Thanks to the important work of Giovanni Capellini, the first to hold the chair of Geology in Italy, the museum officially opened in 1881 and was enriched with geopaleontological finds from all over the world, of unsurpassed scientific, educational and expositive importance.
Nowadays the collection witnesses more than five hundred years of educational and research activity, with assets of nearly one million pieces placed in the original furnishing of the late 19th century including rocks, plants, invertebrate and vertebrate fossils. In the halls one can admire the spectacular skeletons of “Mastodonte proboscidato pliocenico”, the rich collection of Eocene fish of Monte Bolca, pliocene whales and the impressive model of Diplodocus Jurassic Dinosaur, twentysix meters long and four meters high. Nowadays it is the largest and most important Italian palaeontological museum for vastness and importance of its collections.
The museum is part of Sistema Museale d'Ateneo Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna - SMA
The access and navigation of the rooms do not present particular difficulties for the hearing impaired as there is no set itinerary.
There are no room panels or labels; labels or captions are available only for a few important pieces, while objects are usually accompanied by original typewritten labels or notes by Cappellini. The language of the brief texts requires discrete language skills, also due to the presence of many technical notions.
There is no means of visual communication in case of emergency in the bathrooms.
Motor disability and mobility issues
The Museum can present a few difficulties for visitors with mobility issues or walking difficulties.
The garden at the entrance features no handrails or buzzers, but there is a bell to call the operator beyond the glass door at the entrance. Such operator has a complete view on the entrance.
The personnel is available to position two mobile aluminium track ramps with a 10%+ gradient. To reach the first floor of the Collection, there is a stairlift that can be activated with the help of staff.