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
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.