love to see all those fossils and the dinosaurs!

Cava Bomba – Geopaleontological Museum
Via Bomba, 48 – Cinto Euganeo (PD)

Tickets

Full price 4€
Reduced 2€

Opening Hours

Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 6 pm

Other days upon reservation (groups only) writing to museieuganei@gmail.com

Closed on January 1st, 6th, Easter, August 15th, November 1st, December 8th, 25th, 26th, 31st