The fossil symbol of Piedmont is exhibited at the Craveri Museum in Bra

The fossil symbol of the Piedmont Region is beautifully displayed in the windows of the Craveri Civic Museum of Natural History. It is a walnut kernel belonging to the Juglans nux-taurinensis species referable to a time interval between 7.254 and 5.96 million years (Upper Miocene), the most voted result in Piedmont within the "Regional Fossils" initiative ", born from the synergy between the group of young people of the "Palaeontologist in Progress" and the council of the Italian Paleontological Society, and prepared with the help of numerous Italian paleontologists, with the aim of promoting the dissemination and knowledge of the riches of the heritage paleontology of our country.

In his important writing of 1895, entitled “Flora Fossile Braidese”, Paolo Peola mentions Juglans nux-taurinensis and reports that the finds of this species, belonging to the collection of the Craveri Museum, come from La Morra. He also reports some pages of a manuscript by Federico Craveri in which the latter mentions the presence of a fossiliferous site, discovered by his brother Ettore and his geologist friend Bartolomeo Gastaldi in the Bric del Dente area, between the Castello della Volta and the town of La Morra.

The scientific-educational importance of these fossils is evident: they constitute the only finds of this type found in Piedmont (the samples present at the Museum of Geology and Paleontology in Turin were lost during the Second World War); they provide chronostratigraphic, paleoclimatic and paleodistribution information; finally their value also derives from being linked to the paleontological studies of important figures of the eighteenth century such as Carlo Allioni and of the nineteenth century such as Federico Craveri, Bartolomeo Gastaldi, Paolo Peola, Federico Sacco and Eugenio Sismonda.

La Morra walnuts appear among the first fossils described in Piedmont: in 1757, Allioni mentioned them as "Fructum nucis juglandis". It was then the Frenchman Brongniart in 1828 who established the new species Juglans nux-taurinensis (i.e. "Turin walnut") precisely on the basis of five specimens from La Morra and still preserved at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle in Paris.

This and many other fantastic finds can be admired in the rooms of the Craveri Museum which can be visited on Sundays and holidays from 10am to 12.30pm and from 2.30pm to 5.30pm, on Thursdays from 3pm to 6pm, by reservation only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Friday from 8.30 to 12.30. For info and reservations: tel. 0172-412010 (Mon-Fri from 8.30 to 12) email