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Along the convenient path that leads to the summit of Monte Generoso, it is interesting to observe several geological curiosities on the left side.

At the start of the path there is an outcrop of rock from which some blocks were recently extracted for the construction of walls.

The rock in this spot is made up of strata around 15 cm thick that was formed over 750 million years, bounded by thin clayey levels. The darker strata are thin strips of flint. On the floor of the footpath, it is possible to observe numerous trace fossils, left by animals like the present hooved ones that crawled along the sands of the marine floor.

The Grottos
and the Karst

A karst region is characterised by the solubility in water of the rock that it is made up of (predominantly limestone). The moulding of the surfaces by the water, the erosion and the presence of grottos, distinguish the karst areas. The surfaces seem tormented, the rock decayed, the phenomena of erosion is imposing.

The Monte Generoso is a karst massif, made up predominantly of limestone flints of the Inferior Lias. Because of the irregular flinty nature of these limestones, the superficial karst phenomena are relatively discreet and irregularly distributed. The deep phenomena are, however, well developed and very old and to a great extent, still unknown.

The fossils

The rocks of Monte Generoso are constituted of flinty limestone, a sedimentary rock that originated from the depths of the sea, 200 million years ago. It is formed by the shells of molluscs and the skeletons of dead marine vertebrates. The deposits here reached a considerable thickness. Not all the animals were turned into fossils. The majority rotted without leaving any trace.

The formation of a fossil, therefore, is a major event that takes place only when the animal is quickly buried and removed from any contact with the air.
Thus, the fossils are documents that reveal the story of Monte Generoso.