Grotte di Osimo

Osimo Sotterranea


Useful Information

Location: 60027 Osimo, Province of Ancona.
(43.484947, 13.483728)
Open: Cantinone Caves: SEP to JUN Tue-Sun 10:30, 11:30, 16:15, 17:15, 18:15.
JUL to AUG daily 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 15:15, 16:15, 17:15, 18:15.
Caves of Piazza Dante: JUL to AUG Sat 15:30, 17, 18:30, Sun 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.
Grotta Riccioni: JUL to AUG Sat 15:30, 17, 18:30, Sun 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.
Other tours: after appointment.
[2021]
Fee: Cantinone Caves: Adults EUR 6, Children 7-12) EUR 4, Seniors (65+) EUR 4.
Groups (15+): Adults EUR 4.
Caves of Piazza Dante: Groups (8+): Adults EUR 10.
Grotta Riccioni: Groups (8+): Adults EUR 10.
Other tours: Groups (15+): Adults EUR 4.
[2021]
Classification: SubterraneaCellar SubterraneaMithras Grotto
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=9,000 m, T=13 °C.
Guided tours: Cantinone Caves: D=45 min, L=300 m.
Caves of Piazza Dante: D=45 min.
Grotta Riccioni: D=35 min.
Other tours: D=60 min, Max=50.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:
Address: Ufficio IAT Informazioni e Accoglienza Turistica, Via Fonte Magna, 12, 60027 Osimo (An), Tel: +39 071-7236664, Fax: +39 071-7231554, Free: 800228800. E-mail:
Marche Tourist Guides, Via Togliatti 110/a, 60100 Ancona, Tel: +39-071-2905303, Cell: +39-339-2964619. 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.

History

500 BC probably first caves dug.

Description

The Grotte di Osimo (Caves of Osimo) or Osimo Sotterranea (Osimo Underground) are a bunch of underground structures, dug into the rock below the town in various levels. There are 88 caves which extend for 9,000 m connecting several palaces, for example Palazzo Campana, Palazzo Riccioni, Palazzo Simonetti and Palazzo Gallo. There are so-called double tombs, symmetrical with niches facing each other, and narrow underground tunnels, most likely used for escape, extraction of materials, or for the passage of water. Some chambers were probably used as cellars, for food storage.

The Grotte del Cantinone (Cantinone Caves) are open all year and there are regular tours. They are located below the covered market and under a part of the Basilica of San Giuseppe da Copertino. The chambers were used by the Franciscan monks as warehouses for the storage of food and as places of worship where they gathered in candle light. The walls show numerous bas-reliefs and religious engravings. The tunnels were constructed in the Middle Ages.

The tour of the Caves of Piazza Dante starts from the cellars of Palazzo Fregonara-Gallo located in Piazza Dante. The tunnels have two levels and were last remodeled at the end of the 18th century. At this time the owner of the Palace above, Count Cesare Gallo, and his companions, were affiliated to Masonic loges. As a result the walls show esoteric symbols.

The Grotta Riccioni under Palazzo Riccioni, has a gallery leading to a room with an eight-armed cross at the entrance. It also has a five-pointed star-shaped plant, and there are five chambers dug into the rock. This place is thought to have had a ritual function. The initiates had to sit in the five chambers and could hear each other without seeing each other. This cave is owned by the Riccioni family, and as it has no electric light you must bring a headlamp.

The Grotta Simonetti is located below Palazzo Simonetti. The sandstone walls show numerous Templar and Malta crosses, Most important is probably the engraving of a triple wall, a symbol of great symbolic importance, It recalls the number three, dear to the Templars, and the three degrees of initiation.

The galleries of Grotta Campana under Palazzo Campana are characterized by the presence of countless figures carved in the sandstone. They show pagan divinities Mithras, Bacchus and Dionysus. But such interpretations are dangerous, they could also refer to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, because they show characters meeting in a specific path.

Grotta Matteotti finally contains the so-called "forbidden cave" located under Largo Matteotti. The chamber is circular with a column in the middle and niches outwards all around, and has a cross vault and five niches above a sort of seat. This could be a Roman Mithraeum where the rituals dedicated to the God Mithras took place. The relief on the wall shows a horse.