Grotta delle Arene Candide

Caverna delle Arene Candide - Arene Candide Cave

Useful Information

Location: Finale Ligure, Savona.
Open: Certain dates with prior booking.
Fee: Adults EUR 10, Children (0-9) EUR 5, Students EUR 5, Seniors (65+) EUR 5.
Visitors to the Museo Archeologico del Finale EUR 5.
Groups (+): Per Person EUR 6.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=45 min, Max=15.
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Formicola V, Milanesi Q, Scarsini C. (1987): Evidence of spinal tuberculosis at the beginning of the fourth millennium BC from Arene Candide cave (Liguria, Italy), American Journal of Physical Anthropology 1987 Jan;72(1):1-6.
various (): Upper Pleistocene deposit of the Arene Candide Cave (Savona. Italy), Quaternaria Nova, #4
Roberto Maggi (1997): Arene Candide: A Functional and Environmental Assessment of the Holocene Sequence, Twenty-three papers, in English with summary in Italian. Istituto Italiano di Paleontologia Umana 1997, ISBN 8886148291. Hardback.
Address: Museo Civico di Archeologia Ligure, Villa Pallavicini, via Pallavicini 11, 16155 Genova-Pegli, Tel: +39-010-6981048, +39-010-6984045, Fax: +39-010-6974040. E-mail: contact
Booking, Tel: +39-019-690020.
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.


1940-42 stratigraphic excavations.
1948-50 stratigraphic excavations.
JUL-2019 opened to the public.


The Caverna delle Arene Candide is a small cave, which was opened to the public a few years ago. We have this listing much longer because of its great archaeological importance, and because there are interesting alternatives to a cave visit. The remains found at the cave are on display in the Museo Civico di Archeologia Ligure in Genova. So this page is more or less dedicated to the display in this museum, not to the cave itself.

At Arene Candide Cave a young male was buried during the mid-Gravettian, which was about 28,000 to 20,000 years ago, a period named after the French village La Gravette. It is locally called il Giovane Principe (the little prince), although there is no evidence for his status or the social structure at that time. This skeleton is extremely interesting. There is evidence that this man had spinal tuberculosis making it one of the earliest cases of this disease in Europe. He was obviously very sick and fragile, and still had a certain rank in his culture, which is proven by his rich offerings.

There are more findings from the cave, especially pottery from the square-mouthed pottery culture. This pottery is much younger, from the middle Neolithic, dated by 14C to the first half of the fourth millennium BC. Between the two periods of habitation is a 3,000 year long hiatus, but obviously the excavation does not answer why. The reason might be the lack of human habitation of this area at this time, or just the cave was intentionally not used for some time.