Bergamo takes pride in museum’s amazing collection
Bergamo is well known for its art treasures and musical heritage but perhaps not widely recognised as a centre for science.
However, in the historic upper town,
the Città Alta, there is a prestigious natural history museum with thousands of
fascinating artefacts for visitors to see.
The Museo Civico Scienze Naturali Enrico
Caffi is in Piazza Cittadella
The Museo Civico Scienze Naturali Enrico Caffi (The Civic Museum of Natural Sciences Enrico Caffi) is in Piazza Cittadella, a square close to Colle Aperto and Porta Sant’Alessandro.
A reproduction of a huge mammoth greets customers in the entrance hall. Inside the museum, exhibits are divided into the categories of zoology, entomology, geology and palaeontology.
There are examples of all five classes of vertebrates, along with a collection of anthropods.
The museum’s origins date back to the end of the 19th century when exhibitions were held during public holidays of the artefacts from the Royal Technical Institute Vittorio Emanuele II.
In 1918, the museum moved to Piazza
Vecchia in the Città Alta and in 1920, Dottore Enrico Caffi was appointed as
the first director of the museum and organised the cataloguing of all items in
the museum’s collection. Caffi was an expert on the Parco delle Orobie outside
Bergamo and devoted his time to studying the flora and fauna. He left a large
quantity of manuscripts with scientific articles about his findings and maps of
Dottore Enrico Caffi was the
museum's first director
Under successive professors the museum was expanded and studies were made of Lago Endine and the Brembo and Serio rivers.
In 1969, the museum moved to its present headquarters in Piazza Cittadella. Four years later, a fossil of the oldest known flying creature was found in Seriana valley. The creature, who lived more than two million years ago, was described for the very first time by Rocco Zambelli, who was responsible for the paleontology section of the museum.
The museum now has laboratories for educational purposes and a sensory path with Braille captions for blind visitors.
In normal times the Natural Sciences Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, but it has temporarily closed due to Covid 19. Visit www.museoscienzebergamo.it for more information.
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