In the beautiful landscape of Salento, characterized by spectacular beaches and crystal clear sea, there are breath-taking karst rock caves: the Zinzulusa Caves.
Those caves are more than 150 meters long and 15 meters high and can be reached by land from the center of Castro but also by sea, from Castro Marina’s port.
Do you want to take a look at those caves? Scroll down and dive into our article!
Zinzulusa: one of the 10 best caves in the World
Along the coast that connects Otranto to Santa Maria di Leuca, there are the Zinzulusa Caves, discovered by Monsignor Francesco Antonio Del Duca in 1793.
According to the Monsignor, the cave represented a temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva, who had helped Hercules in the clash with the giants.
Its name derives from zinzuli, a Salentine term that indicates torn pieces of cloth that visually reminds the numerous stalactites and stalagmites existing inside the cave.
The natural course of the cave begin with the Atrio, Vestibolo and Conca: the Atrio, 30 meters high, has a breach backdrop and gives access to the Vestibolo where there is a staircase eight meters deep that contains la Conca, a pond about 100 square meters large and 7 meters deep.
Going deeply into those Zinzulusa Caves, you can find the Corridor of Wonders and the Trabocchetto with stalactites and stalagmites that visually evoke objects.
Immediately after that is the last part of the corridor called the Crypt, and continuing the Duomo, about 24 meters high, inhabited by bats.
The last stretch is an underground lake called the Cocito, where small crustaceans were discovered, sheltered for millennia.
Into those caves, there are 26 aquatic and 40 terrestrial rare animal species and also prehistoric and palaeontological traces.
Thanks to its extraordinary beauty, in 1999 it was included among the 10 most beautiful caves in the world.
A long time ago the Zinzulusa Caves were inhabited by bats, who had covered it with guano.
When the caves were discovered in 1957, all the speleologists who contributed to the cleaning signed the cave with their names.
Curious, don’t you think?
According to Virgil’s narratives, Castro (the place from which you can access those caves), could be the place where Aeneas landed in Italy. Want to know more about it? Click here!
The Zinzulusa Caves can only be visited with a guided tour lasting 30 minutes.
If you want to enjoy those caves to the fullest, choose May or September: these places are particularly frequented in the summer, especially in the middle of August.
See you in Puglia!
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