Una Visita a Frasassi Posted by Serena on Dec 19, 2011 in Uncategorized
Il Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral), at 108.50 meters high and covering an area of 11.700 square meters, is the fourth largest church in Europe. Yet there is an enclosed space here in Italy that could swallow the cathedral whole!
L’Abisso Ancona, altezza 200 metri, lunghezza 180 metri, e larghezza 120 metri (The Ancona Abyss, height 200 meters, length 180 meters, and width 120 meters), is the biggest of the Grotte di Frasassi (Grottoes of Frasassi) and also one of the largest in the world. Discovered in1971, this spectacular subterranean space is breath-taking not just because of its dimensions but also for its sheer beauty. See this link for info on how to get there: Directions to Frasassi
Visitors to Frasassi can take a guided tour lasting just over an hour and passing through a series of amazing underground chambers decorated with spectacular sculptures, all created by the hand of mother nature. These natural sculptures have been given evocative names such as: ‘Cascate del Niagara’, which is described as una colata bianchissima di calcite allo stato puro (‘Niagara Falls’ a flow of pure white calcite), and: ‘Albero morto’, una stalagmite con forma superiore ramificata, originata da un cambiamento di direzione di caduta dello stillicidio dell’acqua (Dead Tree, a stalagmite with ‘branches’ on its upper part, caused by a change of direction in the dripping of water).
Above: ‘Cascate del Niagara’
Upon entering L’Abisso Ancona the visitor is confronted with: un enorme gruppo di stalagmiti, alte fino a 20 metri, che troneggiano su una lato della sala cui è stato attribuito il nome de ‘I Giganti’ (an enormous group of stalagmites, up to 20 meters high, which dominate one side of the ‘room’, and which have been given the name of ‘The Giants’.)
The tour, which covers roughly 1.2 kilometres, is fairly easy going, although visitors are advised to wear comfortable shoes. Warm clothing is also important due to the ambient temperature of 14 degrees centigrade which the caverns maintain all year round.
Once back up above ground you shouldn’t miss the nearby Museo Speleo Paleontologico ed Archeologico (Museum of Speleology, Palaeontology and Archaeology) which houses important prehistoric evidence and bronze age artefacts which have been discovered at Frasassi. Amongst these is un enorme fossile di ittiosauro risalente al periodo giurassico (an enormous ichthyosaurus fossil from the Jurassic period).
To learn more about Frasassi and the surrounding area this site is a good place to start: Visit Frasassi
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