Inaugurated in 2003, the Val de’ Varri Caves are a complex of fossil and active cavities that develop at the base of the southern slope of Mount Sant’Angelo and are also known as the “Val de’ Varri Sinkhole”.
The horizontal development of the caves towards the east has led to the identification of the resurgence of these waters near Civitella, on the Laoleana ditch, from where they flow into the Salto River. An altitude difference of 80 m over a distance of 2 km between the extreme points of the cavity, involves a particularly modest slope of the underground duct. Ceramic fragments, fauna elements, flint and metal elements, a clay spindle, a grinder, and bone artifacts have been found. These findings are currently preserved in the “Pigorini” archaeological museum in Rome. An educational path, equipped with nine panels, offers the possibility of reading and understanding the structure of the cave in its various morphological, planimetric, archaeological, and flora and fauna aspects, with particular regard to the bat. The path goes on and runs along the bed of the Rio Varri on the right, the old mill on the left, and leads to the entrance of the cave consisting of two main branches. Here the waters of the Rio Varri cross the gorge, forming a beautiful 20 m waterfall, and disappear among the rocks. It can be immediately seen the large entrance hall of the left branch above which a limestone wall overhangs for about 30 m. This branch develops on two levels, the first one fossil, where the remains of anthropogenic permanence were found, the second one active, lower in altitude, still affected by the outflow of the waters with their degradation action. The two branches are reached after about 100 m at the lowest point where the waters return to the surface and from the left side enter the right one to continue the path and feed the small underground lakes. The right branch is now fossil, through the first stretch up to the confluence hall. It is characterized by the presence of chambers, which are orthogonal to each other and arranged on various levels. They are completely enriched by particular concrete effects, such as stalactites, stalagmites, veils, columns, pillars, straws, and the very rare “leopard spot” – clay vermiculations that adorn the rocky walls. It ends overlooking the confluence room where the two branches join each other.