|Location:||Near Pertosa. A3 (E45) south of Napoli, exit Polla. SS 191e towards Pertosa, across motorway, turn left. Follow SS19 through Muraglione, turn left at sign. Signposted. (40°32'11.48"N, 15°27'18.88"E)|
OCT to MAR Tue-Sun 10, 12, 14, 16.
APR to MAY Mon-Sun 10, 13, 16, Hol 10, 11:30, 13, 14:30, 16, 17:30.
JUN to JUL daily 10, 11:30, 13, 14:30, 16, 18.
AUG daily 10, 11, 11:30, 12:30, 13, 14, 15, 15:30, 16, 16:30, 17:30, 18.
SEP daily 10, 11:30, 13, 14:30, 16, 18.
Adults EUR 20, Reduced EUR 15.
Groups (20+): reductions available.
Spelunking tours: Per Person EUR 35.
After appointment only.
|Classification:||Karst cave, river cave. Cave Church karst resurgence.|
Fondazione Mida, Musei Integrati dell’Ambiente, via Muraglione 18/20, 84030 Pertosa, Tel: +39-0975-397037.
|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.
|1897||the remains of two cave dwellings were found.|
|12th century||used as church.|
|1932||opened to the public.|
Grotta dell'Angelo was used from the Neolithic Age to the Iron Age by the Palafitte culture. It was used sporadically during the Roman age. The oldest Christian remains found in the cave are of Benedictine origin from the 11th century. They dedicated the cave to San Michele Arcangelo(Arcangel Michael).
The cave is a river cave with a subterranean river named Negro, which emerges from a huge portal, 70m above the valley floor. The entrance hall contains an altar for San Michele Arcangelo and the pier where boats are entered. The first part of the following passage is filled by a 200m long subterranean lake, which is crossed on motorless boats. One guide talks to the visitors while another guide pulls the boat along a tightrope, mounted about 2m above the water level.
Originally the cave river ran free down the passage and left the cave entrance in a cataract. A dam at the cave entrance increased the water level about three meters and thus flooded the passage with the silent lake. The dammed water is used to produce 370 kW of hydroelectric energy below the cave at the bottom of the valley. This electricity supplies the show cave, the town Pertosa and other villages nearby.
The rest of the cave is dry and toured by foot. Huge chambers and richly decorated passages, which are well lit. The lamps are all white, but show different tones of white, and so the formations and chambers of the main passage give the visitor a feeling of enormous depth.
For some reson the cave is now named Pertosa-Auletta. We could not find any info on this rather recent name change, but we guess the two towns were united, and as the cave is name after the town Petrosa, its name was also adapted. This seems quite silly, but probably it was a political necessity.