Description

Genga village, near Ancona, is famous for several reasons, first of all for Frasassi Caves. In fact, while providing a historical and artistic heritage of all respect, the environment and natural heritage has allowed the village to gain notoriety in Europe.

Frasassi Caves are located within the territory of the Regional Natural Park of Gola della Rossa and Frasassi. This is the largest underground complex in Europe with a length of about 30 kilometers, divided into 8 different geological levels. The caves were formed due to the slow process of erosion of the river Sentino, a process which over time has led to the creation of rocky crags giving rise to an underground scenario like no other.

Discovered in the 70s by a group of cavers of Italian Alpine Club - Ancona section, only 1.5 km of the entire area are accessible to the public. This fascinating underground world unfold like a maze, in a series of rooms, each unique in its kind for the presence of very particular stalactites and stalagmites. The route is divided into 7 rooms, it is easily accessible and is equipped with walkways, steps and lighting.

The Frasassi caves stand out for the spectacular dimensions, so that in these spaces you lose your sense of proportion. The Wind Room is the first to be discovered; from here begins the tour and soon no one realizes its size: say 180 meters long, 120 wide and 200 high, is not enough to make the idea, you have to specify that this cave could comfortably hold the Milan Duomo. The following main rooms have been named trying to make all their peculiarities clear: 200 Hall (for the size), the Grand Canyon (characterized by gullies and ravines), the Ursa Hall and Neverending Hall.

Even the names of the groups of stalactites and stalagmites are immediately recognizable: the Niagara Falls, a white casting of pure calcite; the Giants, the group's largest stalagmites that touches 20 meters in height; the Sword of Damocles, stalactite hanging from the upper dome tricking the viewer's eye on its real size (seems small but measuring 7.40 meters in height); the Candles, thin stalagmites positioned at the edge of a pond.

For the more adventurous, Frasassi Caves offer two speleological itinerary, a simpler and ideal for children from 12 years old and for those who want to learn this discipline, the other one longer and more complex requires a bit of experience and little of courage.

The tour lasts about 75 minutes and the ticket includes parking, shuttle transport to the caves with the entrance to the Speleo-Paleontological Museum of San Vittore and the Museum of Genga - Art History Territory.

After visiting the underground complex, you can discover other hidden treasures in Frasassi. Not far away there is a nineteenth century temple built by the architect Valadier and a small cave church dedicated to Santa Maria Infra Saxa, both set into a cave. Continuing we arrive at the Terme di San Vittore and, a little further away, there is the Romanesque abbey of St. Victor.

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