MUSEUM FRANCO ANELLI
The Speleological Museum of the Caves of Castellana, inaugurated on 23 January 2000, on the 62nd anniversary of the discovery of the karst system, is named after the Lodi-born speleologist Franco Anelli (1899-1977) who was not only a discoverer, but also a promoter and passionate director of the Caves. A visit to the Speleological Museum will be an easy, delightful excursion through the pages of a fascinating book, the book of the caves: a few ordered chapters of commentary on a ponderous volume, that of the Science of the caves*. Following the original intentions of Anelli to realize a didactic-exhibition path, the Puglia Grotte Group, the Castellana Speleology Association, founded in 1971, manages the structure on behalf of the Grotte di Castellana company.
The Museum, housed in the building designed in 1952 by the architect Pietro Favia (1895-1972), in addition to representing a useful space to study for the interested visitor and a reference point for speleological research , also hosts the Apulian Speleological Documentation Center Franco Orofino of the Apulian Speleological Federation, including a thematic library, a newspaper library and a photographic archive.
The Franco Anelli Speleological Museum has for been the destination of a growing school tourism several years , featuring guided tours, educational workshops and speleological visits in the lateral branches of the Caves, and represents one of the main novelties of the karst site in recent years.
The proposed didactic workshops, created according to the intention of Anelli, help to spread the knowledge of the studies of the natural subsoil through an effective illustration of the underground world and the phenomena that take place in it, or happened in a distant past of the geological history of Italy. They are designed to include physical, biological and anthropic phenomena, astronomy, cave science, speleology, bio-speleology, geology and ecology. The vast variety of initiatives offered at the Franco Anelli Speleological Museum aims to promote educational learning through interactive workshops and specific lessons, in combination with direct experiences of the cave environment, e.g. the speleojunior proposal, which enables students to live the emotion of the dark and to understand its most hidden aspects.
Texts: Pino Pace