Visit to the Borgio Verezzi Caves: a fantastic underground adventure




Nativity Hall, Borgio Verezzi Caves

Discovering the Ligurian Riviera

Visit to the Borgio Verezzi Caves: a fantastic underground adventure




April 20, 2023

The Borgio Verezzi Caves, located in Liguria in the province of Savona, are a favorite destination for lovers of underground adventures and nature. Referred to as "the most colorful caves in Italy", they offer an 800-meter-long path that winds among eccentric limestone formations of the most diverse shapes.

This natural gem can be combined with a visit to the medieval village of the same name, as well as to the most renowned resorts of the Riviera Ligure di Ponente.

Let's discover the Borgio Verezzi Caves, its hidden treasures and the activities you can do during the visit. A unique experience that allows you to immerse yourself in one of the most fascinating Italian caves.

 

How to get there

The Caves of Borgio Verezzi, located in Via Battorezza, 5, 17022 Borgio SV, are easily accessible from our facility (discover the farmhouse and our services), which is about 40 km away.

To reach the caves, there are two routes to choose from: the first involves driving along the Via Aurelia to Borgio Verezzi, while the second involves taking the A10 highway from San Bartolomeo al Mare to Pietra Ligure, then continuing to Borgio Verezzi.

History

 

The discovery of the Borgio Verezzi Caves came about by chance, thanks to the presence of underground cavities identified nearby thanks to the waters of the Rio Battorezza, which at times seemed to disappear into the ground and then suddenly reappear. In the 1920s, the municipality of Borgio Verezzi decided to dig a well in the hope that water would seep into the underground cavities and avoid damage caused by flooding, but the project was halted due to lack of funds.

Ten years later, in 1933, three brave young boys named Lillo, Tito and Valentino ventured into one of these cavities, making a sensational discovery. But it was not until 1951, when speleologist Giovanni Dentella explored the underground tunnels, that the natural wonder of the Borgio Verezzi Caves received the attention it deserved.

Dentella created a tourist trail that was opened in 1970. The discovery of these caves has an adventurous history that demonstrates the importance of curiosity and exploration to discover the hidden wonders of nature.

 

Guided tour of the Borgio Verezzi Caves

 

Borgio Verezzi's limestone cave complex can be visited through an evocative guided tour. The tour route is divided into several rooms, each characterized by particular rock formations.

 

The Concert Hall, as the name suggests, is often used for events and concerts, thanks to its perfect acoustics. Here it is possible to admire large stalactites and stalagmites with sinuous and irregular shapes.

The Concert Hall inside the Borgio Verezzi Caves

The Lunar Landscape Hall is named after the fact that the first geologists who visited the cave compared its appearance to that of the moon. It features unusual and striking rock formations, such as candle-shaped stalactites and column-shaped stalagmites.

The Hall of the Lunar Landscape inside the Borgio Verezzi Caves

The Hall of Gulliver's Foot owes its name to a large rock formation that resembles the foot of Jonathan Swift's famous character. Inside are beautiful concretions in a wide variety of shapes, resembling columns, curtains and drapes.

The Hall of Gulliver's Foot within the Borgio Verezzi Caves

The Castle Hall features stalactites in the shape of towers and castles, which are truly impressive and striking.

The Hall of the Castle inside the Borgio Verezzi Caves

Finally, the Nativity Room owes its name to the small nativity figurines placed in a corner of the cave. Once they reach the end of the path, the guide turns off the artificial lights for a full minute, allowing visitors to plunge into total darkness. The sensation is very special and unique: without light or flashlights, the darkness takes over, enveloping you completely, so much so that you cannot see anything at all.

The Nativity Hall inside the Borgio Verezzi Caves

The species that inhabit the caves

 

The caves of Borgio Verezzi differ from those of Toirano in that they have never seen access by humans during historical eras, nor by large mammals such as bears. Only bats and small animals living in the cave waters have access.

The bat species that lives inside the Borgio Verezzi Caves is the Rhinolophus major, of the family Rhinolophidae, which prefers warm, open areas with pastures, hedges and rows of trees, in limestone areas close to wetlands. This species is reported throughout Italy, and in Liguria it is present in all provinces, often in small groups.

During the winter period, it hibernates in underground cavities (natural or artificial) for hibernation, while it moves to warmer, drier refuges for the breeding season. It feeds on large insects, such as Lepidoptera and Coleoptera, which it hunts with slow, butterfly-like flight in areas with shrub and forest cover and near rock walls.

Unfortunately, the Greater Rhinolophus is considered a "vulnerable" species and appears on the Italian Red List, with declining populations due to habitat disappearance and fragmentation caused by agricultural intensification and pesticide use. But also due to anthropogenic disturbance and the loss of wintering and breeding sites. It would also appear that the hibernation period for bats is shrinking due to climate change.

Another animal that lives in the waters of the Borgio Verezzi caves is the Niphargus Cornicolanus, a cave shrimp.

Route through the caves of Borgio Verezzi

Duration of the visit and useful information

 

The duration of the visit to the Borgio Verezzi Caves lasts about an hour, during which you take a real journey to discover the incredible limestone formations of the caves.

The route is fairly easy and not rough, so no special footwear is necessary, although sports shoes are obviously recommended. In some parts of the trail, the presence of water can make the ground slippery.

The temperature inside the cave is constant all year round, maintaining at 16 degrees, so it is advisable to wear suitable clothing for this temperature. It would then be best to bring small bags or backpacks, as you may be required to deposit them at the entrance before entering the caves.

A guided tour is mandatory, but allows you to fully enjoy the experience, accompanied by the guide, who explains the route and provides information about the formations and history of the caves.

Inside the caves it is possible to take photos, but the use of flash is strictly prohibited.

Just as in the Toirano Caves, it is forbidden to touch the concretions inside the caves, as our hands contain fats that can prevent the deposition of the minerals necessary for the formation of stalactites and stalagmites. These fats make the surfaces of the formations virtually water-repellent, causing them to die and turn black. It is therefore important to respect the rules to preserve the integrity of the wonderful geological formations within the Borgio Verezzi Caves.

Opening Hours

 

The opening hours of the Borgio Verezzi Caves are as follows.

Monday through Friday:

9.30 - 10.30 - 11.30 - 15.00 - 16.00 - 17.00

Saturday and Sunday:

9.30 - 10.30 - 11.30 - 14.00 - 15.00 - 16.00 -17.00

 

Prices and tickets

 

The ticket price to visit the Borgio Verezzi Caves includes entrance to the cave and a 40-minute guided tour. Rates:

  • Adults 10 euros

  • Reduced from 3 to 10 years old, 6 euros

  • Children 0 to 2 years old get in free

 

A discount is available by visiting the other 21 member caves, including Grotta Gigante, Grotta di Bossea, Grotte di Toirano, Grotta del Cavallone and many others. Presenting your Borgio Verezzi Caves ticket at one of the member caves will entitle you to a discount on the entrance fee.

 

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