Considered the most important speleological complex in Italy and in Europe, the Castellana Caves are much appreciated for their vast crystalline concretions, their striking dimensions, and the spectacular scale of their natural tunnels.
Located roughly 40 kilometres (24 miles) from Bari, they were created by underground river erosion - for centuries, an ancient underground river excavated and moulded the calcareous rock beneath Bari’s murgia. In 1938, the speleologist Franco Anelli discovered the important site, which consists of approximately 3 kilometres (just over 1 mile) of underground passages, accessible by two wonderfully impressive pathways.
Among the colossal stalagmites and stalactites and the spacious caverns with their playful shapes and multi-colours, you can admire the Grotta Bianca (White Cave), the Caverna dell’Altare (Cavern of the Altar), the Caverna della Cupola (Cavern of the Cupola), and the Passaggio del Presepio (Nativity Scene Passage), which has a stalagmite shaped like the Virgin Mary called the Madonnina delle Grotte (Little Madonna of the Caves).
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