Ah, bella Italia! Definitely worth a travel.
My German anchestors dreamed of a travel to Italy for centuries. German emperors had to travel to Rome to become true emperors, as the German empire always insisted in Roman roots. Later artists like Goethe travelled to Italy to nourish their creativity. See the book Italienreise by Goethe. And then there came the scientists, Historians like Gregorovious, archaeologists, geologists.
And having been there, I can say they are true. Italy is an extraordinary country for the traveler. And the best of all: caves and geology all around the country. The volcanism of course.
Caves have always the temperature of the long year average outside. In Italy this means 14-15°C. Only caves at a high altitude are colder. And some caves with thermal springs are much warner. But the typical temperature is too cool for a t-shirt, so dont forget to bring a sweater.
Most caves are maintained by private owners or the respective community, only a few are maintained by a caving club. But Italy is a tourist country for many centuries, and it seems they are used to make a living from selling souvenirs. So it is forbidden to take pictures, instead you should buy the postcards and souvenir books. They are not expensive, but the quality is poor, of both the printing quality and the content.
The Italians travel only in August. In July, which is said to be the hottest month, the tourist places are deserted, the hotels are vacant and some small sites are even closed. But in August all Hotels are full, its impossible to get a ticket for many sights and its really crowded everywhere. E.g. Grotta Castellana has 50% of its yearly visitors in August.
Most of Italy is mountainous, only the plains around river Po are flat. The caves are located in gorgeous landscapes, and many of them offer extraordinary views from the cave portal. This inspired me to add a new index: Caves With a View.
The Italian show caves have an association called Associazione Italiana Grotte Turistiche. Also the self-appointed International Show Caves Association (ISCA) is located in Italy.
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