The Giulio Maini Paleontological Museum is housed in the fourteenth century church built by the Ovada in honor of Saint Anthony Abbot.
The City of Ovada with the collaboration of the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Piedmont and the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities and with the Region, has created the first museum in Piedmont entirely dedicated to Paleontology; The Museum is dedicated to Giulio Maini passionate naturalist of Ovada and celebrates its research, collection and preservation of fossils and minerals almost completely from the territory.

The exposure in the project combines a scientific value and a strong imprint teaching, creating an interesting point of reference for students, researchers, enthusiasts of Paleontology and for those who want to know, through tangible examples and eloquent, the fascinating oldest history of the area, written indelibly in soil and rocce.Il route runs from the illustration of the main themes related to the study of fossils, then dropped it detail the different geological eras, which summarizes the general characteristics, especially in reference to the evolutionary history of the various bodies living and their natural paleoenvironment.


The ancient Church host the Museum, invoice from Romanesque compact outer walls, has a beautiful stone gate (rebuilt by G.A. Gentile in 1609) and mullioned lunettes with columns topped by capitals.
The church was built around 1300 by Ovada's people in marginal position compared to the old town of the city and dedicated to St. Anthony Abbot (considered the protector of pets from the Middle Ages).
In the fourteenth century the current Via San Paolo and the same Via Sant'Antonio on which overlooked the church made up the route that from the ancient village through the door Genovese led outside the town.
In the Statutes in 1323 the location called S. Antonium ad mercatum housed the cattle market located for safety reasons outside of the city walls (the strangers and animals were considered suspected carriers of diseases and epidemics).

In place of the house of the Pilgrims adjacent to the Church, the Community ovadese decided to implement during the fifteenth century, a hospital dedicated to St. Anthony.
Such construction from lazaret and hospice, worked from 1548 as a real hospital with a surgeon, several assistants and its own chaplain.
The church soon became an integral part of the hospital; next to it there was also a small cemetery in which were buried Ovada's people dead at the hospital. In 1631, during one of the plagues that afflicted the city cemetery turned into a real "mass grave" for the victims of the disease.
The church was abandoned in 1842 in an effort by the administration of the construction of a new and more functional hospital (always dedicated to St. Anthony), operating since 1867, became part of the assets of the municipality that used it before as a warehouse and then as a district prison.
During the eighties, resumed full availability by the municipality, the City promoted and oversaw a careful restoration of the interior. In the nineties it was decided to install inside the Civic Paleontological Museum dedicated to Giulio Maini opened in 2003.
The conclusion of the outside restoration work completed this new redevelopment artistic - urban.