Balzi Rossi is a popular prehistoric site since the 1800s due to the significant findings. It’s a few metres from shore at the bottom of a red limestone wall with caves and grottos. From these caves have been recovered manufacturers made of bones and stone, fireplaces, burials and animal remains dating from Lower Paleolithic to latest Prehistory.
The Balzi Rossi Caves
Coming from the edge you run into the Caves of Conte Costantini and the Cave of the children which is so called due to the grave of two children dating from Upper Paleolithic (between 35.000 and 10.000 years ago) which was found inside. Then you come across Riparo Lorenzi, the Cave of Caviglione, Bombrini’ s Cove and Barma Grande where in 19th century they found a grave containing the remains of three bodies, one adult and two children, also dating from Upper Paleolithic.
Grave and corpses were covered by red ochre powder and their heads crowned with shells, fish bones and teeth of stag. Three large knives of flint were found within the burial equipment, which were usually produced at more than 100 Km from the site in the area of Vaucluse which means that early hunters-collectors used to move around a lot. At last, a fragment of the pelvis of a woman of Homo erectus lived 230.000 years ago was found into the cyclopic Grotta del Principe.
There still are many drawings dating from Upper Paleolithic carved on some sections of the walls inside the caves, such as the silhouette of a horse in Grotta del Caviglione.
A large number of statuettes portraying a woman connected to the cult of Mother Goddess were found as well, the so called “Venus figurines”, some of which today are collected in the Musée des Antiquités Nationales in Paris. Other amazing findings are exhibited inside the two museum’s buildings of Balzi Rossi archaeological park where you can also refer to a rich informative system illustrating various historic and archaeological issues of this very area.
Open from Tuesday to Sunday: 8.30 a.m.-7.30 p.m.
Closed on Mondays.
Ticket price: Full € 4,00 - Reduced € 2,00
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE CARD:
CIVILIZATION: early man
ADMINISTRATION: Polo Museale of Liguria
REDISCOVERY: XIX century
How to get to Balzi Rossi
The nearest train station is Mentone.
Take motorway A10, exit gate Ventimiglia. Keep driving through SS1 towards the border (Confine di Stato) until Ponte San Ludovico.