Riserva Naturale Grotte di Pietrasecca

Useful Information

Location: SP25, 100 m north of Pietrasecca.
E80 exit Casello Tagliacozzo, SS5 to Pietrasecca 800 m, SP25 through the village.
(42.137232, 13.128676)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Light: n/a
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Riserva Naturale Grotte di Pietrasecca, Via del Popolo, snc, 67061 Carsoli AQ, Tel: +39-0863-908317, Cell: +39-320-1715968. 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.


1984 Grotta Grande del Cervo discovered.
10-MAR-1992 Nature Reserve created with the Regional Law n. 19.


The Riserva Naturale Grotte di Pietrasecca (Pietrasecca Caves Nature Reserve) with a size of 110 ha offers numerous karst features in the Monti Carseolani around The reserve contains two caves, the Grotta Grande del Cervo which is of paleontological interest and the Grotta dell'Ovito which is the sink of the Ovito polje. The water flows underground for 1,300 m and reappears in a karst spring named risorgenza della Vena Cionca. The reserve is quite spectacular in spring, when the winter rains have brought water and the rivers flow. During summer the formerly spectacular waterfalls are reduced to a thin trickle or dry up completely.

The reserve is actually there to protect the karst features, and its environmental Turismo Didattico (Educational Tourism) tours are only an additional effect. Visits under the guidance of environmental educators and speleological guides are organized by the municipal administration. The covered themes are geology, paleontology, flora, fauna, and archaeology. The tours include also a speleological visit of the Grotta del Cervo. They are intended for children attending 1st and 2nd grade secondary schools, but non-scholastic groups may also reserve.

For individual tourists there are nine karst trails marked in the reserve which are between 1 and 7 km long. A brochure with a map and description are available online, unfortunately only in Italian as far as we know.

The Associazione Nazionale Città delle Grotte (National Association of Cave Cities) is a network of Italian municipalities in whose territory are natural caves. Currently, 14 municipalities which are too small to manage their caves effectively, have united, but there are more than 100 municipalities in Italy with similar problems. They plan to collaborate with the Association of Tourist Caves, with the National Speleological Society and with the Ministry of Tourism and Education. They plan a website, a paper guide, smartphon app and a yearly event called Notte Fonda on the summer solstice, to raise the awareness of caves and their protection. The village Pietrasecca is one of the founding members.