Places of interestMonday 24 July 2017

Grotta di Bossea: one of the most beautiful and largest caves in Italy

Grotta di Bossea (Bossea Cave) is located in the upper Val Corsaglia near the village of Frabosa Soprana at 836 meters above sea level in the province of Cuneo.


Grotta di Bossea (Bossea Cave) is located in the upper Val Corsaglia near the village of Frabosa Soprana, in the Province of Cuneo located about 90 kilometres (56 mi) south of Turin and about 25 kilometres (16 mi) southeast of Cuneo. Situated at 836 meters above sea level - in a protected area run by the Natural Park of the Marguareis Massif - it is one of the most beautiful and important caves in Italy, a true subterranean universe and a “living” cave in full evolution discovered 200 years ago.

It is characterised by:

  • notable dimensions with panoramic views of sheer walls and picturesque scenary

  • great richness in flowing and falling water

  • high scientific and naturalistic value

“Mateo 27 LUGLIO 1816” are the words found in the summer of 2015 in the Temple hall area and the oldest record confirming the discovery of the Bossea cave. It was opened to the public (the first in Italy) on August 2nd, 1874. In 1865, with the finding of the remains of Ursus spelaeus (cave bear), the first of its kind in Italy, Bossea’s fame spread quickly – a skeleton of the “Ursus Spelaeus” has been reconstructed using some of the finds, and it is on display in the Temple Hall.

Its internal river - named after local man Domenico Mora , has an annual average water content in excess of five million cubic metres - with flows oscillating between 50 and 2500 litres per second. This constant erosion process removes 750/800 tons of rock from the karst system every year. The cave's calcareous concretions, consisting of stalactites and stalagmites, are often impressive for their size no less than for their beautiful shapes and colors.

The visitor route develops for more than 2500 metres with an ascending level difference of 116 metres, equal to a 40-storey building. It has been estimated that the total volume of the visitor route, rounded down, is more than 900,000 cubic metres, with spaces large enough to hold up to three basilicas such as that of Vicoforte (the world’s largest dome with an elliptical section). This places Bossea among the largest cave systems in Italy in terms of volume.

It is conventionally divided into a lower zone characterised by its imposing size and an upper zone essentially made up by a complex of tunnels developing on superimposed levels. The two parts of the cave are separated by the waterfall of the Ernestina Lake.

Since 1964, a scientific station has been working in the cave with the task of carrying out research into the biological phenomena in the cave. The Bossea cave counts no less then 50 species of cave animals (10 of which endemic).

It is advisable to visit this cave with suitable clothes (constant temperature 9° C); waterproof shoes and torches are highly recommended.

VISIT DURATION 90-100 minutes

LENGTH 3000 metres


OPEN Every day except December 25th and January 1stand at the following admission times:

Opening times: weekdays10am, 11.30am, 3pm and 4.30 pm

sundays/public holidays 10am, 11.30am, 3.00pm, 4.30pm and 5.30pm

DISABLED VISITORS Free admission, reduced charge for carers (€ 9.00)

Photography and filming are only allowed at stopping points along the visitor route. Minimum of 2 people per visit

For more information and booking:
Bossea Cave - Loc. Bossea 10 – 12082 Frabosa Soprana
tel e fax +39.0174.349240 - +39.345.1282581 

Deborah Bellotti

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