Balzi Rossi prehistoric museum and archaeological area

The museum

The Balzi Rossi are located at the western end of Liguria, a few steps from the border with France and are one of the best-known prehistoric sites in Europe. They include a series of caves ("Bausi" or "holes" in dialect, transformed into Italian into "Balzi") that open at the foot of a rocky wall of dolomitic limestone.

This place has witnessed numerous changes in sea level which 100,000 years ago was 120 meters lower than today. The Balzi Rossi area has been frequented by prehistoric man for a period of time ranging from the Lower Paleolithic (230,000 years ago approximately) to the Upper Paleolithic (10,000 years ago approximately): in the caves and outside them they have accumulated over the millennia large deposits rich in faunal remains and lithic artifacts, as well as important burials, found thanks to centuries of archaeological excavations. The most important materials preserved in the museum include in particular the skeletal remains found in different types of burials and an extraordinary set of casts of female statuettes, the most complex group of "Paleolithic venus" found in Europe. The route also includes a visit to the cave areas.

Archaeological research at the Balzi Rossi, started in the first half of the 19th century, still continues today. The site's location on the Italian-French border meant that investigations were conducted by scientific teams at an international level. This situation has caused the dispersion of many finds in various museums in Italy and abroad and in private collections (Paris, Monaco, Menton, Montreal).


Works from the Collection

Timetable and tickets


Via ai Balzi Rossi, 9
18039 Ventimiglia

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