Grotta di Collepardo


Useful Information

Location: Frosinone, Lazio. From Alatri follow SP248 to Collepardo, in Collepardo drive through the medieval city on the main road. About 500m behind the city turn right, on a steep road down into the valley. Signposted. (41°45'29.92"N, 13°21'58.04"E)
Open: APR to SEP daily 11-17:30, last entry 17.
OCT to MAR Sat, Sun 11-17:30, last entry 17.
[2018]
Fee: Adults EUR 7, Children (6-12) EUR 5, Children (0-5) free.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 7, Children (6-12) EUR 5.
[2018]
Classification: ExplainKarst cave, Cretaceous and Miozene limestone.
Light: electric.
Dimension:  
Guided tours:  
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: CAVE OF COLLEPARDO POZZO D'ANTULLO, Via delle Grotte, 03010 Collepardo FR, Tel: +39-0775-47065. E-mail:
Ufficio Turistico Grotte di Collepardo, Tel: +39-0775-47065.
Ufficio informazione, Tel: +39-0776-545011, Fax: +39-0776-545121.
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.

History

1796 inpected by the geologist Paul Spadoni in the name of Cardinal Carandini.
1802 first described in Osservazioni mineralovulcaniche fatte in un viaggio nell'antico Lazio by Paul Spadoni.
1817 visited by the geologist Giovan Battista Brocchi.
1822 visited by the geologist Giovan Battista Brocchi.
1824 prince Baldassarre Boncompagni initiated a famous exploration by the French Domenico Santucci and the architect Rossini.
1845 the book La grotta di Collepardo published in Paris, written by Domenico Santucci.
1858 mentioned by Ferdinand Gregorovius in his book Wanderjahre in Italien.
1903 visited by ExplainE.A. Martel.
13-APR-1904 visited by Queen Margherita di Savoia, so the cave was also called Grotta Regina Margherita.
1928 ExplainE.A. Martel published an article the caves of Italy and mentioned this cave.
1982 developed and opened to the public.

Description

Image: yellow light and black speleothems.

Grotta di Collepardo is also called Grotte dei Bambocci (Cave of the Children), because of the characteristic shape of its dripstones. The stalagmites resemble dolls or puppets, which are named Bambocci in the local dialect. It is well known for a very long time, because of its enormous size. The cave is visited since the 19th century, and the modern speleology of the 20th century was not able to find additional parts.

The limestone around Collepardo is heavily karstified. There are numerous sink holes, the ruins of caves with collapsed roof, with high and steep walls and flat bottom. Typical examples are Pozzo Santullo, Fossa della Volpe, and Fossa di Monte Capezzoi.

Image: impressive stalagmites.

Grotta di Collepardo consists of two enormous chambers, divided by a wall of limestone formations. The cave is entered from the valley through a rather low portal. After a short passage the path leads uphill into a huge hall with numerous phantastic pilars and stalagmites. The path, constructed mostly as an iron bridge, leads the visitor through this huge cavern in a sort of 8. At one point a steep stair, cut out of flowstone leads to a side passage, but this historic track is not used any more. The tour is self guided, so the visitor has enough time to have a close look wherever he likes. All in all a very pleasant visit, with just one drawback: the light is extremely yellow, and so the whole cave gets a sort of sick look.

An impressive description of the cave was written by Ferdinand Gregorovius, who visited the cave in 1858. The original German text is linked below. He describes a cave visit, how people from the village used torches and burned fires to light the enormous cavern. The smoke of this fires painted the whole chamber black with tar. He also tells the story of a french hermit who lived in a nearby cave, until he was jailed. The story goes, that he was connected with the assassination of Louis Philipp, and sent back to France.


Grotta di Collepardo Gallery