How I went down to Castellan’s grottoes – invisible treasure of Italy
My story will be about one amazing place in Italy, which can not be seen so. Invisible treasure – Castellan’s grottoes. Before they need to get, but seen there repeatedly exceed the cost of time on the road. I got there not immediately purposefully, but rather, by chance.
Usually your travels in Italy, I build this way: I choose some new region and, living in the capital of the region, take several days to study other cities.
So it was and that time. I studied Apulia, apartment apartment Lecce – The city, which is almost officially called "South Florence" because of the abundance of a baroque architecture in it. It is time trips around the region.
Apulia is extended by the Adriatic coast.
Almost all interesting places in the region are focused along the sea: Bari, Taranto, Otranto, Fabulous Ostuni, Brindisi. Sit down in the train or bus, and go straight to the selected place. So I did.
I wanted to meet the town Alberobello with his famous for the whole world Domok Trulli.
Directly from Lecce to Alberobello Do not get there. You must first get to Bari.
Early in the morning I left Lecce, and after 2 hours I was in Bari (1 hour 45 minutes on the road, a ticket – € 10.90). At the Central Station, I decided to buy a ticket to Alberobello. I usually buy tickets in automatic cash desks. But here there was no this direction. I studied all the schedules, I again started fighting with a machine gun. In the schedule Alberobello was, at the box office – no.
I saw my flour staff train station.
I asked what I was concerned, and then prompted that the direction it serves the subsidiary of TRENITALIA – FSE (Ferrovie Sud EST). She has its own ticket and its platform, where the train goes to Alberobello.
I found the platform on the sign &# 171; Bari Sud Est&# 187;.
It was a kiosk where the tickets needed. After 5 minutes I was already sitting on the train, and after 2 hours I went to the station in Alberobello (1 hour 40 min. On the way, the ticket – € 5).
With this town I was shaken quite quickly.
She visited the Trulli Museum, he stumbled on the huge Trouble Quarter, scored some souvenirs, drank coffee. The town is charming, but too tourist, I do not really like such. I went back.
Another our reader really liked Alberobello and Trullo houses. Here is her report: How I visited Trullo in Alberobello and why it should be seen.
With a ticket to Bari, I waited at the station of my train.
Figure in the cave
So far I waited, I remembered how the station called Castellan Grotte was passing along the way. And literally a couple of days before departure to Italy, I wrote one friend, the same fanatically loving Italy, like me.
She threw me a link to the place called Grotto Castellan. It was about some caves, I did not give a strong meaning, but I put it in notes.
Castellana Grotte and Castellan grottoes – Two names prevented in my brain.
The train flew around the fields of Apulia, and I solved what to do. Castellana Grotte town is located almost in the middle track from Alberobello to Bari. The system of railway tickets to Italy is arranged so that I can safely go away at any station, then take the train on it.
And I decided to go out.
It was about 3 o’clock in the afternoon. The midst of the Siesta.
Siesta for Italians – Holy Time of afternoon. Brighter, the manifestation of the Seside is observed in small towns.
The sun fry from a cloudless sky. There was no soul in the city. Occasionally drove some cars, but they seemed to appear in the visibility zone for some error. It was not anyone to ask.
For your happiness, I saw a pointer with an inscription &# 171; Grotte di Castellana&# 187;.
I walked, pointers periodically came across my way, there were no people. After 15 minutes the city ended. The signs are ended. In front of me there was a country motorway, which rushed cars. Intuitively I chose the direction right. A large supermarket was standing across the road, I decided to go there to clarify the direction.
Imagine a huge empty supermarket, where in anticipation of at least some buyers are languishing from boredom employees and entertain themselves with endless ripple. When I asked them, in the right direction I go to the grotto, they looked at me, as for psychic, the direction was confirmed, but asked:
– And you will go?
– Yes, so I will go. And what?
– Never mind. Happily.
Italians, especially southerners, in principle do not understand how you can just take and go on foot, if there are cars, buses, bikes, finally (although they are just invented for especially dried).
I walked around the highway, not really knowing where and why I go.
Around was South Italy. Machines were swept past. I walked, I had a lot of time, the desire to open something new – in excess.
2-3 km from the highway separated the turn right, and then I once again met a pointer, which all the huge font announced that the grotto was already near. Soon I went to the huge goal with a signboard &# 171; Grotte di Castellana&# 187;.
The big and well-groomed territory, at which parking, a gift shop, a cafe, a restaurant, a hotel and other business buildings are located.
On the right hand were cash register and entrance. Cassisch was a very businesslike lady:
– What a route, full or shortened? Think more, after 10 minutes the group goes to the full route. There is still a place.
I immediately took this ticket.
Full route is a two-hour tour of 3 km long. A shortened route takes place only 1 km in 50 minutes.
Was it worth going to such a distance to take advantage of a shortened route? On the other hand, I still did not know much where I came.
