Caving / Spelunking in ”Grotte di Pietrasecca”, Carsoli, Abruzzo Italy

Open to the public:
Mars to November; in August night tours
If you are looking for a great destination for caving, Abruzzo region, in central Italy with several very interesting caves- result of particular geological conditions and the morphology of the Apennines zone- is your destination.

Located in the municipality of Carsoli, at 47 km/29.2 mi from Avezzano, both caves, the cave di Cervo (cave of the Deer) and the natural sinkhole cave dell’ Ovito, are the first natural reserve in Europe for the protection of a karst environment (a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks including limestone, dolomite and gypsum). The caves date back to the fourth and fifth century. Ancient Roman coins and many bone remnants, dating back to the Pleistocene period, reveal the age of this complex of cavities.

The grotta di Cervo represents an extraordinary formation, due to its concretions of stalagmites and stalactites. Situated in the Central Appenines, these caves are especially rich in karst formations, both in groundwater and in surface. The hostile environment of the cavity, caused by the complete darkness, is home for some animals, adapted to this specific micro climate, such as the cricket cave and certain coleopteran.

Thanks to the efforts from the speleologist association, nowadays the cavity is open to the public. The natural sinkhole cave di Ovieto, collects the groundwater from the basin and along its 1300 m/4265 ft, it flows below the surface, creating extremely beautiful ponds and waterfalls, reaching an 8 m/26.2 ft fascinating canyon. Ovieto is characterized by large grooves in the rock (karren), swallows, marks from corrosion and resurgent. The walls of the cave are characterized by thick layers of marl (composed of clay and calcium carbonate) and flysch (sandstone, marl, pelagic limestone). Only part of the cave is open to the public and only in the presence of certified guide.