A rocky column is seen inside a karstic cave

Have a look at the Grotte di Toirano in Liguria

Jean Pierre Contasti
Jean Pierre Contasti

Close to the Mediterranean coastline, and overlooking the town of Toirano, the Ligurian mountains are home to fantastical and wonderful nature. Surely, the eroding work of a water system has led to the formation of a cave system, which you can visit when in this corner of Italy. Moreover, at the Grotte di Toirano, named after the nearest commune, you’ll be able to glance at impressive rock landscapes. Above all, you’ll enter the former abode of prehistoric men and fauna.

Village on a valley, surrounded by forested mountains
A view of picturesque Toirano from the caves | Photo by JYB Devot

Start by reaching the cave entrance, at the end of a road that ascends from Toirano. Once there, you’ll enter the main karstic complex, named Grotta della Bàsura, discovered by a group of locals in 1953. Afterwards, be amazed by capricious stalactites and stalagmites as you reach the first cave, the Corridoio delle Impronte. Later on, you’ll arrive at a long hall where remains of ancient crustaceans have been found. Subsequently, as you take a look at the Cimitero degli Orsi, as its name implies, you’ll witness bony fragments of European cave bears. Then, behold the Sala dei Misteri, the area where past human presence can be felt heavier, as its walls are covered in traces that go back 12,000 years.

People are seen walking inside a cave, with visible stalactites
Walk back to the past while visiting the Grotte di Toirano | Photo by Cristian Buda

Surely, after you’ve witnessed the astonishing wonders beneath the mountain, reach the nearby Santa Lucia cave. While on it, you’ll gaze in awe at a natural column, about 8-meters-high. You’ll be reminded, when arriving at a section called Il Tanone, of its use as a shelter for the town’s villagers due to Allied bombardment in WWII. To sum up, move downhill to Toirano and reach the local ethnographic museum, where you’ll learn more about this fascinating corner of Liguria.

Let us know, once you arrive at Toirano, about this unique cave experience, and share it on #Tripsst!

Inspect underground, you’re up!

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