Grotta di Pale

Caves of Pale - Grotte dell'Abbadessa

Useful Information

Location: Pale, east of Foligno in the Altolina Valley.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave. Jurassic limestones (Lias).
Guided tours:
Address: Tel: +39-0
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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The Caves of Pale are historic show caves, which means caves which are visited for centuries. Still they are not show caves in the modern sense.

During the 12th century, the were known under the name Grotte dell'Abbadessa (Caves of the Mother Superior). We find this name in various old documents telling us about the visits of many famous people. Queen Catherine of Sweden visited the cave, Cosimo III of Tuscany also.

The first chamber is called Camera del laghetto (Chamber of the small Lake). The circular room is up to nine meters high. There are numerous stalactites on the ceiling and five column-like stalagmites in the center of the chamber. The name was given, as locals used this room to dam the floods of Menotre river. The water in the cave could be used for some time after the flood and the cave had a small lake, although artificial. A narrow passage leads to the Camera delle Colonne a Terra (Chamber of the Stalagmites). It has various nice speleothems.

Nearby is the Pale Waterfall, where the Menotre river falls down a 200 m high step, right below the village Pale. Impressive are the tufa deposits at the waterfall, created by the limestone rich water.