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“Domenico dal Lago” Civic Museum – Valdagno

Corso Italia 63 (Palazzo Festari) – 36078 Valdagno (VI)
– Fax 0445 409724

The “Dal Lago” civic museum is located in Palazzo Festari and is made up of three sections: geology, paleontology and archaeology. The first two topics are addressed through 26 display cases, which explain the geological evolution of the Agno valley. The archaeological section contains finds that cover a very broad time span, thus bearing witness to the continuous presence of people inhabiting the area located between the Lessinian Mountains and the Small Dolomites. It is also very important to visit also the outdoor section, which displays two wooden reproductions of saurians, a stratigraphic pyramid and some fossil remains.

Collection history

The geological and fossil collection displayed in the museum of Valdagno is the result of the patient and passionate work carried out by Domenico Dal Lago, who between the late 19th and the early 20th cent., thanks to the help of the scholar Giovanni Meneguzzo and his deep knowledge of the area, collected a remarkable amount of rocks and fossils. In 1928 Dal Lago donated his important collection to the Municipality of Valdagno, which placed it in the Primary school “A. Manzoni”. The it was moved several times and finally it was transferred to its current venue, Palazzo Festari; in 2002 a section devoted to the finds discovered in the area of the Castle of Valdagno was added. In 2006 this part of the museum was further enlarged thanks to the discovery of other archaeological artefacts coming from some sites in the Agno valley.


The visit to the museum starts with a map showing the archaeological sites in the Agno valley, which cover a time span between Mesolithic and the middle Age. The first panel addresses the archaeological finds discovered in the upper valley, where in the 80’s traces of a lithic industry of the Mesolithic were discovered in the area of S. Quirico. The lithic tools used in this site have been collected and are now displayed in the Natural Archaeological Museum of Santa Corona in Vicenza.
The following panel regards the site Rive di Novale, placed on the left bank of the Agno river. The material found dates back to the transition era between the late Neolithic and the first half of the Copper Age (late 4th-early 3rd millennium B.C.) and is placed in a large display case, which contains: a handstone, some fragments of decorated dolia, part of an ovoid-shaped vessel and some flints (flakes, truncated flakes, microburins, burins, scrapers and others), which bear witness to the presence of a lithic industry. The same display case contains two very important artefacts, which prove the presence of people inhabiting the area of Novale and Monte Civillina also during the Iron age (8th cent. B.C.): a bronze axe from Novale and a fragmented olla from Monte Civilina with decorated neck.
The following site is Cima Marana, which is located on a transit area in the northern part of the upper Agno valley. The first heterogeneous and scattered discoveries date back to the nineteenth century and refer to items that can be traced back to different periods. The display case referring to this site contains a bronze dagger and a bronze ingot of the 13th cent. B.C., a worn Roman coin of the 6th cent. B.C: and a bronze and iron belt buckle of the Middle Ages/Renaissance. The discovery of weapons lying at a high altitude, which can be interpreted as votive offering, is confirmed by a bronze spearhead of the 13th-12th cent. B.C. found near contrada Cortesani and a bronze axe of the 12th cent. discovered near Rifugio Scalorbi.
Below Cima Marana, along the right bank of the Agno river, a deposit of archaeological finds was discovered between 1980 and 1994, near Colle di Castello; the material discovered can be divided into two main parts: lithic artefacts of the recent and final Bronze Age on the one hand, medieval artefacts on the other hand. The display case contains fragments of decorated pottery (dolia, jugs, cups, bowls and ollas), lithic tools (flints) and metal objects (furnace slag, a fragmented sickle, a bronze ring, a fragment of a strainer and one of a bellows) from a stable settlement, which can be traced back to a time span between 14th and 10th cent. B.C.. Next to them, there are also two medieval items of the 12th-13th cent. A.D.: the handle of a vessel and the rim of a pot with the hole for the handle.
The following panel and display case show the site of Campetto, which was placed in a narrow and strategic depression and which was inhabited at various stages. The first human presence dates back to the Bronze age, as some archaeological finds prove: points, retouched flakes, cores, scrapers, blades and a pendant made of roe deer antler. The other finds displayed in the case can be traced back to Late Anquity/Middle Ages and include: a follies of Constantine I (333-334 A.D), some fragments of ollas (4th-7th cent. A.D. and 12th-13th cent. A.D.), numerous iron spear bases (5th-7th cent. A.D.), a Lombard iron spearhead (6th-7th A.D.) and a firestone of the Modern Age.
The last display case contains metal tools (knives, spoon and arrowheads) of the Middle Ages/Renaissance (12th-17th cent. A.D.) from the site Campetto.


Admission: Negli orari di apertura
Solo su prenotazione
Su prenotazione

Ticket: No

School access

Opening Times

Opening Days
Tipology When Specs
Summer/Winter Monday Upon reservation
Summer/Winter Tuesday Upon reservation
Summer/Winter Wednesday Upon reservation
Summer/Winter Thursday Upon reservation
Summer/Winter Friday Upon reservation
Summer/Winter Saturday 16.30 – 19.00 (only the first saturday of the month)
Summer/Winter Sunday Upon reservation

Recommended tour time (minutes): 30

Services for visitors



Educational Services


Information boards

Captions under exhibits

Guided Tours

Educational activities

Educational workshops

Library and documentation centre

Other activities


Visonà P. 1978, Studi e ricerche paletnologiche nell’alta valle dell’Agno (Vicenza), Valdagno .
Migliavacca M. 2002, Il Castello di Valdagno 4000 anni fa. Guida ai ritrovamenti preistorici della località Castello, Cornedo Vicentino .
Bonetto J. 2009, Veneto (Archeologia delle Regioni d’Italia), Roma, pp. 379.

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