|Location:||Cassano Allo Ionio, provincia di Cosenza.|
All year Mon-Fri 10-13, 15-19, Sat, Sun after appointment.
Adults EUR 5, Children (7-16) EUR 3, Children (0-6) free, Students EUR 3, Seniors (65+) EUR 3, Family (2+2) EUR .
Groups (+): School Pupils EUR 2.
Grotta Inferiore di Sant'Angelo: L=1,325m.
Grotta Superiore di Sant'Angelo: L=1,005m.
Grotte di Sant'Angelo, strada del monte di Cassano, 87011 Cassano al Ionio, Tel: +39-347-5869256 , Tel: +39-348-3834745.
Responsabile del Servizio: Tel: +39-0981-780204.
Ufficio Turistico: Tel: +39-0981-780270.
Guide: Tel: +39-0981-780281.
|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.
|1962||start of archaeological excavations by professor Santo Tinè.|
|1977||start of exploration campaign by the Commissione Grotte "Eugenio Boegan" from Trieste.|
|1978||start of more archaeological excavations.|
|1979||speleologic exploration completed.|
|1982||archaeological excavations completed.|
|20-APR-2002||cave opened to the public.|
The area west of the village Cassano Allo Ionio is a small karst area named roccione di San Marco. There are numerous karst caves of various sizes, one of them has been developed into a show cave several years ago.
The caves were inhabited by man since the Middle Neolithic, about 6,000 years ago. Excavations carried out by professor Santo Tinè during the sixties revealed numerous layers with human remains starting in the Middle Neolithic, some 5,500 years ago. It shows time of the first farming towns and ends with the Greek colonization during the Bronze Age. The found remains were primarily items of daily use and ceramic vases.
The speleological exploration started more than 10 years later, in 1977. The Commissione Grotte "Eugenio Boegan", a rather famous caving club from Trieste, created a register of caves. They explored and surveyed 16 caves in the area, including the Vucco Ucciardo (Liars Mouth), which is the only cave visible from the village. They found a lot of pottery inside, which were daily use items like storage pots, sieves, and milt pots.
Subseqeuntly the archaeological excavations were reactivated. Between 1978 and 1982 excavations revealed a Neolithic burial in the cave Pavolella. It was a Neolithic burial of cremation remains.
The two biggest caves in the area, both more than one kilometre long, are Grotta Inferiore di Sant'Angelo (Lower Cave of Saint Michael) and Grotta Superiore di Sant'Angelo (Upper Cave of Saint Michael). They are partly developed as show caves, and during the last year they have become an important tourist draw which brough money and employment to the rural region.
This cave was named after St. Michael, which is rather common in southern Italy. However, unlike the other Michael Caves, this one is not a cave church and not located inside a church. It has no history of apparitions of St. Michael.