Caves of Castelcivita

The Castelcivita Caves consist of a single main branch, from which extends several, short, secondary branches, divided into three main paths. Each path reveals a series of spectacular and imposing limestone formations that will take your breath away.

 

The Advanced Tour leads to and ends at a large, clear, underground lake, called Sifone Lake, beyond which only professionals may go. At the end of the Professional Tour is another large underground lake, called “Lago Terminale”.

 

After several deep explorations, some conducted at the end of the nineteenth century, the Caves achieved significant paleontological importance in 1972, thanks to archaeological deposits of stone tools and fossil remains found at the mouth of the cave showing evidence of human and animal presence dating back from 40,000 years ago.

Grotte di Castelcivita

At the gates of Cilento National Park and the Vallo di Diano, in Salerno Province, the Castelcivita Caves are among the most extensive speleological wonders in all of southern Italy, stretching for nearly 4800 meters [3 miles]. This underground world of caverns lies between the banks of the Calore River and the southwestern slope of the Alburni Mountains.

 

The mouth of the cave is 94 meters [1/2 mile] above sea level and immediately reveals a breath-taking scene of dark tunnels, wide spaces, and narrow but well-lit passages carved by nature after a millennia of natural erosion.

At the gates of Cilento National Park and the Vallo di Diano, in Salerno Province, the Castelcivita Caves are among the most extensive speleological wonders in all of southern Italy, stretching for nearly 4800 meters [3 miles]. This underground world of caverns lies between the banks of the Calore River and the southwestern slope of the Alburni Mountains.

 

The mouth of the cave is 94 meters [1/2 mile] above sea level and immediately reveals a breath-taking scene of dark tunnels, wide spaces, and narrow but well-lit passages carved by nature after a millennia of natural erosion.

Grotte di Castelcivita

From the analysis of the finds recovered (stone tools and fossil remains) it was possible to ascertain a human presence on the site dating back to about forty thousand years ago.

Visitor testimonials confirm the alluring charm of the Caves, the extraordinary lime formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and a surreal landscape of an underground world that continues to evolve today. Come and see for yourself, and leave enchanted.
Grotte di Castelcivita

Dall’analisi dei reperti recuperati (strumenti in pietra e resti fossili) si è potuto accertare una frequentazione umana del sito risalente a circa quarantamila anni fa.

Visitor testimonials confirm the alluring charm of the Caves, the extraordinary lime formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and a surreal landscape of an underground world that continues to evolve today. Come and see for yourself, and leave enchanted.

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CASTELCIVITA

A charming town perched naturally on the southern slopes of the Alburni Mountains, with cascading houses that overlook the river valley

 

Background

 

Castelcivita is a recent name. Like many mountain towns in Campania, Castelcivita has undergone several renovations, with different names. The town’s name is Civita Pantuliano on Angevin documents, while also named Castelluccia, a small fortified city, during the Aragonese age [13th Century]. The town walls are the artwork of Pandolfo Fasanella, a noble feudal lord, who built the walls by order of Charles I of Anjou.

 

Population

 

The people of Castelcivita, which number about 1800, are dedicated mainly to farming and sheep-raising. The principle local products are: oil; wine; wheat; cereals; and cheese. Meats include: sausage; capicolli; and soppressate. Many town recipes contain porcini mushrooms, grown naturally on the mountainside.

Attractions

 

The town is characterized by numerous historical relics. The predominant symbol is the Angevin Tower, a most daring military building built in the 13th century. The tower has been restored recently and houses the Castelcivitese prehistoric, rural, cultural museum.

Nestled in the town’s historic center are several Catholic structures: the Church of Saint Cono, dated 1400; the Church of Saint Nicola, dated 1600; and the Convent Saint Geltrude, dated 1500, and embellished with a painting by Pietrafesa, entitled “The Deposition”.
The town is built like an ancient fortress that is characterized by intersecting streets and lanes with many in-between steps and stairways, interrupted by open spaces that follow the mountain toponymy.
Many house portals are made from local limestone and “piperno” that contain the engraved coat-of-arms of noble families from the past.

The natural and uncontaminated landscape that surrounds the town is particularly striking. Visitors are tempted to take long walks through trees along the mountain trails, with clear-water views of the Calore River and the green peaks of the Alburni Mountains.

THE PALEOLITHICO

Grotte di Castelcivita

THE LEGEND OF SPARTACUS

Grotte di Castelcivita

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