The best caves to visit in Italy
With the limestone topography covering most parts of Italy, the country has some of the most spectacular natural caves in the world. Italy is currently one of the leading attractions based on caves, both sea and mountain caves.
The government has slightly improved most of the caves by providing special lighting inside them as well as stairways to ensure more security for the visitors. Sea bend caves have wet floors and fragile roofs while most mountain caves have chilly temperatures with dry floors and rocky roofs. Here are some of the most famous Italian caves.
Grotta Gigante, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
This is a giant cave which got into the Guinness book of world records back in 1995 as the largest tourist cave in the world. Grotta Gigante can be found in Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, just 10 kilometers from the city of Trieste.
It has internal formations of Colonna reaching up to 12 meters high. It also has an interior tunnel which is reached through stairs on a downhill tunnel. Guided tours into this cave last for about one hour.
Grotta Gigante, Trieste, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia by Aqwis
Monte Cucco Cave, Umbria
Monte Cucco Cave is one of the deepest caves in the world. It has an advancement of about 20km with about 27 meters drop from the mountain peak into the cave at the entrance.
The cave is located in the Umbria region within the Monte Cucco Park. Tourists are asked to choose among three difficulty levels during tour guides, two of which need advanced booking.
Frassassi caves, Marche
Frassassi caves are series of caves forming the Europe’s largest known cave system. They have internal chambers with magnificent stalactites and stalagmites exhibiting various colors. There is a chapel that was built by architect Giuseppe Validier about 1500 meters from the caves entrance back in 1828. The largest cave in this cave system is known as Grotta Del Vento.
Grotte di Frasassi, Genga, Ancona, Marche by Ben Francis
Monte Corchia cave, Tuscany
Monte Corchia cave is a 70 km stretch forming an underground cave which is also referred to as the empty mountain. Tour guides last for about 2 hours. It has several formations of stalagmites, stalactites and underground lakes. It is located on the Apuan Alps in northern Tuscany, few kilometers from Forte dei Marmi.
Sassi caves, Basilicata
Sassi caves form an ancient dwelling of an Italian city called Matera. It is also referred to as the hidden city where villages and dwellings are curved on the rock in the cave. The beauty of the dwellings has attracted thousands of visitors including actors and world news reporters.
Sassi caves, Matera, Basilicata by Paola Sucato
Grotta di Nettuno, Sardinia
This cave was discovered by local fishermen in the 18th century. Grotta di Nettuno extends for about four kilometres to include an underwater extension. It is located at the base of the cliff on the Sardina Island, just above the sea level. It is a major attraction to scuba divers. The cave has a lighted pathway to the interior levels.
Grotta di Nettuno, Sardinia by Tobias Helfrich
Grotta Azzurra (Blue grotto), Campania
Grotta Azzurra is one of the most visited places in Capri, which is unique for its brilliant blue luminescence. The sunlight enters the cave from two points, one which is below the water line and another which is directly facing the cave. Water filters the light leaving azure blue rays to come out of the water into the cave. It’s often visited through a rowboat.
Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto), Capri, Campania by dr_tr
Grotte Di Castellana, Puglia
Grotte Di Castellana is an enormous complex of beautiful caverns engulfed with beautiful stalactites formed on a limestone plateau. It has magnificent rooms within the cave, some of which have natural lighting. There is also an unusually white cave. Tours usually last for about 3 hours covering about three kilometers.
Grotte Di Castellana, Puglia by Marcok – it.wikipedia.org
Grotte di Stiffe, Abruzzo
Grotte di Stiffe is located about 17km from L’Aquila. Tours last for approximately one hour. It has a beautiful waterfall within, which is best seen during spring. It also has numerous formations of stalagmites and stalactites. The waterfall attracts thousands of visitors each year and has been featured in several Hollywood movies.
Grotte di Stiffe, Abruzzo by Andrea Pilotti