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The limestone caves of Castellana are spectacular, they are like all limestone caves beautiful with all the stalactites and stalagmites, but it is truly great because the entrance cave has a big hole in the ”roof” that allows the daylight to enter. The rays of sunlight in this huge cave make it like standing in a church, with the glimmering in the church windows.
The cave was discovered because a man wondered why the hole where all the locals dropped of their garbage never got full. So he went in and discovered a huge cave system, and years layer of garbage. The cave system is Italy’s longest natural subterranean network. It is possible to make a short trip: 1 km, 50 minutes or a long one: 3 km, 2 hours.
It is not allowed to take pictures on the caves since the town owns all the right to the photos, so this is the only picture I can post of the limestone formations.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
The Grotte are the largest cave network in Italy. They are not more impressive than most other caves in the limestone areas of the world and if you have seen sveral you can easily pass them by. But it was part of our tour. The walks are comfortable . The short trip is not a strain if you can walk a mile or so.(takes 1 hr). The 2 hour trip has some rewards it is said . (We did the short one). This is a 3* Michelin site (the Trulli which are better is only 2*, but the French Caves all get 3*, I guess the Michelin people like caves more than I do). There are stalctites and stalagmites, some draperies, some bizarre "figures", and some sulfur produced colors. Access is by lift. The temperature is the usual 15C (need sweater). Photography is not permitted hence the poor quiality of the pictures.
Written Nov 4, 2005
Ferrovie del Sud Est have a train line between Bari and Taranto, with several stops on the way, including Alberobello and Castellana Grotta. This link is to the websites timetable (pdf-file).
The train runs frequently and almost hourly, but attention to this: Not on Sundays!! We went to the station of Alberobello and it was completely shot down, and there were no trains that day, only busses.
The caves are closest to the station: Grotta di Castellana Gr. (about 1 km) but not all trains stops here. They stop instead in the town of Castellana at the station: Castellana Gr. which is about 2 km from the caves.
Updated Apr 4, 2011