The Caves of the Angel

The Caves of the Angel

The Angelo caves are located about 70 km from Salerno, at the northern end of the national Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano. They have a considerable interest both from the naturalistic point of view and in the historical-archaeological profile.
The origin of the caves dates back to 35 million years ago; They are the most important of southern Italy, the only ones to be crossed by an underground river, the Tanagro or Negro, whose course has been diverted for the purpose of energetic use. For this reason the entrance of the caves has flooded, so as to allow access inside only by means of small boats.
The caves extend for about 3000 meters under the sapwood and wind in a suggestive series of tunnels and caverns, to end in many natural "salts", each with a different characteristic.
In the Bronze Age, and perhaps also of the stone, here were built stilts, the only ones of which you have witness built inside a site like this.
The particular microclimate of the caves has meant that the wooden remains of those ancient buildings arrived almost intact to us as a historical testimony of the successful settlement and a long stay.
Even the ancient Greeks and then the Romans chose these natural caverns for their rituals and sacred ceremonies, so that the first to mention these places was Pliny the Elder.
The tour inside the caves starts at about 263 meters above sea level on the left of the river Tanagro, with a short but suggestive boat crossing on the green waters and rich in calcium of the underground river.
Following a route well delimited by suspended ropes, the guide will ferry the boat for about 200 meters towards the heart of the mountain and the source, from where the various paths branch.
The shortest is about a 1.5 Km and lasts about 40 minutes, does not include the visit to the Hall of Wonders and the return through the branch of the bats, and brings back the tourists through the crossing by boat, traveled again until the initial entrance.
The second itinerary is about 2.5 Km long, lasts an hour, and provides for the exit on foot through the branch of the bats to the balcony overlooking the river and the nearby exit on foot.
Since 1 July 2003 was inaugurated the Extra route, about 3 Km long passable in an hour and a half,
With these three branches, you explore the whole path further north within the caves, the only one to visit.
There are two other trails, besides the one open to the public, a median and a further south open exclusively to the specialized personnel and to the speleology and explorers.

The tourist route winds through tunnels, tunnels, narrows and large halls, all characteristic and unique in its kind: Among the many must be noted the hall of Wonders, where the height reaches 24 meters.
A skilful play of light clearly highlights the thousand figures and limestone constructions with various forms that leave ample room for fantasy.
Unique in the world is the sponge room, which alone would be worth the whole visit. Also interesting is the hall of bats, so called because it was once the refuge of thousands of these animals.

How to arrive
Autostrada A3 "Salerno-Reggio Calabria": Exit Petina (for those coming from the north) or exit Polla (for those coming from the south) then follow the signs for "Grotte Dell'angelo-Shorn";
From the Basentana – "Sai-Potenza" Connection: Peel exit and follow the indications for "Grotte Dell'angelo – Tosai".

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