Grotte di Toirano

Grotte di Toirano: Hours, Address, Grotte di Toirano Reviews: 4.5/5

Grotte di Toirano
4.5
Caverns & Caves
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9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
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.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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4.5
1,150 reviews
Excellent
728
Very good
347
Average
44
Poor
13
Terrible
19

Harry
Lorrach, Germany2 contributions
Family
Great way to spend an hour or two. The cave system is impressive. The tour lasted about 1 hr 20 mins and the tour guide spoke English and took time to explain some of the history and important features.
There’s good parking at the site with nice views around the hills.
I would recommend this visit…
Written August 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Theetiquettorialist
Genoa, Italy1,167 contributions
When in Liguria, it is rare to wonder away from beaches and restaurants but, if you have the opportunity to visit the prehistorical caves of Toirano, you will not regret it.
You'll need an afternoon. The visit itself takes a bit more than 1 hour but you'll need 15 mn to walk up to the entrance of the caves from the parking lot, and another 15 mn to walk back down.
And it's a 20 mn drive to the village of Toirano once you have left the highway.
I would recommend leaving children under 10 behind. It can get dark and slippery in the caves and, the guides can have a group of up to 40 people following him. Young children can slow the whole group down and once you have started the visit, there is no exit until you reach the end of the tour.
I have been there 3 times and, each time, the guide has different infos about the caves ;)... part of the local charm...so, remember to pick up one of the brochures at the front desk when buying your tickets for accurate information!
Written December 1, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

leluisa
12 contributions
Family
Visited with teenage kids and they loved it. The site is about 15 minutes from the highway exit and it has a parking lot. We arrived just before the tour started. Mixed group, families with young children as well as seniors. The guided tour is about 60-70 minutes long. The path is well lit, there are rails and plenty of steps. Some spots were wet, but not dangerous. The guide was very informative and spoke both Italian and English, and took time to answer any question.
The temperature inside is 16C or 64F and felt pleasant. Perfect temperature for aging champagne, as you will see at the exit. A very welcome respite from the scorching temperature outside.
Highly recommended if you are in the area, or just driving by.
Written August 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DanielaKLI
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam202 contributions
Family
The caves are not the biggest you'll ever visit in your life, but for sure if you're around the area, they are more than worth a visit. Schedule around 2 hours and dress warmly - inside, the temperature is 16 degrees. Use good shoes, as the floor is extremely wet and slippery.

That being said, one cannot help but notice that their management could improve.

First of all, do not bother coming there before 9:30 am. That is the opening time and the ticket office does not open a minute before (more likely, five minutes later). Plus, the coffee place is closed - so you won't even be able to savor a nice espresso while you wait for the caves to open (which, to me, is ridiculous - we were around 40 people waiting to go inside this morning. Imagine how many coffees they could have sold while we were waiting for the ticket office to open). Also, if you go there with kids, note that although there is a lot of space near the parking, there is absolutely no area for children to play waiting for the caves to open - I'm not even talking about a playground, simply a slide or something. There is nothing.

Then, note the following, since there is almost no explanation available:

- there are 400 (very wet) steps to go through - up and down, up and down, during 1 hour. If you have any trouble walking, think about it. If you have a baby or toddler with you, the only solution is a baby carrier (Manduca, BabyBjorn, Ergo & Co.), and I still find it dangerous;

- there is almost no folder / booklet available, with basic information. At the ticket office, we asked and we were shown a shelf, with only booklets in French. Luckily I speak fluent French, although I'm Italian;

- differently from any other cave I know in the world, you cannot visit by yourself these ones. You buy your ticket at 9:30, walk around 300 meters until the entrance of the cave, you get there by 9:35, and at 9:45 am somebody comes to open the gate. The visit starts, with an Italian-speaking guide - who can speak some English. Basically, if you're not fluent in Italian, you're screwed. There is a departure every 30 minutes;

- the staff is extremely patronizing. Don't even try to take a picture (even without flash) if not specifically allowed by the guide, otherwise you'll be publicly denounced and shouted at by the second "guide" (the one that is at the end of the group). It didn't happen to me, but to someone in my group. The reaction of the staff was simply a disgrace. There is way and way to talk to the people. Visitors are not vandals;

- don't even try to stop two minutes to admire the caves if the group is moving. You're not supposed to slow the group down, and you have to walk, as the second guide will be more than glad to shout at you.

While you are there, visit the small cave of Santa Lucia (when you exit the main caves, follow the sign and enter a small chapel which gives access to the cave). The fee is 1euro only (donation for the church) and the staff (young guides who work for free) are extremely nice and polite. They will tell you all about the American bombings of '44 and how the local villagers saved themselves in these caves.
Written August 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Geordielassme
Switzerland7 contributions
Family
We’ve been in a few caves but these are by far the most amazing we’ve seen. The tour guide was great and informative (spoke English). We arrived at 2pm for the afternoon opening and there was ample parking and a small group waiting for the first entry. Wear good shoes (no sandal/flip flops!) and take a light sweater/fleece as it’s 15 degrees in there but it was a very welcome break out of the heatwave.
Written July 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

mikkonieminen
Helsinki, Finland140 contributions
Family
Want to take a break from the heat? Grotte di Toirano offers a constant temperature of 16C. The informative tour lasts about 60-70 minutes. Bring proper shoes! The path inside the caves is good, but it can be a bit slippery at times.
Written July 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

pmarnini
Lodi, Italy12 contributions
Family
I visited several caves in this area and in other regions in Italy with kids and I certainly rank Toirano among the top three. And make a stop at the little church of Santa Lucia before leaving
Written July 19, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

OlaMayer
Newton, MA141 contributions
Family
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 around 10(after).
Also, there is no way todo self guided tour. When we came, there were only two guides that walk together to prevent loosing anybody (which is great). But if you arrive let's say at 10:15, you have to wait till the first tour is over before you can go in. There is no indication for tours operation hours. This can be frustrating.
Written August 31, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Candice D
Cypress, CA4 contributions
Couples
Definitely glad we decided to go visit this site. Stopped at a local market and had them make up some fresh sandwiches from their deli counter and had a little picnic in the parking lot while waiting for them to open at 2pm. While sitting in the parking lot under some olive trees looking at a rocky hillside in front of us we noticed a face painted on the rock. Then another and another. It was fun to try to find as many as we could. Turns out a local doctor painted the people on the cliff about 5 years ago or so. Took some rock climbing skills as well as a fare amount of artistic talent. Then on to the path to the caverns. It's quite a little hike up a paved path to the entrance. Once there a guide will take you through the different areas and narate the historical facts known about the age and history of the caves. It's very wet and included a lot of steps both up and down. So be sure to wear proper shoes. If you like nature you should love this.
Written June 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ondřej H
Brussels, Belgium12 contributions
Couples
To my surprise, the caves are quite large. The story behind them is very interesting indeed. The guides are well-informed and speak fluent English and German for those who don´t understand Italian
Written September 10, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Grotte di Toirano

Grotte di Toirano is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM