Centralino 0516701260

Caving excursion in the Spipola Cave

Gli Itinerari - Parco dei Gessi Bolognesi e Calanchi dell’Abbadessa

Partenza: La Palazza parking lot – Via Benassi, San Lazzaro di Savena

Tempo di percorrenza: 2/3 hours

Difficoltà: Intermediate

Dislivello: 10m

Please note: Guided visit that must be pre-booked

The entrance to the Spipola Cave, situated at an altitude of 135 m on the bottom of the Spipola Doline, is largely artificial. It was constructed by the Bolognese Speleological Group (GSB) in 1936, during works to protect the cave from recurring vandalism. The natural entrance, called “Bus d’la Speppla” or “Buco del Calzolaio”, is located just above the artificial one at an altitude of 165 m. It is from here that Luigi Fantini and other speleologists from GSB descended into two pits, entering the Spipola Cave for the first time. This entrance was closed off as soon as the lower, safer and more convenient one became available.

The cave’s protection measures resisted until 1940. Then, over the next fifty or more years, the Spipola Cave was repeatedly defaced, in part due to it being used as a shelter during WWII, but mostly from occasional visitors. The existing closure was carried out in 1995 by GSB-USB on behalf of the park, which dealt with the remediation measures and some minor adaptation works to the entire tourist route in accordance with the indications of the Italian Speleological Society on reducing environmental impact. The works, which were limited to the restoration of works existing in 1936, also included the installation of five monitoring stations to measure temperature and humidity levels.

The subterranean fauna along this route and, generally, in all the park’s caves, is of great scientific interest, comprising primarily various species of bats and invertebrates that have evolved and adapted for life in darkness.

The route in the cave is about 700 m long and it has a minimal height difference, therefore it is suitable for all visitors. However, it is a unique environment with high humidity levels and temperatures ranging between 10° and12°C so a few precautions are necessary:

  • suitable clothing (hiking boots, long pants, sweater and rain jacket)
  • a change of clothing (recommended)

The visit must be booked in advance by calling +39 051/6254821 or writing to infea.parcogessi@enteparchi.bo.it