71010 Rignano Garganico FG.
A14 exit San Severo, follow S272 west to San Marco in Lamis, turn right on SP22 to Rignano Garganico. Between San Marco in Lamis and Rignano Garganico. From Rignano Garganico towards San Marco in Lamis, 1.5 km after the last houses turn left on single lane gravel road. Keep right until you reach a gate. Follow road by foot into the doline.
|Ø=175 m, VR=35 m, A=620-655 m asl,
Dolina Cento Pozzi, 71010 Rignano Garganico FG.
Ente Parco Nazionale del Gargano (National Park of the Gargano), Via S. Antonio Abate, 121, 71037 - Monte Sant'Angelo (Fg), Tel: +39-0884-568929. E-mail:
Pro Loco “Rignano Garganico”, Largo Portagrande, snc, 71010 – Rignano Garganico (FG). 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.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|first written mention of the place as being owned by the Catapani family.
|ownership confirmed by the Decree of Count Enrico di Monte Sant'Angelo.
The dolina Cento Pozzi (One Hundred Wells) is perhaps the most impressive karst feature of the Gargano. It is a huge doline with numerous cutini (waterfilled dolines) on the floor, a huge doline containing small dolines. The diameters of those pots range from a few dozen centimeters to several dozen meters. But although there are many of those small dolines, we guess they are less than one hundred.
The whole ensemble is an extraordinary structure, as it is rather uncommon to find small dolines inside big ones. In general the doline collapses, and then the floor is covered by a thick layer of clay and earth, which is deposited by rainwater. Red clay accumulates over time, making the floor impermeable for water. Many of them are filled with rainwater, which accumulates in the rare rains, and stays for some weeks until it finally evaporates. In this case subsequent collapses inside the huge doline created a great number of small depressions.
The Gargano is a karst area with underground drainage, but water is essential for humans and animals. The locals used the wells for drinking water, actually since prehistoric times. Paleolithic and Neolithic remains were found in the doline. They transformed some dolines into cisterns with walls and a roof, they even enlarged them. It was possible, but it was essential to make no hole into the clay cover, so they were still waterproof. They are still used by local farmers to water the livestock. But it's also an important source of water for the wildlife, and they are inhabited by reptiles and amphibians. And of course less wind and more humidity creates particular microclimatic conditions, which results in peculiar plant associations.
There are numerous important karst areas in Apulia, and the Gargano is one of them. The area has hundreds of dolines, their density in the Rignano area is one of the highest of Apulia. And the Dolina Cento Pozzi is said to be the third-largest sinkhole in Europe and the second largest in Apulia. Actually we have listed six Tiankeng in Europe, we are not sure if this list is complete, and this doline is actually not big enough. With a diameter of 175 m it qualifies as a tiankeng, but it is not deep enough. And by the way, we have listed three tiankengs in Italy, two of them in Apulia.
The doline is protected by the Gargano National Park and the Bosco Jancuglia-Monte Castello. The National Park has renovated the site in the last 20 years, the cisterns and wells were restored, the road paved, and a picknick area with wooden benches and sun protection erected.