The lovely town of Bagnone is where the largest preserved iron meteorite in Italy was found in 1905 in field near the castle. And if you’d like to acquire your own little piece of the Bagnone meteorite, you can – for a mere Euro 1,000.
The meteorite was discovered when contadini were clearing and levelling land that belonging to the Noceti family, the noble family of Bagnone. Count Carlo Noceti showed no interest in the find, and the 45kg meteorite was left where it was found.
After his death in 1944, his estate was inherited by his two daughters, Elisa and Maria. Maria moved to Pisa after her marriage, and happened to mention the strange rock to a friend, Professor Stefano Bonatti in 1967.
The Professor identified the rock as a meteorite and it was carried down to Bagnone Castle, home of the Noceti since 1526, in a ‘traza’, a cart pulled by two oxen. It was acquired by the Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography of the University of Pisa, and is now housed in the natural history museum, La Certosa di Calci near Pisa.
A small slice, weighing 150 grams, of the meteorite was given to the natural history museum of Milan. The piece on sale is part of that section and weighs 5.5 grams. Apparently, it is a bargain at Euro 1,000 as the original price was Euro 1,650.
Note: The Bagnone meteorite is said to be the largest preserved meteorite in Italy. The largest meteorite fell in Alfianello, Brescia in 1883 and weighed 220kg. Unfortunately, the local farmers broke it up thinking that there was something valuable inside. It was further reduced in size for distribution to various natural history museums around the world, and the largest surviving piece weights just over 10kg.