Visit to “Punta degli stretti” Cave
When we think about Argentario, our thoughts immediately turn to the sea, immense panoramas and a landscape of a thousand shades of blue and green.
However, not everyone knows that on the Argentario you can experience a truly exciting and unusual adventure by visiting the “Punta degli Stretti” cave. Not advertised (and not signposted), the access point to the cave is on the stretch of road that runs along the lagoon from Porto Santo Stefano to Orbetello. We meet up right there, on the road, and after equipping ourselves with helmets and lights, provided by the guides, we are ready to enter. The entrance is among “what remains” of an abandoned building, which is not very inviting, but once you have passed a few metres, you will be in another world.
A pastel-coloured world of tunnels, canyons, stalactites and stalagmites, some of them impressive in size, and three small lakes with fantastic shapes and colours. The carbonic rocks shaped by the dripping water have taken on surprising shapes that stimulate the imagination and recall famous things or people. A world of unusual sounds created by the acoustics of the cavity and the movements of the water. The cave, discovered in the mid-1800s, extends underground for about one kilometre.
Findings show that the cave was inhabited in the Neolithic age, but now the only “inhabitants” are bats, which winter and breed here.
The waters of the cave are home of indigenous species of small, almost transparent crustaceans that are difficult to spot.
The temperature of the cave and the inner lakes is constant in summer and winter, between 16° and 18°. It is a truly incredible and surprising experience, full of charm and beauty, with that extra touch of adventure that can deeply move you.
- Difficulty level: The excursion is classified as “easy”, as long as you have an “aptitude” for this type of experience. Also recommended for “adventurous” children over 6/7 years of age.
- The visit can only be done with guides. I recommend Silvano Picchianti, Carlo and Daniela of the Maremma Naturalistic Speleological Society.
- Duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Remember to bring a towel and a change of clothes to leave in the car as it is impossible not to get wet. Gloves can also be useful to protect your hands from sharp rocks. Helmet and light are provided by the guides.
Have fun and… See you next time in Ebe Montresor’s “Argentario Experience” column.
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