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Grotte di Toirano

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Address: Via alle Grotte, 17055 Toirano, Italy
Phone Number:
+39 0182 98062
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

The Toirano cave site is one of the main tourist attractions in Liguria and...

The Toirano cave site is one of the main tourist attractions in Liguria and consists of the natural cavities of Basura and S. Lucia Inferiore. The Grotta della Basura (which means "witch"), discovered in 1950, is characterized by the presence of prints of men from the Upper Paleolithic Age and important palaeontological finds, mainly Cave Bear bones ("Ursus Spelaeus"). The bones of these plantigrades, which were typical of the Pleistocene Epoch and used to visit the cave during hibernation, can still be seen in the "Bear Cemetery" (about 30,000 years old).

Foot, hand and knee prints of Homo Sapiens Sapiens can be found in the clay concretions of the "Print Corridor" (about 12,000 years old). In the cave rooms you will find a wide variety of stalactites and stalagmites, different in shape and size, as well as the typical "mammillary" concretions. The last part of the cave, which used to be under water, is very picturesque, with its peculiar, rounded concretions entirely covered in a uniform, light-yellow layer of tiny calcite crystals.

In the Grotta di S. Lucia Inferiore, discovered in 1960, both the limestones and the walls of the wide rooms are covered in calcite flowers and aragonite crystals. The two caves, connected by an artificial tunnel, are about 1,300m long and can be visited in about 70 minutes.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Great side trip!

We were staying in Portofeno for a couple of days, and got a rainy day. The weather north of us was better, so we looked up something interesting to do and found Grotte di... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed November 11, 2016
Pasco, Washington
via mobile
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717 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 32: English reviews
Pasco, Washington
Level Contributor
60 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2016 via mobile

We were staying in Portofeno for a couple of days, and got a rainy day. The weather north of us was better, so we looked up something interesting to do and found Grotte di Toirano. It was a couple of hours away but well worth the drive. You climb a fairly steep paved walk until you come to an opening... More 

Thank Lilybet56
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2016

As caves go, this one is maybe not as spectacular as some but the human hand and footprints left in the mud some 25,000 years ago, as well as the cave bear boneyard, makes it worth the trip. Although the tour was in Italian, the guide did a good job of pointing out the highlights in her limited English. We... More 

Thank Gary M
Milan, Italy
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2016

The caves are really beautiful and the guides did good explanations in the correct times. Really a great site !!!

Thank Mario T
Level Contributor
52 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2016 via mobile

First I must state that the caves are really beautiful and the guides doing great job with explanations. So yes, definitely go for a visit. This note is more for the organizers. The web site states that the caves open at 9:30. It doesn't say that only the ticket office opens at 9:30 and the access to the caves is... More 

1 Thank OlaMayer
Skovde, Sweden
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2016

An attraction worth every minute visit. It is constantly a "wow- feel" during the tour. Amazing formations that you will come close with nice colors. Very good guidance in a competent manner by well-trained, serious and motivated staff. I can highly recomend this cave for all who are interested in this knowledge!

Thank GoeranL
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
34 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2016

This is a spectacular underground tour of incredibly impressive limestone formations and archeological remains from the days when humans and bears lived (?) together. If you're lucky, the tour guide masters English, but even in Italian the views and sights are stunning. Bring good shoes and a jacket, because it can be chilly underground.

Thank Stefan L
Sandefjord, Norway
Level Contributor
35 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2016 via mobile

I have never seen anything like this. Interesting stone formations and archeological remnants. The guide spoke both Italian and English. The path was a bit slippery, good shoes are advised.

Thank Olav M
Novara, Italy
Level Contributor
40 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 8, 2015

Some of the most stunningly beautiful caves I've ever visited. Beautiful limestone formations, well lit. Informative website with great photos - don't bother taking your own. The guide gabbled in Italian only, and that was disjointed enough to confuse even my Italian wife, never mind foreign visitors - Time to get an audio system installed, folks. The 300m steep path... More 

Thank Epicureanist
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2015 via mobile

Absolutely great place to visit! We visited these caves without any preinformation and therefore did not have sport shoes or jackets, only sandals, t-shirts and shorts. I was wondering if we manage as the guided tour (no options) takes an hour and it is about 16 degrees celsius there. We managed very well, as we are from Nordic countries :)... More 

1 Thank Elisa T
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
62 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2015 via mobile

This visit takes you through two cave complexes, with beautiful geological formations. Infrastructure is very good and guides do speak English (be sure to ask them to also give explanations in English, since they are more used to Italian visitors). Also remember to take a light jacket with you even during summer since it gets cold inside). Definitely worth the... More 

1 Thank DanielFornaziero

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