caves and spectacular gorges
Marche are a charming territory, offering wonderful views, at times
unexpected, set between the mounts and the sea. Tourists often come across
bold rocks, moulded by waters and time, projecting towards fast streams.
Visitors may also admire the many caves set in the depths of the earth.
The calcareous morphology of the
Marches’ territory led to the formation of natural caves and
spectacular gorges, often surrounded by mysterious and ancient
One example is the story of the Sant’Eustachio
caves, which may be reached through the Sant’Eustachio gorge, near
San Severino. According to the legend, a hermit hid a treasure in the
Mounts Mambrica, demoniac forces protect the treasure.
The vast and profound Frasassi
Caves (natural monuments that are known worldwide) are marked by the many
sculptures, stalactites and stalagmites, and may be reached through
another natural wonder, the Gola della Rossa. The Frasassi Caves
also hide legends, such as the Cave of Infinity (the view of the
so-called Angel’s Hair is unforgettable. It is made of thin
calcareous concretions hanging from the vaults and reflecting into waters).
This cave is also known as the Cave of the Goat. The name stems
from the animal into which a girl was turned. Her beloved was also
transformed into a goat by witchcraft, and according to the legend still
controls the caves’ entrance in the form of a stone.
The enchanting atmosphere is
contained in the very essence of such rocky sculptures, suffice it to
think of the Gola del Furlo – a deep canyon in which a remote
geological past may be tracked. Another example is the Giants’
Kettles, glacial wells full of water from the Candigliano river. The
least-renowned caves include the profound Cave of Nero, and the
Cave of the Five Lakes, both situated under the Mount Nerone, close to
Piobbico, as well as the caves of Monte Cucco, close to the border
with the Umbria region.
The names of such places evoke the
mystery of these caves, starting from the gorges of Rio Garrafo (close
to Acquasanta Terme), to the Buca del Diavolo (the Devil’s hole,
close to the Mount Catria), to the rocky Infernaccio gorge (close
An exception to these dull names is
the charming Hall of the Candles of the Frasassi Caves. With its
unparalleled colours and shapes and its crystal clear small lake, full of
bright calcareous stalks, it shows nature’s generosity. Over the
millennia, nature has managed to create perfect and sublime works.
Men cannot but feel very small before
such natural wonders; all they can do is stand in amazement of such
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