Comune di Vicenza

Vicenza: città patrimonio dell'Unesco

The museum’s natural history collections

The Vicenza Civic Museum was originally opened in the prestigious Palazzo Chiericati in 1855. At that time it was considerably enriched with important naturalist collections, thanks to donations by Scortegagna, Gardinale, Lioy and many other distinguished naturalists. These included rich herbariums, argentiferous minerals, the Cocodilus vicetinus fossil, found in a cave at Bolca, a bat found in the lignite of Monteviale and much else.
During the Second World War the Civic Museum was bombed (18 March 1945) and almost all the natural history materials were destroyed. Of all the original collections, only two paleontological collections were retrieved from among the ruins.
So the current exhibits are largely recent acquisitions and donations, though not of any lesser value. The collection now includes precious ornithological remains, mounted or skins, including many rare species, malacological and osteological collections and the seven folders of the Herbarium created by the famous naturalist-archaeologist Paolo Lioy between 1854 and 1856. There are also exceptional entomological collections containing various holotypes and paratypes of species described in the Vicenza area or by local naturalists, increasing the museum’s close links with the region.

Renato Regalin Entomological Collection: cave-dwelling insects

Collection made up solely of cave-dwelling insects.

864 specimens.

Erminio Piva Entomological Collection

Representative collection of Italian troglodytic insect fauna. All the material comes from caves in northern Italy.

87 specimens.

Paolo Fontana Entomological Collection

Collection consisting mainly of coleoptera. It contains almost complete collections of zygaenids, meloidae, oedemeridae and cicindelidae belonging to Italian fauna and a small nucleus of scorpions.

The first (purchased) nucleus made up solely of coleoptera is followed by a second batch of donated material.

7000 specimens.

Alberto Fracasso Entomological Collection of Lepidoptera

This contains only Lepidoptera, caught mainly in the Triveneto area. All determined material.. 213 specimens.

F.M. Buzzetti Entomological Collection

Collection of dried insects, mainly heteroptera. There is a box of dermaptera of particular significance to Italian fauna.

3186 specimens.

Dino Mondin Coleotteri Entomological Collection

Consisting of 16 (sixteen) metal and glass display boxes containing insects. The material probably comes from collections made in the Vicenza area.

5795 specimens.

Faustino Cussigh Entomological Collection

Collection of dried insects, mainly coleoptera and mainly from the Vicenza area. The Curculio vicetinus Cussigh, 1989, types are contained in this, along with biological study material. As there is no information on collection dates, apart from the specimens from other sources, the collection is identified as having been formed during the life of F. Cussigh (1940-2005).

26569 specimens.

Collection of Invertebrates in liquid

About 100 test-tubes containing invertebrates in alcohol. Heterogeneous material, collected mainly in Italy by different people.

26 specimens.

Ornithological Collection of skins and mounted specimens

Collection of birds, consisting mainly of skins and to a lesser extent of mounted specimens. The remains belong to 188 species and are almost all provided with the date of capture; their provenance is mainly local (Vicenza province), a few specimens are from other parts of Italy or abroad. Most were given to the museum by the Provincial Administration; some were purchased as part of specific collection programmes.

903 specimens.

Giovanni Baron Ornithological Collection

Collection consisting of birds caught mainly in the Vicenza area in the early 1900s. The specimens are all mounted.

177 specimens.

De Marchi Ornithological Collection

Collection consisting mainly of mounted birds, provided with cards showing provenance and date of capture (26 specimens). An interesting specimen is the greater spotted eagle. It also includes fossils and current sea shells; all undetermined material and of unknown provenance.

50 specimens.

Herpetological alcohol-exuviae collection

About 90 specimens preserved in alcohol and exuviae. The collection dates from the start of a provincial project to map the amphibians and reptiles. Material mainly collected in the Vicenza area. Some specimens were collected in Croatia, Corsica, Spain and Georgia.

90 specimens.

Geo-paleontological collection – historic 1 - Vertebrates (Quaternary)

Collection consisting of bones (human and wild fauna) collected by Gastone Trevisiol from peat-digging pits in the Valli di Fimon (Valdemarca) between 1940 and 1944.

643 specimens.

Osteological Collection of Amphibians and Reptiles

Contains some tortoise carapaces and lizard and amphibian bones.

8 specimens.

Chiropterological Collection

Contains bats preserved dry and in alcohol. The specimens were collected in the Vicenza area.

8 specimens.

Macromammiferi - Skins

Collection of macromammalian skins, brought to Vicenza by supervisors of the Provincial Administration. Only some of the skins have been tanned.

9 specimens.

Micromammalia - Skins

Skins, skulls, mandibles and other bones.

180 specimens.

Ichthyological collection in alcohol

Consisting of only three units of samples. The material is all from the province of Vicenza.

3 specimens.

Osteological Collection of Macromammalia

Contains craniums, jaws and various macrovertebrate bones. The samples come mainly from the Vicenza area and prepared by the museum.

