The Caves of Castellana

Puglia is the easternmost region in Italy, it is located in the “heel of the boot”, and the boot is the Italian peninsula with all its mainland regions to which must be added the two large island: Sicily and Sardinia.

This region offers visitors a lot of natural beauties such as, for example, the Gargano National Park and the protected marine area of the Tremiti Islands, but also charming villages as Alberobello with its characteristic “Trulli” it has been inserted since 1996 in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Also the underground reserves some beauties to be explored, such as the municipality of Castellana Grotte, about 40 km from Bari, where near the limestone plateau of the Murgia, a complex of caves develops underground called the “Caves of Castellana “.

For who live in the modern age it seems almost impossible, but the origins of the caves date back about 100 million years ago, when Puglia was submerged by the sea because “only” starting 65 million years ago there was a progressive raising of the lands and this region had its present appearance…

Provincial tourism board of Bari commissioned  to speleologist Franco Anelli a campaign of speleological research on the Murgia zone and so he discovered this impressive complex of underground cavities, on 23rd January 1938.

The entrance of the complex is a natural hole known as “The Grave” , deep about 60 meters and located about 500 meters from the inhabited place. Here the visit starts of the caves that stretch for about 3 km.

The shorter and also more practiced by not “courageous” people  itinerary is about 1 km long, and its duration is about one hour. The complete itinerary is over 3 km and it has a duration of about 2 hours… it’s possible to admire the phantasmagoric caves which have some names that just hearing them… bring awe…

Black Cave, Cave of the Owl, Cave of the Precipice, Snake Corridor, White Cave…and then the Desert Corridor also called the Grand Canyon!  Certainly the emotions are not lacking! Furthermore the show “Hell in the Cave” is very exciting. It take place annually in the Caves of Castellana and it has been called “the biggest underground air show in the world”!


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