Top Ten Italy Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Caving in Maiella
By Valerio Diotto

The Maiella plateau, standing in the middle of the Apennines, is one of the wildest areas of Italy. The plateau is cut by deep valleys, with water flowing underground forming caves ripe for exploring. The biggest of these caves is Cavallone. Its mouth is high on a rock wall, accessible only by climbing the 200 steps carved in the rock. The cave is two kilometers long with halls, lakes, and narrow passages to explore. At 1,450 meters, Maiella is best visited in the summer. The area can also be explored on horseback. The nearby village of Pennapiedimonte was built on a bare rock pinnacle with stairways wending through it instead of roads. Pennapiedimonte also affords a stunning view of the sea.


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