29 specimens.

Osteological Ornithological Collection

Contains mainly bird craniums recovered by Provincial Administration supervisors. The remains are kept in pressure sealed plastic bags.

37 specimens.

Geo-paleontological collection – historic 1 - Fossils

Includes materials from Dr Francesco Orazio Scortegagna’s “Cabinet of Natural History”. This collection probably contains fossils from other collections that came to the museum in the nineteenth century from other collectors. Some of the material has been filed by Ermanno Quaggiotto (319 files).

2904 specimens.

Paleontological-Petrographic Collection - historic 2

Heterogeneous paleontological-petrographic collection consisting mainly of rocks and fossils from the provinces of Verona and Vicenza. Some of the remains are accompanied by cards with a non-scientific determination of the piece. The time it was formed and acquired by the museum is uncertain. Analysis of the cards, however, suggests that it was formed after the mid-1800s.

2025 specimens.

Geo-paleontological collection – historic 1 – Minerals and Rocks

The collection consists of numerous materials; some of them probably from the “Cabinet of Natural History”, where donations made to the museum in the nineteenth century were kept. The collection consists of 656 undetermined pieces collected in 12 boxes.

656 specimens.

Geo-paleontological collection Da Schio and others

The collection consists of materials donated by Alvise and Giulio Da Schio, and possibly also by other naturalists such as Paolo Lioy, Franco Cibele and Carlo Ghellini.

466 specimens.

Grotta del Lupo Quaternary Fauna Osteological Collection

Quaternary fauna recovered from illegal quarry workings.

116 specimens.

Franco Mastrovita Paleontological Collection

The collection contains samples of invertebrate fossils from various parts of the Vicenza area: Altavilla Vicentina, Gambugliano, Monteviale, Monte San Lorenzo, S. Luca di Marostica, Riva Mala, Monte Ponzimiglio, Cava Boschetto di Chiampo, Malo, Schio, S. Urbano and Perarolo.

1636 specimens.

Paleontological Collection - open

The collection was formed at the beginning of the 1980s when a committee was being formed to set up a new Natural History Museum in Vicenza, in which the Proteo Speleology club also took part. The members of the Proteo club and other paleontology enthusiasts put together a first nucleus of fossils for the new museum’s showcases. The collection was then expanded over the years, but there have been no recent additions. The collection contains about 450 determined pieces, of which about 200 are catalogued. The work of determining and cataloguing was done by Ermanno Quaggiotto.

245 specimens.

Paolo Lioy Herbarium

Herbarium containing 1207 sheets (f): 1203 with specimens of vascular species, 3 bryophytes and 1 lichen. The samples are divided into 7 folders (F) and 418 files (c). F1, 63c, 170 f; F2, 53c, 191f; F3, 60c, 149f; F4, 60c, 182f; F5, 61c, 184f; F6, 59c, 159f; F7, 62c, 172f. 46 specimens are without original cards and have been determined. 22 specimens were collected by F. S. Beggiato and 18 by Pappafava. 518 specimens are without place of collection and more than 300 come from the Vicenza area.

1027 specimens.

Luigi Stefano Valente Herbarium

Herbarium of phanerogamous plants made up of specimens collected between 1988 and 1993 in various parts of Italy and former Yugoslavia. It contains specimens of endemisms. The herbarium is mainly organised systematically. Dried specimens are arranged by place of collection.

485 specimens.

Antonio Dal Lago Herbarium

Collection of vascular species mainly from the Vicenza area; consisting of fortuitous collections.

712 specimens.

Rubus Herbarium - Pisana Costantin Research Degree Thesis

Collection containing the samples used for the review of the Rubus genre from which the following species were shown to certainly be present in the Vicenza area: R. ulmifolius Scott, R. praecox Bertoloni, R. canescens DC., R. hirtus Waldst et Kit. aggr., R. caesius L., R. idaeus L., R. saxatilis L., R. phoenicolasius Maxim (escaped from cultivation), R. laciniatus Willd (escaped from cultivation).

151 specimens.


Collection initially formed by Stefano Valente, who donated the first 31 specimens to the museum; then added to by other collectors. It is not clear whether the indication on the cards for the Valente pieces corresponds to the chorology of the species or the place of collection. The name of 4 specimens is incorrect or not present..

58 specimens.

Parasitism on vascular plants

Contains samples of vegetables with gall and alterations of the vegetal apparatus by larvae and adult insects.

29 specimens.

Sante Zangiacomi Lichenological Collection

Historical collection of lichens that belonged to Sante Zangiacomi. It was found in the archaeological storerooms at Palazzo Chiericati during the reordering of the collections (1984-90) made prior to the museum’s move to its new Contrà S. Corona premises in September 1991. The samples had been kept in sheets of newspaper inside a wooden box. The collection is currently being taxonomically revised and reordered by Riccardo Febbraretti. It also contains some seeds.

218 specimens.