|Location:||10 minutes walk from Ripe di Civitella del Tronto.|
Only after appointment.
|Classification:||Karst cave. Cave Church St. Michael Caves|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Dimension:||L=40 m, W=10 m, H=30 m.|
|Address:||Associazione Verdelaga, Macchia da Sole, 64010 Ripe di Civitella (Gole del Salinello), Tel: +39-328-6118276, Tel: +39-336-660510. E-mail:|
|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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|1236||stone altar erected.|
The Hermitage of San Michele is located on the slopes of the Montagna dei Fiori. The cave church Sant'Angelo Le Ripe is the largest cave church in Abruzzo dedicated to St. Michael. The cave entrance is closed by a gate. After the gate there are nuemrous cells for the hermits, which were dug into the cave wall. This passage leads to a chamber which contains an altar from 1236. A huge opening in the ceiling illuminates this church.
From here several side branches start. One is called passage of the goat after a legend, in which a goat entered this branch and crossed the mountain to leave it on the other side. In this passage numerous prehistoric remains were found.
The cave has been open for a long time and there has been some destruction and vandalism. During the last years it was protected and restored by the Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga, the Università di Pisa, and the Soprintendenza Archeologica d'Abruzzo. Inside the cave the Museo della Grotta di S. Angelo was created, the cave was developed with trails and closed with a gate. The visit of the cave is possible after appointment, the National Park service is handing out helmets and headlamps.