Just outside the boundaries of the Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, the site of the Caves of Pertosa – Auletta attracts thousands of visitors every year who choose this place for different aspects ranging from the naturalistic, speleological interest to the archaeological interest that make it one. of the most important sites of the peninsula. Today it is possible to follow and admire the routes that wind for about 3000 meters under the imposing bulk of the Alburni massif. The origin of the Pertosa Caves dates back, presumably, to 35 million years ago. These are among the most important in southern Italy and the only non-marine ones to be crossed by a stream; the Tanagro or Negro. The entrance of the caves is made, in fact, with a fascinating and unusual crossing of about 200 meters by boat until you reach a small landing from which you enter inside, being enchanted by the roar of the large natural waterfall. Inside the Caves There are several routes, which allow everyone to visit different areas of the Caves in different ways according to the type of interest that wind for about 3000 meters under the Alburni in a suggestive series of tunnels tunnels and caves ending in many natural “rooms”, each with a different characteristic. Among the many, the Hall of Wonders, the Great one where the height touches 24 meters, the Sala delle Spugne, unique in the world and, the Sala dei Pipistrelli anciently refuge of thousands of these rare animals which has very particular characteristics.
For several years the caves have hosted a show called “Dante’s Hell in the Caves”, produced by the Flying Carpet S.a.s. in which the public divided into groups of 30/35 people is entrusted to a “Dante” and in the company of these, crosses the ten circles of Hell, imagined by the Supreme Poet, and in each of them, he meets the character or characters who the more they characterize it, and with them or thanks to them we give “body”, “music”, “image” and “life” to the poet’s verses. The plant was designed and built with the aim of safeguarding the naturalistic emergency of the Pertosa-Auletta Caves from light pollution. A play of lights and sounds and a series of contemporary art video installations enrich the show which runs for about a kilometer and involves over 30 actors and dancers.
BASIC: lasts about 60 minutes, includes the first 200 m. on a boat the remaining part of 1000 m. on foot with arrival at the Great Hall.
INTERMEDIATE: duration of about 75 minutes, includes the first 200 m. by boat and the remaining part of 1200 m. on foot with arrival at the Sala delle Spugne.
EXTRAS: duration of 90 minutes includes a double embarkation-disembarkation, 250 m. by boat and the remaining part of 1500 m. on foot with a visit to the Sala Paradiso
FOSSIL: duration of approximately 3 hours, altogether 500 meters long in which you pass through tunnels and pipes characterized by enormous phenomena of stalactite-stalagmite concretion.
ACTIVE: duration of about 3 hours, 500 meters long in total where you follow the course of the underground stream against the current up to the spring pool knowing the farthest and most secluded corners of the entire cave.
MIdA02: at 200 meters from the caves is the botanical section of the museum which presents the natural flora and biodiversity relating to the food plants of Cilento. In the museum you can visit a historical orchard, the ethnobotanical section on the “cerrnicchiara” and examples of the main soils with the soil materials associated with the various environments present in the Park.
Duration of the visit about 1 hour.
MIdA01: in the square of Pertosa there is the geo-speleological-archaeological section of the museum which illustrates, also in a multimedia version, the geological evolution linked to the phenomena of karst in the cave, bio-caving or biology in the caves of Pertosa-Auletta , and the archaeological finds of the site which represents the most famous cave dwelling site in Europe.
Duration of the visit about 1 hour.
“The White Artichoke Festival” takes place in the village of Pertosa on May 14 as part of the celebrations of the protector San Vittorio. The main products will be the typical products including the “White Artichoke” of Pertosa a typical product grown exclusively in the municipalities of Pertosa, Caggiano, Auletta and Salvitelle. A variety of artichoke that stands out for its light color (a light greenish, almost white) and sweetness. For its delicate flavor, the White Artichoke is included in the Slow Food presidia to protect the authenticity of the product.
Distance from Marina di Camerota: 96.5 km, 1 hour 25 min.
Journey time: 1 to 3 hours (depending on the chosen route).
Period: All year.
Difficulty: For everyone.