Antro del Corchia

Complesso del Monte Corchia


Useful Information

Location: Near Levigliani, 48km from Lucca, 57km from Pisa.
Autostrada A12 Genova-Rosignano exit Versilia. 20kms to Levigliani across Querceta, Seravezza, Ruosina, and Retignano. Parking at both ends of the town Levigliani.
Cave tickets at the ticket office of the Parco Regionale delle Alpi Apuane near the church at the town center. Shuttle bus to the caves which are 2kms away.
Open: mid-MAY to JUN Sat, Sun, Hol 10-18.
JUL to AUG daily 9-18.
SEP Sat, Sun, Hol 10-17.
Very complicated, see official site for more details.
According to locals the cave is opened irregularly.
[2008]
Fee: Season (15-JUL to AUG): Adults EUR 12, Children (6-14) EUR 10, Disabled EUR 10, Speleologists EUR 10, Seniors (65+) EUR 10.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 10.
Off season: Adults EUR 11, Children (6-14) EUR 9, Disabled EUR 9, Speleologists EUR 9, Seniors (65+) EUR 9.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 9, Students EUR 7.
Wild tours: Adults EUR 25.
[2003]
Classification:  Karst cave. Marble.
Light: electric.
Dimension: L=52,300m, VR=1,190m, A=860m asl., T=7.6°C.
Guided tours: L=1,978m, artificial tunnel L=168m, VR=356m, D=120min.,
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Antro del Corchia, Parco Regionale delle Alpi Apuane, via IV November 70, 55040 Levigliani di Stazzema, Tel: +39-0584-778405. E-mail: contact
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.
Last update:$Date: 2015/08/30 21:56:20 $

History

 
2002opened to the public.

Description

Antro del Corchia is the youngest Italian show cave, opened in 2002. It is named after Mount Corchia, where it is located, This cave is Italys largest cave system, about 60km long. The mountains in this southern part of the Apuan Alps rise from the sea to about 1,200m and are composed of limestones, or better mostly of marble. The marble of this area is world famous, as Carrara is only a few kilometers away.

The development of the cave as a show cave was a byproduct of the attempt to protect the cave during exploration. The problem was, that fragile parts of the cave system had to be crossed, which were in great danger of being destroyed. A possible solution is a carefull development of the endangered passages, which allows cavers to cross them with less damages.

The cave is entered through an artificial tunnel which starts in an old marble quarry. Three airtight door form a sort of air lock and are intended to keep the atmosphere inside the cave unchanged. This a sort of general scheme in Italy, all caves do it, but it is anyway a good idea for big caves like this one. Because of the size of the cave a convection stream of cave air would start and influence the temperature and humidity in many parts of the cave.

The cave shows only few speleothems in the first part. Tunnel like passages seem to be a continuation of the artificial entrance tunnel. The path ascends 20m, then descends 37m, finally reaches an impressive gorge which is between 1.50 and 3m wide, but 30m high. Many cave walls show scallops, a sort of erosional structure formed by the flowing water which once ran through this passages. Geologists are even able to tell the direction of the water from the asymmetric form of the scallops.

The speleothems start in the Galleria del Venerdì (Friday Gallery). Here are some rather exceptional flowstones like the Capanna Trogloditica (Hut of the Cave Dwellers). But now a small cave river accompanies the pathe until it drops into Pozzo della Cascata (Waterfall Shaft), which is the connection to the deepest branch of the cave. The lowest point at the end of this branch is only 450m asl., which is about 400m deeper.

The final hall is a wealth of speleothems, in different forms and colours. The tour makes a loop through the Galleria delle Stalattiti (Stalactites Gallery) and the Foresta pietrificata (Fossilized Forest). This extraordinary place is the end and highlight of the tour. However, at the end of the loop the visitor has to go back the path he came.


See also


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