The Paleontological Museum "Silvio Lai", Visitor Center of Rio Torsero Regional Reserve, was founded in 1993. The current exhibit was inaugurated in 2008, and welcomes visitors in modern and colored premises, studied above all for children. The museum displays part of the municipal collection of the fossils coming from the nearby Rio Torsero Regional Reserve, dating back to Lower Pliocene (from 5.3 to 3.6 million years ago). The visit to the Museum starts from the "wardrobe", where visitors can follow a self-guided route at various levels of knowledge, opening the series of doors and drawers forming the structure. The "wardrobe" invites you to discover the world of fossils and, in particular, the fossils of Rio Torsero, providing information on the main concepts of Paleontology, the fossilization processes, the geology, and the paleogeography of the Nature Reserve. Two tables suggest a paleo-environmental reconstruction of the Pliocene seabed. A series of "boxes" in the floor contains blocks of fossiliferous rocks dating back to the Cenozoic Age, coming from some of the most important paleontological sites of Liguria. The visit ends with the so-called "snail", a spiral staircase obtained from a snail-shaped structure. Visitors, following the route anticlockwise, will retrace the geological time of the Earth, observing it materializing, epoch after epoch, in the fossils on display.
Moreover, the museum is equipped with a conference hall, a lab, and a small library/newspaper library.
Outdoor, a small botanic garden describes the evolution of the terrestrial flora from the Paleozoic period, dominated by Ferns, Lycophytes, and Sphenophytes, through the Mesozoic period (the realm of the Gymnosperms), to get to the Cenozoic period including our epoch, whose flora is dominated by Angiosperms. The big systematic groups are represented by current plants like Equisetum hyemale, Cycas revoluta, and Wollemia nobilis, whose origins date back to very ancient times.
From 26th June 2011 to 18th September 2011
Tuesday 3.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m.
Friday 3.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m. and 8.30 p.m. - 10.30 p.m.
Saturday 3.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m.
Sunday 10.00 a.m. - noon
Entrance fee: Euros 2.00 / free for under 14