Cave of Villanova

Lusevera, Udine

Lusevera, Udine

Cave of Villanova


In the wonderful natural scenery of the Alta Val Torre – located less than 30 km north of Udine –, Villanova delle Grotte, defined as “the balcony of the Alta Val Torre” for its panoramic position, preserves a real karst heritage. The main caves in this area now exceed 30 km in length.

Among them, the Cave of Villanova is the only “contact cave” that can be visited in all of Europe and is one of the largest caves of its kind in the world. Discovered in 1925 by some inhabitants of the town, it is formed between two completely different rock banks and its environments vary in shape and size every few tens of meters, offering visitors a unique spectacle. The huge calcarenite bench that acts as a ceiling to the cavity rests on a bench of marly and arenaceous Flysch, with its characteristic layers. Crossed along the main branch by an internal stream, the Cave is active and “alive”.

Inside, amid the thousand wonders that water has created over time, many traces of past geological events can also be observed. The Cave is populated by various specimens of troglofauna, which sometimes, with a little luck, can also be seen on the tourist route.

In addition to visits on the tourist route, meditation sessions, musical events, photographic excursions by appointment and other events are organized inside the cave.

Guided Tour

Go down along the paved road from the reception of the Caves to the tourist entrance. At the bottom of the stairs, there is the Pond Room, so called because at the time of the discovery it was occupied by a clear body of water.
Walk inside a fault until you reach the imposing “Large Landslide Room”, where there is a faithful reproduction of Ursus Spelaeus, the fearsome Bear of the Caves that populated the area of Villanova delle Grotte. Here you can admire the characteristics of the “contact cave” and various eccentric concretions. The internal stream accompanies visitors through the galleries where, in addition to the varied concretions that adorn the cave, you can observe fault mirrors, folds in the Flysch and other geological phenomena.
The Crystal Gallery was the scene of many events such as cave meditations, a wedding, a baptism, several concerts and a meeting of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Regional Council. This gallery leads to the majestic Big Portal Room. At its bottom, you can follow the new tourist route inaugurated in 2015. Well-lighted by LEDs, this stretch is characterized by a high gallery from which splendid calcite flows, slender stalactites and veils descend. The Big Portal, the Great Altar, the Large Boulder, the flat limestone ceiling, crossed by a sinuous vault channel, are just some of the details that make this part of the tourist route spectacular.

Cave length

9 kilometers of caves, of which 800 meters are equipped for tourism

Average temperature

11 °C – 51.8 °F

Duration of the visit

About 80 minutes

How to find us

Villanova delle Grotte, 3
33010 Lusevera (UDINE)