GROTTA DEI DOSSI
Località Dossi, Villanova Mondovì (CN)
TEL 0174 42646 - 333 9790007
The Grotta dei Dossi lies on the slopes of Monte Calvario and was the first cave system discovered in the province of Cuneo. A century later, it was also the first in Italy to be lit by electricity, with 30 Edison bulbs and a petrol generator.
As the abbot Pietro Nallino narrates in a memorial dated 16 March 1797, the cave seems to have been discovered entirely by chance. On 13 #manca il mese# of the same year, a hunter was following the trail of a fox on the snow, not far from the source of the Branzola river, and saw it disappear into a crevice. Sure in his mind that he had wounded it, he sent a boy into the opening to pull it out. After crawling on all fours for a good while, they made the discovery and, on emerging from the cave, they raced to the village to spread the news. A century later, on 15 August 1893, the Villanova cave earned a second and more important record when, after years of work, it held the official opening of the first Italian cave to be lit by electricity.
Of karst origin and developing for 910 metres, with a level difference of 21 metres, the Dossi caves unfold in corridors and spaces featuring a myriad of hues: from brown to red passing via shades of yellow, then green, blue and on to black. This miracle of nature was created by the presence of countless minerals (zinc, iron, nickel, copper, lead and manganese) which, together with the clay, make the Dossi caves the most colourful in Italy. From the time of their glorious opening, which drew journalists of all nationalities including those of Le Figaro in Paris, the spectacle of forms and colours won visitors over, with ladies and gentlemen flocking from all over to gaze in awe at these subterranean wonders. Gradually, over the years, more spaces were opened and the passages made practicable. Recently, the spaces have been revamped with modern lighting effects that highlight the polychrome features and the variety of the concretions.
VISIT DURATION 60 minutes
LENGTH 981 metres
LEVEL DIFFERENCE 21 metres
AVERAGE HUMIDITY 98%
Christmas holidays: every day from 25 December to 6 January (3pm-6pm)
August: every afternoon from 3pm to 6pm (admissions every hour)
Every Sunday in the year and public holidays:
Winter 3pm – 5 pm
Summer 3pm – 6pm
Every day by prior arrangement for groups of at least ten
7,00 € pax
5,00 € pax
GROUPS OF ADULTS
minimum 20 people, concessions by agreement
SCHOOL GROUPS /ESTATE RAGAZZI
minimum 20 children, concessions by agreement
tours available in French
no access for the motor disabled
Usage limits exceeded.