The Wind Grotto
Fornovolasco , Lucca
Fornovolasco , Lucca
The Grotta del Vento is located in the province of Lucca, in the center of one of the most evocative areas of the Apuan Alps Natural Park, characterized by rugged rocky peaks, slender ridges, vertical walls, immense panoramas. Further down, vast forests cover the sides of deep valleys crossed by streams that in some places have carved particularly spectacular canyons.
The karst phenomenon is present everywhere, with large areas of absorption, chasms, crevices and sinkholes under which the water has dug a dense network of tunnels, wells and halls forming a large complex of underground cavities. Among these, the Wind Grotto, equipped for tourist visits, is by far the most important, both for its length and for the extraordinary variety of aspects that make it a true encyclopedia of deep karst, in which all evolutionary processes are still ongoing. Along comfortable paths, visitors can choose between three different itineraries, lasting one, two, or three hours, which allow them to observe bare phreatic ducts with smooth walls, “fossil” galleries embellished with numerous lively and colorful calcareous concretions, crystal-encrusted ponds, streams, and vertical wells that seem bottomless. The visits, always guided by expert staff, are carried out in eleven different languages every day of the year, except December 25th.
The shortest route – lasting one hour – is called the “first itinerary” and is divided into a tunnel that, without great differences in height, crosses a series of rooms where it is possible to admire an exceptional profusion of stalactites, stalagmites, flows, and polychrome and translucent alabaster draperies. The morphology is “fossil phreatic”, with intense concretion in progress. Open every day of the year – except December 25th – with departures at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 a.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., and 6 p.m.
The “second itinerary” – lasting two hours – adds to the first one the descent of a chasm that leads down to a lower level characterized by conspicuous erosive phenomena and crossed by a small underground river. This itinerary has an occasionally active phreatic morphology. During the heaviest rainfall, the river level can rise up to submerging part of the route. It takes place at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., and 5 p.m. during the public Holidays – except December 25th – and on all weekdays between April 1st and November 1st and between December 26th and January 6th.
The “third itinerary” – complete visit, lasting three hours – adds to the other two a visit to a vertiginous 90-meter vertical well, followed by a large hall and a narrow canyon. This itinerary has a vadose morphology occasionally active with meanders originating from the regression of the falls. It takes place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on all Holidays – except December 25th –, and on all weekdays between April 1st and November 1st and between December 26th and January 6th like the second itinerary.
None of the three itineraries presents particular difficulties as the paths are in non-slip concrete and fully illuminated.
There are also two exciting “adventure trails” which can last from 2 to 5 hours.
Over 4.5 kilometers
10.7 °C – 51.26 °F
60 to 180 minutes
THE WIND GROTTO
via Grotta del Vento, 1
+39 0583 722024