The karst caves of Pertosa
The Pertosa Caves are Officially known as the Grotte dell'Angelo (Angel Caves). They are set in an attractive natural amphitheatre, in the green landscape of the Alburni mountain of the Cilento National Park.
The Pertosa caves are unique for two reasons
- they are the only caves in Italy where it is possible to boat an underground river, the Negro;
- but they are also the only ones in Europe to preserve the remains of a pile-dwelling village dating back to the 2nd millennium BC.
Just 70km far from Salerno and 1 hour and 30 min. from Palinuro, the Negro River has pushed through limestone rock for 35 million years, leaving in its wake a dazzling field of rugged spirals and curved towers as detailed and ornate as any cathedral.
What makes the trip worthwhile are the many layers of ivory-hued stalactites and stalagmites spiraling wildly from every direction. The varying shapes, some as narrow as a magician’s wand, and others robust, meandering columns, recall the neo-gothic design of Antoni Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona, or, more simply, the unpredictable stream of a melting candlestick.
To visit the caves one must cross an underground river. A boat is expertly guided into the depths of the earth for some 100 meters, in a silence which is broken only by the sound of water and exclamations of surprise. After a few minutes the boat berths and the enchantment starts.
After a short boat ride, visitors hike through the damp arteries of the mountains, across a series of majestic grottos illuminated by candy-colored lights. The red, green, purple and blue hues evocatively highlight the prehistoric landscape, creating a whimsical and romantic mood.
Do not miss the opportunity to live a magical experience aboard a boat sailing in the heart of a mountain!!