You can hardly be closer to the history of dinosaurs than on the magnificent Monte San Giorgio. The former lagoon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts visitors with beautiful hiking trails and a spectacular museum.


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What a view that is on this Monte San Giorgio! We are standing on top of the generous summit, which is "only" 1097 metres high and falls down to the north, enjoying the panorama in the middle of the two southern arms of Lake Lugano.

Monte San Giorgio - and its neighbouring areas at Monte Pravello and Monte Orsa in the Italian province of Varese - were among the world's most important deposits of marine fossils from the Middle Triassic, according to a leaflet from the Fossil Museum of Meride, which should definitely be visited in connection with this hike.

What is special about San Giorgio, however, is that, in contrast to other world-renowned deposits, which normally comprise only a single fossil layer attributable to a specific geological period, there are at least five different layers here.

For this reason, groups of organisms were found here that existed in the same environment for several million years.

More than 20000 fossils have been taken from these five layers since 1850.

It is hardly surprising that these unique finds have led UNESCO to include the site in its World Heritage List in 2003 (and the Italian part in 2010). The summit should definitely be included in the hike.

In the ascent one is tempted to turn each stone over individually in the hope that a petrified fossil might not be hidden underneath.

If not, it doesn't matter, because the hiking area on the "Fossilienberg" is simply beautiful, with light forests and good paths.

Even a cable car leads from the lake shore in Brusino up to Serpiano at 651 metres; the mountain station is also accessible by a road.

From there it is not far to the summit, which is why the summit area with the stone house can become a playground.

The first part of the descent south over the sparsely wooded mountain ridge is then a real dream, because the Valais four-thousand-metre range always magically attracts the eye.

Then it becomes steep for a short while until you reach the Geopath again in Pozzo, which leads east through the steep eastern flank of San Giorgio back to Meride. equipment Normal hiking equipment.