Descent under the ground
After 10 minutes, our group gathered at the entrance.
In front of the entrance, everyone asked if he had a jacket or sweater with him? Before entering the grotto, the sun heated the air is much stronger than +30 ̊, and where we walked, it was only +18 ̊. Fortunately, I had a denim jacket with me.
Began descend on a wide long staircase.
When we went to some kind of platform, which brought a picture of the picture forced us all convulsively grab the mouth of the air. A huge cave is 50 m high, in the ceiling of which gaps a huge hole, and through it on the bottom of the cave falls the sheaf of sunlight.
The bottom of the cave from the edge to the region is styled by incredible figures of almost black stalactites. Here is called "cyclops". The descent from the staircase took a small platform where the groups met with their guides and diverged along the routes.
Move to Milan from St. Petersburg and study in Italy
Our guide, a charming Italian in a helmet, pointed to a monument, standing at the edge of the site surrounded by "cyclops" and told that it was a speleologist Franco Anelle, Which in 1938 opened these caves. Thanks to him we can see this beauty. And the cave where we are now called Caverna Grave.
Millions of years ago, the underground river washed in these breeds that the most route by which we will pass. And the hole in the cave ceiling for many centuries people perceived as the entrance to hell. In the surrounding area often grazed livestock, animals fell into a hole, naturally broke and died. Therefore, a terrible stench was rising from the hole in the ground.
So everything remained if not franco anerelle.
The guide added that here we can still use our photos and camcorders, and then the shooting is prohibited.
Our way began under the ground at a depth of 74 m.
First room with a hole in the ceiling
Next for Grave Cave called Cave Capitol Wolf. On the wall for tens and even hundreds of centuries, staminities stamped staminities, which formed a figure, very reminiscent of the legendary beast, are much more than the dimensions: somewhere 4×6 m. And the color – it seems like a huge porphyre.
Caves and grotes, big, huge and small, connected by track. It is very convenient to go on it, it is smooth. It is only necessary to monitor turns and behind the ceiling, it often hangs quite low. On the edges of the track installed handrails. All caves and the track itself skillfully, gently and tactfully highlighted. The atmosphere of the mystery and the discovery of something incredible accompanies you everywhere.
Grotto La Madonnina very small.
But in the center of his nature created a white pedestal, on which there is a white stalactitic in several centimeters, resembling a figurine of a praying woman. There are more stalactites around him. They form something like a gazebo in which Madonnushka (the name is translated) and prays. On top of it shelters the ceiling from the base of white stalagmitis. The feeling of holiness and even sacrality of this place is difficult to convey words.
"Cave of Owls", "Black Grotto", "Snake Corridor", "Little Paradise" – this is not a complete list of stops on the route.
And everywhere unimaginable forms, sizes and colors Stalactites and stalagmites. And about the coincidences to speak and quite ridiculous. Well, as Nature could know, creating stalactites in one of the caves that they will be just a copy of the Pisa Tower? Or the tower will be a copy of stalactites, how to deal? Or a trail that stretches in the middle of a huge cave, the walls of which are hundreds of meters down, and you go on it, and the impression arises that you have moved to some kind of unearthly world. This is a completely different space, alien, so everything is unusual and amazing.
The main goal of the route is La Grotta Bianca ("White Grotto"). This masterpiece of the artist of nature is incomparable.
White grotto is officially recognized as the most beautiful cave world, but this is nothing compared to the impression that it produces.
Imagine a huge white explosion, which once froze once and forever. I even thought that it was frozen in space a multidimensional photo of a large explosion, from which our universe began. Describe these impressions it impossible. Mouth opens from feelings overwhelming you.
I remember that throughout the route I have repeatedly thought that not the profession chose. In those moments, I wanted to be a speleologist.
We went back the same route, only a little more by other trails so as not to face the following groups.
Upon returning to Caverna Grave, we were held to a large cargo elevator, which lifted us to the surface. The whole group was silent. The shock was incredible. And even the bright sun and the warmth of the earthly world did not really please. After these grotters, I could not watch and perceive neither baroque, nor a medieval nor an antique architecture of the day three.
I returned to the town in the same way, reached the station, waited for the train, I drove to Bari, returned to Lecce. And in the morning the next day I was impressed by what.
The unexpected discovery that arose on the trip to Alberobello, thanks to the prompt of my good friend and my thirst for adventure, decorated my journey into Apuli. I highly recommend those who are gathered in those southern edges: do not be lazy, go. Pleasure get a colossal, impressions that you will remember all my life.
Ticket costs € 16 (full route) and € 12 (shortened). Do not take time and money, choose the full route.
For those who are interested in Grot Castellan, I give a link to the site: Grottedicastellana.IT
This is one of those treasures of Italy, who will not meet on the surface of the Earth, these grotes will not see, driving on the car or passing by. This wonderful creation of nature is worth a separate trip to him.