Grotta di Castelcivita

Spartacus Caves


Useful Information

Location: Calore Valley, Salerno, Campania. A few km west of the centre of Castelcivita town.
Autostrada A3 SA-RC uscita Battipaglia, SS 18 uscita Capaccio Scalo, bivio per Roccadaspide, bivio per Castelcivita.
(40.4955340, 15.2091978)
Open: JUN daily 10:30, 12, 13:30, 15, additional 16:30 tour on Sun.
JUL to AUG daily 10:30, 12, 13:30, 15, 16:30.
SEP to OCT daily 10:30, 12, 13:30, 15.
[2024]
Fee: Adults EUR 12, Children (6-12) EUR 10, Children (0-5) free, Disabled free.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 10, School Pupils EUR 8.
Path in the Dark: Adults EUR 20, Children (8-13) EUR 18.
Cave Trekking tours: Adults EUR 30.
[2024]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave. Upper Cretacious GeoparkGeoparco Cilento, Vallo di Diano e Alburni
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=4,800 m, VR=52 m, A=94 m asl.
Guided tours: L=1,200 m.
Photography:
Accessibility:
Bibliography:
Address: Grotta di Castelcivita S r l, via A Moro, Piazza Umberto I , 84020 Castelcivita (SA), Tel: +39-0828-772397, Fax: +39-339-22-22-809. E-mail:
Tourist office Castelcivita: Tel: +39-082-8772397, Fax: +39-082-8772397.
Comune di Castelcivita (City of Castelcivita), Tel: +39-082-8975009, Fax: +39-082-8975486.
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.

History

19th century first explorations.
1972 archaeologic remains discovered at the entrance.

Description

Grotta di Castelcivita is a horizontal cave with many formations. It is also an important prehistoric site. The huge entrance at the floor of a lovely valley was inhabited during the Upper Paleolithic Era, about 40,000 years ago. The cave is located a few kilometers from the medieval town Castelcivita, which was built high on a hill like a fortification. The cave of Castelcivita has also been called Grotte del Diavolo (Devils Cave), Grotte di Spartaco (Cave of Spartacus) and Grotte Principe di Piemont (Cave of the Prince of Piemont). The name relating to Spartacus is based on a local legend that he stayed once overnight in the cave on his way from Brundisium to the final battle at Silarus river. He crossed the river nearby on Pestano bridge, better known as the Spartacus Bridge, which already existed in Roman times (at least a predecessor). The cave was not in the Kirk Douglas movie though.

This paragraph is not objective, which is normally our goal. Our reviewer visited this cave in 2001 and was overwhelmed. It was not exceptional in a measurable way, but the cave, the people, the tour were so relaxing and thus interesting, it was a great

The cave has a new tour for a few years now, which is called Percorso Al Buio (Path in the Dark), which as the name says includes walking through the cave with lights turned off. Actually, it is not dark, visitors are equipped with helmets and headlights. The tour includes a regular tour through the cave with lights turned on, then at the far end the light is turned off and the group returns with their caving light, which will show a completely different cave. The tour is not suitable for little children, offered only during summer, and it is necessary to pre-book.

Their website is not very large but extremely helpful. For example, it offers a free audio guide download in five different languages. Its best if you download those mp3 files before you visit the cave. And please, take a headset with you, so you will not disturb other participants of the tour.

On the left side of the entrance is an excavation site, where 1972-1977 archaeologists excavated prehistoric remains, dated between 33,000 and 42,000 BP.