Grotte di Santa Croce

Useful Information

Location: Bisceglie, northwest of Bari.
7 Km from the city center of Bisceglie. Follow Via Sant'Andrea SP85 from the city center or from the exit of SS16aa to the southwest. Cross the Motorway (E55) then the cae is on the right side.
(41°10'27.24"N, 16°27'54.31"E)
Open: All year after appointment [2007]
Classification:  Karst cave.
Light: electric.
Dimension: A=120m asl, L=130m.
Guided tours: L=40m, V=6,000/a.
Bibliography: L. Cardini (1939): Culture paleolitiche della Grotta S. Croce a Bisceglie (Bari). In: Atti della Società Italiana per il Progresso delle Scienze: 28· Riunione, Pisa 1939: 85.
Address: Gruppo Scout di Bisceglie, Via G.Bovio, 49/a, 70052 Bisceglie (BARI), Tel: +39-080-3969233, +39-080-330553303, Fax: +39-080-3969233. 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.
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Last update:$Date: 2015/08/30 21:56:22 $


1937Francesco Saverio Majellaro mentions the extraordinary importance of the cave by archaeological means.
1938L. Cardini, president of the Istituto Italiano di Paleontologia Umana (Italian Institute of Human Paleontology) makes a small test excavation, confirms the presence of the Mousterian and Neolithic remains.
1939L. Cardini and F. S. Majellaro make test excavation on the outside.
1940F. S. Majellaro excavated three round rocks with engravings, one showing an animal (bovide), from the Upper Paleolithic.
1954excavation by L. Cardini, P. Cassoli, F. S. Majellaro.
1955femor of a Neanderthal man discovered.
1958end of excavations.
1970further excavations by V. Delfino Pesce from the Università di Bari and C. Giove from the gruppo speleologico Le Nottole di Bergamo.
1975developmment as a show cave by the Gruppo Scout di Bisceglie.
1990opened to the public.
1994survey of the cave and surroundings by the gruppo speleologico on behalf of the city of Bisceglie.
1997the team of Prof. Gambassini from the Università di Siena excavates in the cave on behalf of the city of Bisceglie.
1998the team of Prof. Gambassini from the Università di Siena excavates on behalf of the city of Bisceglie.


This short horizontal cave near Bisceglie is an important archaeological site and has been excavated for more than 70 years now. Them main findings are the femor of a Neanderthal man (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis), and the remains of a wooden basket. There was a tool shop of the Musterian leaving behind 2,200 flint stone tools, and again during the Gravettian. The early excvations in the 1930s were made by achaeologists around L. Cardini, president of the Istituto Italiano di Paleontologia Umana (Italian Institute of Human Paleontology). The findings are on display at the Museo Civico Archeologico at Bisceglie, which is located in the Monastero Santa Croce.

The cave has been developed for the public by the Gruppo Scout di Bisceglie (Boy Scouts of Bisceglie), in cooperation with the Comune di Bisceglie (City od Bisceglie) and the Soprintendenza Archeologica della Puglia (archaeological authority of Apulia). It is open priimarly to school groups and other groups, which can book specific guided tours.

Beneath the archaeological importance, the cave itself is of some speleologic interest. It is the former course of an underground river showing many ersional forms like scallops. It also has some nice speleothems.

See also

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