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Recent Activities -A vist to the Milan Museum of Natural History


The Milan Museum of Natural History or "Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano" as it is properly known in Italian is a beautiful old building in the downtown area of Milan, Italy. The museum has been in existance since 1838, although it was badly damaged during WW II. The war damage was repaired and the Museum was re-openned in 1952. It is reportedly, Italy's greatest Museum of Natural History. I have not visited many museums in Italy and so cannot compare BUT I can report that the mineral gallery is absoutely world class. It is well organized, thoughtfully presented and is full of fabulous and interesting mineral specimens. Here is a glimpse of this great institution. I know that I could have dome better with photography but, hopefully, you'll enjoy the images.

For a "flatlander" from Central Canada, the scenery was pretty special!

We travelled by train to Milano. The scenery was beautiful and I managed to capture a few decent images along the way. Please remember that I am taking these images through a passenger car window, on a moving train.

We really only travelled to Milan for a one day visit, primarily to visit the Museo. The rest of our time in Italy was spent in Venice.

I wondered what it would be like to live in one of the villas that we could see up in the mountains! Great hiking!

A very handsome and distinguished building, indeed. Lots of park benches to sit on and large trees to sit under abound around the museum. For some reason, i did not take a picture of the Museum building! Here is one that I have borrowed to give you an idea of its appearance.

The cases were very well done and well lit. Cases were subdivided into mineral systems, individual localities and special exhibits. These two cases were totally dedicated to phosgenite from Monteponi, Iglesias, Sardinia. What fantastic specimens! I'll show you some close-ups in a bit.

There were a number of cases like this that highlighted various crystal and mineral systems. On to minerals!

Italy is famous for beautiful andradite specimens like this, from miniera dello Sferlun, val Lanterna, Lombardia.

A really nice specimen of anglesite crystals from Miniera si Monteponi, Iglesias, Sardinia. About 10.0cm tall.

This specimen of native antimony cleavages in matrix from Kalliosalo, Nurmo, Finland is particularly well crystallized for this mineral.

How could a crystal be more perfectly perched for display?! This plate supports a 70mm, classic baveno twin of orthoclase from none other than Baveno, Verbania, Piemonte.

There were very few Canadian Specimens in this wonderful museum. Here is a very nice gypsum specimen from the classic Winnipeg River Floodway occurrence, near Winnipeg, Manitoba. About 10cm tall.

An unusually good enargite crystals on matrix from Casapalca, Peru. The specimen is about 15.0cm across

One of the more spectacular specimen in the entire gallery. This elbaite tourmaline specimen, named the "Rose of Asia" stands about 35cm tall and is nothing short of amazing! From Paprok, Nuristan, Afganistan.

This is a 15.0cm tall very dramatic dlurite crystal cluster from the famous Nikolaevskiy Mine, Primorskiy Kray, Russia. Gorgeous!

Classic! A very nice galena on Siderite specimen from Neudorf, Harz, Germany. About 11.0cm across.

A gorgeous gold from Filone della Speranza, Brusson, Val d'Ayas - d'Aosta. I didn't note the height of this specimen but I think it is around 10.0cm

A colourful, superb specimen of hemimorphite from miniera Sa Duchessa, Domusnovas, Sardinia. About 12.0cm tall.

When I was a boy, I always wanted one of these kyanite/staurolite specimens from Pizzo Forno, Canton Ticino, Switzerland. This is a fairly large specimen, about 20.0cm across. Classic!

This is a nice leadhillite! The Specimen is about 8.0cm across from miniera di San Giovani, Iglesias, Cagliari, Sardinia.

A real "screamer" phosgenite, just one of many in the two cases devoted to phosgenite specimens from miniera di Monteponi, Sardinia. This specimen is about 14.0cm across.

I loved this giant 10.0cm, or so, crystal from miniera di Monteponi.

One of many killer sulphure specimens on display at the Museum. Such crystals! Specinmen is about 20.0cm across.

A magificent sulphure crystals crowns the peak of this 14.0 cm specimen from miniera di Cozzo Disi, Casteltermini, Sicily

As I recall, this amazing Sicilian sulphur crystal is about 16.0cm tall!

As I recall, this amazing Sicilian sulphur crystal is about 16.0cm tall!

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