DEPARTURE FROM THE “GRAVE”
The short tour of the grottoes starts off in the “Grave”, the first and biggest cavern of the underground system, and also the only one that allows the visitor to raise their eyes to see a corner of the Apulian sky.
The itinerary winds along a route of timeless charm. Some of the most spectacular calcite formations seem to rise to real life and fill the caves with legendary shapes; we find The She-wolf of Rome, The Camel, The ballerina’s leg and The Owl, names inspired by the explorers’ imagination. Columns, which formed in millennia, by conjunction of stalactites and stalagmites, leading into canyons, which almost reach 70 meters of height, and high walls, where layers tell us about past geological eras.
Apparently moving flow-stones, followed by bizarrely branching helictites, which keep a mystery about their crystalline formation, and seemingly do not obey the laws of gravity.
In the depth of the Caves of Castellana the concept of time is hard to grasp, without other coordinates than fossils to determine their age.