So Justin is in DC taking some classes for a few weeks, so I decided to take a trip to the Caves of Pertosa yesterday, aka the Angel Caves. They are nestled in one of the valleys in the Alburni mountain near Pertosa, Italy. It was a little under two hours south of Naples…could be closer to an hour in good traffic and such. So none of my pictures inside the caves turned out, so I’m borrowing from the internet so you can see what I saw.
First off, the caves were really cold, colder than I expected…the ceiling dripped on me a few times also, adding to the coldness. There were a lot of stalactites, stalagmites, and bats. Some areas were large spaces and others were more hallway like tunnels where you had to duck to pass through.
Some interesting facts: Apparently earlier this year some crew came in and removed 30 tons of guano from the caves. There are a handful of streams running through the cave which the nearby areas use for power. Apparently when the caves were found there were human and animal bones inside. Every year in December a play of Dante’s Inferno is performed inside of the cave…so not only do you see natural stuff in the cave, but the occasional prop, like extra hands and feet sticking out the ground, paintings, and various props. During WWII troops heading north from Africa would cross on the road near the caves and stop by…at that time that was the main road north. Also a handful of planes crashed in the general area near the caves during WWII.
“Recent research dates the origin of the cave to about 34 million years ago. Numerous traces show that they were lived in up until the stone age; the Greeks and Romans assigned the cave as a seat of cult and finally the Christians consecrated the caves to St. Michael Archangel.
To visit the caves one must cross an underground river. A boat wisely guided into the depths of the earth for some 100 m. After a few minutes the boat berths and the enchantment begins. The Angel Caves of Pertosa unwind for about 2500 m across tunnels and immense caverns; they are characterised by the beauty of their stalactite and stalagmite conformation, for the impressiveness of the caverns, and because they are unique in Italy.”