The Natural History Museum of Mount Baldo and of Lake Garda is housed at the Casermetta inside the Scaliger Castle. It was completely refurbished in 2008, with the help of the scientific staff of the Civic Museum of Natural History of Verona.
The museum aims at presenting the local natural history through an easy and highly suggestive outfitting.
It comprises nine rooms, four of which are dedicated to the lake and situated in the lower ground floor, while the other five rooms, that focus on the landscape and the mountains, are in the ground floor.
The nine rooms of the Museum
- Room 1: The depth
The aim of this room is to immerse the visitors in the lake, detaching them from the external reality and recreating the lacustrine environment from a special point of view: the bottom of the lake. This extraordinary perspective allows the visitors to watch the lake with new eyes.
- Room 2: The chronology
The main topic of this room is presenting the geological formation of both Mount Baldo and Lake Garda highlighting and comparing the current situation with the geological condition of millions of years ago.
The lake and the sublacustrine sources with the submerged sloping stony layers are put in the foreground. Some rock specimens of different geological formation are displayed and can be touched by the guests (morainic rocks, marlstone dating back to the Eocene/Paleocene, Scaglia Rossa, Majolica, Red ammonitic, Oolite of San Vigilio, grey limestone, and many others).
- Room 3: The stratigraphy of the lake
The present and the past fish fauna of the lake is the main theme of this section. The living fish species are shown in two showcases. A scale model, constructed following the cartography provided by the Navy Hydrographic Institute, depicts the lake and its depth, giving several other data regarding its length, width, and other significant aspects.
- Room 4: The reed bed
This room reproduces a glimpse of the Lake representative of the different historical realities. The diorama, placed on the left, recreates the reed bed of the palafitte area in Lazise. The surface fauna that currently inhabits the lake, is clearly evident. It's mainly about birds that predates or nest in the reed bed and large fish visible under the surface.
The showcases on the right present a cross-section of the hidden fauna: a complete and enlarged reconstruction of the interstitial fauna inside its own environment (sand and pebbles).
- Sala 5: The landscape and the vegetation
While entering in this room, the visitors come out from the water and ends up right in front of Mount Baldo with its environmental varieties. The different kind of vegetation are clearly highlighted: from the olive trees down below, to the meadows on th top. Visitors can open some small doors fixed on the wall and push a little botton to smell the scents and the essences of the most significant plants of this territory.
- Sala 6: The restaurant
The central part of the museum features the most original idea. In fact, this room is structured as a restaurant: every table is provided with a monitor showing a "menu" that allows the visitors to improve their knowledge of the diversity and typicality of the fauna of Lake Garda and Mount Baldo through images, tables and texts.
- Sala 7: The history
The history of the naturalistic knowledge of Mount Baldo is very old and dates back to 1500, when the first botanical explorations began. Furthermore, during the last century, the faunal and the prehistoric researches concerning Lake Garda started to take place. Showcases and panels illustrate the most relevant personalities.
- Sala 8: The mountain
The main topic of this room is the fauna of Mount Baldo and of its typical environment. Stuffed animals are placed on glasses representing the altitude in which these animal live (from 6 to 2000 m a.s.l.).
- Sala 9: Making the most of the territory
The purpose of this room is leading the visitors to some particular places of this territory. There aren't any rigorous information but only suggestions. It's a place where visitos can read, express their opinion on the museum and sign the guestbook.