A plunge into the distant past and the fascinating world of archaeology
What it is and where it is
Monte Generoso can be discovered thanks to exciting paths, immersed in nature and fantastic views, open to the Bernina Mountains, Tremezzina Mountains, Grigna, Grignetta, Monte S. Primo, Resegone, Monte Rosa, Cervino, Swiss Mountains and, finally, the lakes of Como, Varese and in the foreground that of Ceresio. But also the bowels of the mountain give beauty and excitement to those who want to discover them: right here, in fact, at 1450 meters above sea level, on the Italian side of the mountain on the border with Switzerland, is the Bear Cave, a ravine inhabited since prehistoric times and that today, speleologists, historians and the curious explore with bated breath.
Why it's special
A visit inside Bear Cave gives an immediate plunge into the past, some 300,000 years old. Finds unearthed to date tell of cave bears weighing nearly 800 kg and up to 3 meters long that spent their winter hibernation in the cave. The recovered paleontological material also testifies to the presence of other animal species including wolves, elk, megaceros deer, and micromammal remains.
Not to be missed
For visitors who want to immerse themselves in prehistory, Augmented Reality support will make this experience unique and unforgettable. Accompanied safely by an expert guide, one will be able to discover a virtual world of bears and Neanderthals through special smart multimedia glasses. You will find yourself being transported to the bottom of the sea, you will be able to see Cave Bears as they feed, sleep and play, thanks to spectacular 3D reconstructions created by university researchers and the project's technology partner, ARtGlass. A veritable time machine!
A bit of history
The Bear Cave, excavated by water over millions of years, was discovered in the summer of 1988 and the first excavations carried out in 1991 by researchers from the University of Milan, brought to light more than 40,000 fossils of Ursus spelaeus, a bear that became extinct during the last ice age.
Contrary to popular belief, the bear's teeth were specialized for an essentially vegetarian diet. It became extinct in Western Europe about 20,000 years ago during the last ice age.
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