Frasassi Caves


Grotte di Frasassi
(Frasassi Caves)
View of the caves
Map showing the location of Grotte di Frasassi (Frasassi Caves)
Map showing the location of Grotte di Frasassi (Frasassi Caves)
Location of the caves in Italy
LocationFrasassi, Genga
(AN, Marche, Italy)
Coordinates43°24′03″N 12°57′43″E / 43.40083°N 12.96194°E / 43.40083; 12.96194Coordinates: 43°24′03″N 12°57′43″E / 43.40083°N 12.96194°E / 43.40083; 12.96194
Depth400 m
Elevation300 m
GeologyKarst cave
Show cave opened1974[1]
Show cave length5,000 m
WebsiteOfficial website
A column of stalactites and stalagmites

The Frasassi Caves (Italian: Grotte di Frasassi) are a karst cave system in the municipality of Genga, Italy, in the province of Ancona, Marche. They are among the most famous show caves in Italy.


The caves, discovered by a group of Ancona speleologists in 1971,[2] are situated 7 kilometres (4 miles) south of Genga, near the civil parish of San Vittore and the Genga-San Vittore railway station (Rome-Ancona line).

Rich in water, the cave system is particularly well endowed with stalactites and stalagmites.[3]

Near the entrance to the caves are two sanctuary-chapels: one is the 1029 Santuario di Santa Maria infra Saxa (Sanctuary of Holy Mary under the Rock) and the second is an 1828 Neoclassical architecture formal temple, known as Tempietto del Valadier.


The Frasassi cave system includes a number of named chambers, including the following:

  • Grotta delle Nottole, or "Cave of the Bats", named for the large colony of bats that lives within.[3]
  • Grotta Grande del Vento, or "Great Cave of the Wind", discovered in 1971, with approximately 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) of passageways.[3]
  • Abisso Ancona, or "Ancona Abyss", a huge space around 180 x 120 meters wide and near 200m tall.[3]
  • Sala delle Candeline, or "Room of the Candles", named for its plentiful stalagmites that resemble candles.[3]
  • Sala dell'Infinito, or "Room of the Infinite", a tall chamber with massive speleothem columns supporting the roof.[3]

Scientific experiments

The cave has been used to conduct experiments in chronobiology. Among the cavers that have spent considerable amount of time inside the cave is the Italian sociologist Maurizio Montalbini, who died in 2009.[citation needed]

Sister caves

Frasassi is partnered with several sister caves[4] around the world:

See also


  1. ^ (in Italian) History of Frasassi
  2. ^ "La storia delle grotte di frasassi". (in Italian). Archived from the original on 2016-03-19.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Scheffel, Richard L.; Wernet, Susan J., eds. (1980). Natural Wonders of the World. United States of America: Reader's Digest Association, Inc. p. 149. ISBN 0-89577-087-3.
  4. ^ Sister caves on Archived 2009-08-31 at the Wayback Machine

External links

  • (in Italian and English) Grotte di Frasassi official site
  • (in Italian) Frasassi Online
  • (in Italian) story of discovery