|Friday, 15th June 2022 (half-day)
|Grotte di Stiffe
The Stiffe caves are a complex of karstic caves located near Stiffe, included within the Sirente-Velino regional natural park. They are an active resurgence, unique in Italy, accessible to the public since 1991. Today, they constitute one of the main naturalistic sites in the L'Aquila area, registering over 40,000 presences annually.
The tourist route in the caves lasts about 1 hour and covers most of the explored caves, up to the second waterfall.
The entrance is located at a large crack in the mountain. A footbridge climbs up the watercourse entering below a rocky wall of 100 meters. The entrance is dominated by other cavities such as the Briganti cave, probably produced from a fossil branch of the resurgence, but currently not accessible to the public.
After the first cavity, through a canyon, visitors arrive at a large room that takes the name of the Sala del Silenzio (Room of Silence). The name derives from the fact that the river tends to dry up in correspondence with it, canceling the typical noise of the rest of the route.
The Sala del Silenzio is the antechamber to the first waterfall, with an height of over 20 meters on a wall about 30 meters high. The wall creates a first barrier to the tourist route, which is overcome by a staircase leading to a spectacular viewpoint over the waterfall.
Climbing up the Sala della Cascata, visitors enter again in a silent and not very bright environment, characterized by the typical presence of stalactites and stalagmites. Further on, the room expands and welcomes a vast expanse of water which takes the name of Black Lake. It is one of the oldest parts of the complex, with delicate concretions.
After a further climb, visitors arrive at the environment more recently opened to the public and characterized by the presence of a thunderous waterfall. The jump, higher than 25 meters, flows into a pond about 5 meters deep, inside a particularly large and scenographic room.