When on a visit to Lucca, you should never miss the Grotta del Vento in the Garfagnana and in the center of Apuan Alps Park. The area is spectacular with interesting natural growth and karst phenomena. The land is rich in natural resources and is surrounded by forest and mountains. The caves are the hidden treasure with are underneath the Pania Secca. The caves were explored in 1932 by a group of speleologists who explored about 70 meters. There are long tunnels here that have been explored and are open to a tourist who want to take a look at the marvelous works of nature.
What to see?
The caves are beautiful with the formation of calcite concretions that have been here since 20,000 years. The beautiful formation is a must see as they are unique, and every formation is a masterpiece and is very fragile. They are the best-known caves in the world and inside are paths created for visitors to take a look at the natural creations and wonder of nature. They are the stalactites, columns, stalagmites, alabaster draperies, underground river and more. The temperature here in the cave remains at 10.7 degree Celsius all the year round. The intensity of the wind that comes in is amazing in summer and in winter the air is hotter inside and flows upwards from the lower entrance. In summer, the wind cools down. The abyss is remarkable in the 2nd section, and you will love the regularity of the rounded wall with crests and spurs to interrupt it. Then halt at the ‘hall of voices ‘where you can hear sound effects of elliptical shape. The Archernote hall is at the bottom. The 3 streams underground confluence is also a wonderful spot. Continue to the domed hall to view the siphon lake and then back to the tunnel of valleys where you can enjoy the gray formations just like the fir trees and various other shapes.
The 3 itineraries inside Grotta del Vento
There are three paths to be explored and enjoyed by tourists who can enjoy the lovely creations here and mesmerize in the unusual formation.
The first path is of 800 meters that take around 2 hours and is a flat one that is characterized by stalagmites, calcerous and columns all over the path.
The second path is of 1500 meters that take 3 hours to complete and that include the slope of 50 meters and 3 underground streams converge. One can also get to see the calcareous concretions that resemble the pine forests.
The third path is of 2200 meters that can be completed within 3 hours and includes both the first and second path and one can see the incredible carpeted area that has white stones.
How to get there
From Lucca: SS 12 road to Ponte a Mariano and then take the road to Borgo a Mazzona Gallica and go to the Fornovolasco - Grotta del Vento. Grotto Del Vento is 47 kilometers from Lucca via the SS12. One has to follow the Abetone sign that will take you to a bridge and then Serchio river. You reach a road that connects you to SS 445. Now you reach Gallicano and to the left is Grotta del Vento.
Visiting hours of Grotta del vento
The caves are open every Sunday and all public holidays and weekdays from 1st April to 1st November and 26th December to 6th January.
Route 1 from 10 to 12 pm and then from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm
Route 2 from 11 am and then from 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm
Route 3 from 10.00 and 2.00 pm.
Weekdays from 7th January to 31st March and from 2nd November to 24th December.
Route 1 only from 10.00 to 12.00pm and from 2.00 to 6.00 pm.
The tickets are available at different prices for 1, 2 and 3 hours.
Guided tours are held throughout the year in English and Italian while from April to October, these tours are guided in German also and in summers, you can enjoy French and Spanish guides. The routes are categorized in three trails and visitors can choose according to their convenience.
Photography is permissible inside the caves, but no tripods allowed. For the disabled, wheelchairs are allowed only up to 100 meters and when the group is small and has an accomplice. Suitable clothing is recommended.