Grotta Mangiapane

Grotta degli Uffizi - Grotta Scurati

Useful Information

Location: Custonaci/Scurati.
(38.0933025, 12.6708723)
Open: APR to OCT daily 10-18.
Fee: free, donations welcome.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave SubterraneaCave House
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Associazione Culturale Museo Vivente, Contrada Scurati, 91015 Custonaci TP, Tel: +39-340-143-2291. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1819 Mangiapane family lives in the cave.
1940s cave houses abandoned.
1982 museum founded by some inhabitants of Custonaci.


Grotta Mangiapane (Bread Eating Cave) is a natural karst cave, which was used by man since prehistoric times. Only 750 m across the coastal plain from the sea shore of Cornino, the limestone hills start with a 50 m high cliff face. In the cliff face a huge triangular portal of a karst cave opens, which obviously formed along a vertical crack. It was inhabited since prehistoric times and man left cave paintings inside. In the 19th century it was inhabited by a family named Mangiapane who built numerous buildings in front and inside the cave. The cave was named after them too. Today the small hamlet, or large farm, has become an open-air museum. The prehistoric findings can be seen at the Torre di Ligny Museum of Trapani.

The small ethnographic and local history open air museum was created by a small group of young people from Custonaci, helped by the local priest Don Rosario Vanella. They also started the tradition of the living nativity scene every year at Christmas. At this time the museum is full of people in old clothes demonstrating traditional trades and crafts in the small houses. People are welcome to learn about the past and share the traditional food.

The cave was also used as a filming location. It was shown in a couple of scenes in the episode Il ladri di merendine (The Snack Thief) of Il commissario Montalbano (Inspector Montalbano).