The Ice Man and his World
The Alpine valleys of Val Camonica hold one of the largest collections of Prehistoric rock art in the world - Italy’s first World Heritage Site. The images depict every facet of life from Neolithic through to Roman times. Each depiction is unique, creating a varied and concentrated gallery of prehistoric life: there are animals, humans, boats, carts, huts - some strung together into narratives - an almost overwhelming profusion of detail.
Having set the scene, we venture into the mountains to visit the ice-man ‘Ötzi’ - an emissary from 5000 years ago. Hikers stumbled across Ötzi in 1991, and for over two decades analysis of his body, and the extraordinary Prehistoric tool kit he carried, has given us a glimpse into the Ice Man’s world...
- Special tour of Bolzano Museum – home to the Ice Man, Ötzi – with the curators who preserve him
- Discover the Prehistoric gallery of over 100,000 rock art depictions in the Val Camonica national park
- Remarkable waterlogged wooden structures and everyday items preserved in the mud at the edge of Lake Ledro
- Rock Art
- Special Access
- Small Group
- Low Single Supplement
- All Inclusive
We arrive in Verona.
We begin our tour with the first of two days exploring Val Camonica. Today, we see rock art sites in Naquane Park. The valley is 75 km long and contains around 300,000 Prehistoric rock art images, depicting weapons, tools and animals that are now extinct. During Prehistory this area was the contact zone between the rest of Italy and central Europe, and it was through this Alpine pass that people and their ideas moved. This afternoon we contrast art with domestic life as we view reconstructed Prehistoric houses at Foppa di Nadro.
We view rock art sites in the archaeological park of Serdina-Bedolini and in Val Camonica. After lunch, we continue to the huge engraved stones at Massi di Cemmo where excavations have also uncovered a Bronze Age sanctuary. We end the day at the Museum of Prehistoric Art and Life.
We enjoy a morning in Ledro on the scenic shores of a mountain lake, where waterlogged remains of Bronze Age lake dwellings have been found, some of which have been reconstructed. Images of possible Prehistoric houses carved into the rocks at Val Camonica may represent settlements such as these. The remarkable finds excavated from the lake village include bread baked by being moulded around heated stones. We continue to Riva del Garda and La Rocca Museum, where the exhibits include Copper Age statues. On to our next base, Trento.
We delve further into the Alps to Bolzano Museum, home of the Ice Man. Here we have special access to the Museum, which is introduced by scientists and archaeologists.
The original artefacts are very well displayed, along with excellent reconstructions, and are irresistibly fascinating. They include a birch-bark box for carrying the embers of the Ice Man’s fire; antibiotic fungus as part of a portable medical kit; elegantly stitched leather clothing, a dried grass cloak and insulated walking shoes. Ötzi’s body has yielded information on how he died, his diet, parasitic infestation, and body decoration: the tattoos on his back and legs are thought to indicate acupuncture points.
In the afternoon, we visit the archaeological collections of the Castello Buonconsiglio and enjoy some free time for you either to return to Trento, allowing the opportunity to visit the new Science Museum, or to just relax in the beautiful city.
We fly home this morning.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
3 nights in a comfortable 3 star hotel in Boario Terme
2 nights in Terme
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