Kids of all ages have always been fascinated by a mysterious and legendary creature: the Mummy. Make them live an unforgettable adventure by visiting one of the two Italian museums where mummies are the archeo-stars. One is the Egyptian Museum in Turin, a must-see for children keen on pyramids and hieroglyphs. The other is the Archaeology Museum in Bozen, where we met Otzi some weeks ago.

Who is Otzi

Otzi is a natural mummy found in the Alps 20 years ago. Natural means that his body (it’s a male mummy!) has not been exposed to any intentional chemical process in order to be preserved, but the mummification is the result of a natural event. In Otzi’s particular case, after the death, the body had been covered by snow for 3,300 years. That’s why he is known as The Iceman everywhere.

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During the first days after the mummy’s recovery, it was difficult to understand his identity, age and cause of death. Later on, his clothes and other important tools were luckily found out around the body and now we know many things about him, his social status, physiognomy and maybe also the reason why he was recovered precisely there: 3,210 meters (10,530 ft) above the sea level.

Of course, we won’t reveal here, in few seconds, more details about this millenary secret. We let you discover all news about Otzi and his incredible recovery during the visit at the Archaeology Museum in Bozen.

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The recovery of the Iceman

The recovery of the mummy, in the Otztal Alps, is mainly due to chance, as it was his mummification. A German couple found it out while hiking off-trail along the Italian-Austrian border. At first, they thought it was a mountain climber who died in an accident on the Alps, so they took some pictures in order to be believed by the police. Of course, not even policemen couldn’t imagine the body was more than three thousands years old!

It took three days to extract the body from the ice and later it was carried to the University of Innsbruck, in Austria. Italy couldn’t accept of giving Otzi the Austrian nationality without verifying if the excavation site was really beyond the border.
And … guess what!!!!
For less than 100 metres (101 yds) Otzi is an Italian mummy …
So now he rests in Bozen’s Museum, about 3 hours driving both from Venice and Milan.

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What we like about the Otzi’s exhibition

During the weekend the museum organizes guided tours for families. Without booking in advance, we were part of the team of young scholars committed to discovering the secrets of Otzi and the Copper Age. The guide welcomed us with a backpack full of modern hiking tools used for the different task, and our mission was to find objects in the museum that 3,000 years ago were used for the same aim.
And then … well … just imagine the happiness of lighting the fire with flint!

If you visit the museum during weekdays, your children can have fun with the prehistoric games in the kids’ area.
The holders of the Brixen Card don’t pay the tickets and there are discounts for families.
The Museum’s website has a nice section with games for children about Otzi and the prehistory: don’t forget to have a look there before the visit.

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Good to know:

  • How to get there: the Archaeology Museum is in Bozen’s downtown, 15 minutes walking from the railway station. If you take a bus, get off at the stop in Via Cassa di Risparmio
  • Where to park: the museum does not have parking space and all the parking lots in the area are on payment. You can use the one in Walther Platz
  • Opening Times: Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am-6 pm (last entry 5.30 pm); in July, August and December it’s open also on Monday. Closed on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.
    Every Saturday and Sunday, at 3 pm, there is an Italian guided tour for kids (6-14 years old). The extra charge is € 2,50 per person. If you book it in advance (tel. +39 0471 320 100), you can ask for a German or English speaking guide
  • Tickets: Adults: € 9,00. Children: up to 6 years free; over 7 years: € 7,00. Family card: € 18,00 for 2 adults and children up to 14 years. Entry is free for Brixen Card‘s holders
  • Kids facilities: in July and August a Family Room is available from 10 am to 6 pm: here kids can play while parents visit the museum. The book-shop has a good choice of books and games for children. There’s a small area inside the exhibition with prehistoric games for the youngest

Information and booking

Museo Archeologico dell’Alto Adige
Via Museo 43, Bolzano – Alto Adige
cap 39100
tel: 0039 0471 320100 – fax: 0039 0471 320 122
e-mail: info@iceman.it
web: www.iceman.it

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