The Castellana caves

 

The Castellana cave complex can be found in the province of Bari, in southern Italy. It was first explored in 1938 and it has since become a major tourist attraction, with over 3 kilometers of passages open to untrained, unequipped visitors.

What makes the place especially interesting is the carsic morphology – the effect of a very specific type of interplay between seeping waters and calcareous rock which would be actually much more common on the other, northern end of the country. This also is one of the very few caves in the world where stalactites and stalagmites don’t grow vertically, but sideways, in arcs and even against gravity.

This is the result of a number of factor including wind, mineral composition and more – and it makes for a really spectacular experience. The caves are far from being fully explored. A debris removal operation in 2006 uncovered a promising new passage, yet to be mapped for lack of funds. Your visit will help financing that.