Bolca, the village of fossils that bewitched

Bolcapart of the Municipality of Vestenanova among the green and flourishing hills of the gods The Lessini Mountains in Upper Val d’Alpone, is the Jurassic village in Italy. The first document that establishes the discovery of a fossil in fact, it goes back to ‘500and was prepared by the physician and naturalist Pietro Andrea Mattioli. It was a fish footprint. Since then, as he says Massimo Ceratothe last descendant of the family who most of all in our country has dedicated energy and passions to bring these stigmata of nature to light, here are treasures that have emerged that can testify to the amazing geological past of which these finds are the most reliable and indisputable witnesses .. Cerato has opened a fossil museum where the pieces of this very old tale of biology are exhibited and are owned by Pesciara, an archaeological treasure chest unparalleled in Europe. “The fossils that are now coming to light belong to the Italian state, I have set up an education area where especially the younger students aim the shark teeth that come from Morocco, gastropods, semi – precious stones, precious stones and processing remains – explains – in each stone, consisting of limestone sediments, they can thus rediscover an algae, a leaf, because, as soon as it dries in contact with the sun, it does not need too much force to open it ».

At Pesciara, children discover algae and leaves

In Bolca, therefore, there were fifty million years ago tropical seabeds, which at the time the various tectonic movements led to other latitudes, but first and foremost left fish in the rocks. “In the 17th century, my family of miners on Monte Purga found fossils of crocodiles goes back toOligocene – continues Cerato -, the result was a fashion and a desire for possession among the Venetian families, especially the Count Giovanni Battista Gazzola became an expert, put together a collection of a thousand fish, which were then stolen from him Napoleon Bonaparte. So we never stopped digging. I represent the seventh generation ». One would never stop listening to Cerato and his anecdotes about these fishermen of the past, about their father Maximilian who in 1972 discovered the angelfish, which became very famous for its beauty. But now, here, one is struck by the number of people who have returned to visit his museum: the number of attendees, approx. 25 thousand people a year, of the period prior to the pandemic is still far away, but with the summer, interest has returned very strong. Then think about it Paolo Cracco to explain the history of the most significant and unforgettable finds and to guide the groups in the caves of Bolca, where the recent volcanic action has fortunately incorporated the then existing lagoon and petrified it (

Along the ring paths to hunt orchids

However, these precious and secret gifts of nature are not the only joys that the inhabitants of Bolca share with those who venture into the Lessini Mountains. For some time, in fact Pro Loco drew a fits network of trails under the careful guidance of the professor Serafino Zanderigowhich, by virtue of its naturalistic knowledge, has inspired a circular route consisting of six routes: it is clearly a colored fish on a white background, acting as a signal for each path, each starting from the Bolca Fossil Museum, except the orange one, starting and ending at the church in S. Antonio Abate of Vestenavecchia: travel times are calibrated according to the abilities of those who go for pleasure and to consider nature. So you will discover many wild orchids and multicolored butterflies.

Murals and mosaics that tell the peasant past

And then there is Old Townalso subject to a recent aesthetic re-evaluation thanks to the volunteer work from Franco Cattazzo which involved the painter from Vicenza Fiorenzo Vaccaretti: Through vintage photographs, the most genuine spirit of the people here has been captured, as well as the customs and customs of the village’s peasant and mountain past, and has been returned to murals looking out among Bolca’s houses along with the mosaics made by the students in primary school Giuseppe Verdi which represent the works of the past. In practice, this is as if the past with stone and color was always preserved.

It is located just over 800 meters above sea level and has almost three hundred inhabitants. It rises on the slopes of Mount Purga of volcanic origin and is crossed by the Alpone River in an area rich in springs. The historic center develops around the church of San Giovanni Battista from the nineteenth century. Administratively, it is part of Vestenanova municipality in the province of Verona.

18 June 2022 (amendment 18 June 2022 | 17.19)


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