In Cuneo, Municipio Frabosa Soprana, Piemonte.
On the left side of Val Corsaglia, 50m behind the cave restaurant.
A6 To-Sv exit Mondovi, to Mondovi, turn left, 2km behind the village turn right, towards Fontane. A6 To-Sv exit Vicoforte, to Vicoforte, turn left towards Fontane. Right before the hamlet Fontane. Signposted from the Motorway.
All year daily 9-12, 14-18.
Closed 01-JAN, 25-DEC.
Adults EUR 7.75.
|Classification:||Karst cave, river cave.|
|Dimension:||A=836m asl, L=2,800m, D=199m, T=9°C (air), 7.4°C (water), H=98-100%.|
|Guided tours:||D=60min, L=850m, VR=116.|
C. F. Capello (1954):
La Grota di Bossea (Piemote).
Rass. speleol. ital. 6 (2): 47-67
|Address:||Grotta di Bossea, Società Sciovie Fontane s.r.l., I-12080 Frabosa Soprana, Cuneo, Tel/Fax: +39-0174-349240. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1850||first exploration of the cave by a group of locals, led by Domenico Mora.|
|JUN-1865||remains of cave bears (Ursus spelaeus) found.|
|1875||opened for the public.|
|1948||reopened for the public.|
Grotta di Bossea is a river cave with some fine speleothems. The paths are rather uncomfortable, because they were built with the aim to be hidden in the natural environment.
The cave is entered through a 110m long passage, a dry upper level of the cave, here the cave river flows in a lower level 20m below. The cave river later reappears in the river bed of the Corsaglia river nearby. At the end of this passage, the cave becomes much bigger, huge chambers with a cave river show a high amount of speleothems. The halls alternate with narrow passages.
The biggest chamber, the Sala Garelli, is 150m long, 60m wide and between 50 and 80m high. This part of the cave is very rich in various types of flowstone. Special sights are numerous curtains, rimstone pools, and waterfalls.
After the first passage, the path always follows the course of the cave river, which was named after Domenico Mora, who led the first exploration of the cave in 1850. About 4,000m of this river are known, but at the end of the tourist section, a 50m deep and 150m long siphon makes the exploration very difficult. Water tracing experiments determined the underground route of the water, which is between 15 and 20km long. So further discoveries are likely. The water of the river is very cool, even cooler than the cave air. The amount of water depends on the season, with a minimum of 50 l/s in the winter to the maximum of 2,000 l/s in spring and autumn.
The developed part of the cave ends at the Sala Garelli. Now the visitor has to return via the same pasages and halls. But apart from the fact that a cave looks different in the other direction, the tour also uses an alternative route on the way back.
This cave and nearby Grotta del Bandito (Bandits Cave) contained great quantities of cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) bones. A complete skeleton is on display in the cave. It is the last which remains at the cave. The discovery of cave bear bones in 1865 was the first discovery of such bones in Italy. Most of the bones found were from very old or very young bears, so the bones are most likely from feeble bears, which died in the cave during hibernation.
But the living fauna of the cave is also very interesting. The cave contains an endemic troglobite, the pseudo scorpion Pseudoblothus ellingseni (Beier, 1929). In the small chamber La Sacrestia (The Sacristy), close to the Salone dell'Orso (Bear Hall), a cave laboratory for the study of the cave life exists, run for more than ten years by Enrico Lana. For more info see the link to his site below.