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natureNaturalistic attractions

Sassocolato Cave

This grotto near Castell’Azzara is of enormous naturalistic interest

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Sassocolato Cave, or the Grotta del Sassocolato, is a short walk from Castell’Azzara. Follow the signs up the hill towards a rocky outcrop visible from the town, called Poggio delle Forche, and you’ll find Sassocolato Cave about 1km further on. The name Sassocolato translates to ‘dripping rock’ and perfectly captures the image of the numerous rocky formations within the cave. The cave was naturally formed and is more or less on one level only. There are a few points where the route through the cave either drops or rises, but there are stairways in place in the part of the cave open to tourists.
One of the most interesting features of the cave is that it is home to a large colony of Chirotteri bats (several species). During the summer months, their numbers reach up to 2000/2500.
Visitors are advised to bring trekking clothes and potholing equipment for the second more difficult route.

There are two possible routes to tour the cave:
1st route: easy / 45 minutes
2nd route: difficult / 3 hours
In order to protect the underground fauna of the caves, a maximum of 15 people at any one time are allowed to enter. It’s possible to visit with an experience guide and also to combine a visit to the cave with a trip to see other caves, mining tunnels and Etruscan sites.

Please call for more information, or to book a tour. It’s also possible to organise educational activities about the underground environment for school groups.

Other interesting sites to visit locally are Villa la Sforzesca in Castell’Azzara, the Parco Museo delle Acque in Santa Fiora and the Museo delle Miniere di Mercurio (Mercuy Mining Museum) on Mount Amiata.

Disabled access

Contact: terresiena.it/en/amiata
Coontact (ITA): castellazzaraonline.it
An age-old village between Monte Amiata, Val d'Orcia and the Crete Senesi
At the foothills of Monte Civitella’s wooded territory you’ll find Castell’Azzara (Mount Amiata’s southwest sentinel), whose name supposedly derives by having been won by Bonifacio degli Aldobrandeschi over a game of dice (zara). ...