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natureNaturalistic attractions

The Naturalistic Archeological Park of Belvedere

Discovering Cetona’s grottos

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Visitors to the Cetona area won’t want to miss a visit to the Naturalistic Archeological Park of Belvedere, where they can experience incredible historical and archeological treasures in a natural setting, characterized by holm oak forests and other tall trees. While touring on foot with the help of a guide, guests can visit corridors, tunnels, hatches which have been illuminated thanks to photovoltaic energy. These cavities are have formed in travertine blocks over the course of the centuries. Some of them were chosen as burial sites and places of worship, as discovered during archeological digs that took place during the mid 1900s.

The use of the Lattaia Grotto for sacred purposes was proven thanks to the discovery of votive objects from the Hellenistic period, statues of babies in swaddling clothes, miniature vases and bronze coins.  Throughout the centuries locals believed that breast-feeding mothers should drink the water that dripped from these walls. The belief that its magic powers would stimulate the secretion of milk was popular until the 1930s. Tradition suggests that the area’s vastest grotto, the Grotto of San Francesco, once hosted Saint Francis. Along the path that leads to the Franciscan hermitage of Santa Maria, one can pass through three connecting cavities, where experts have found ancient traces of human civilizations. The Prehistoric Civic Museum of Monte Cetona documents various demographic trends that characterized the area, from the Paleolithic Age to the Bronze Age. 

Opening hours
 From July to September, 9am to 1pm and 4pm to 7pm (closed Mondays). From October to June: open to groups only (minimum 10 people); reservations required.

Museum/park: full price - 2.50 euro; reduced rates - 2 euro; Museum and park; full price - 3 euro; reduced rates - 2 euro.
A medieval village and an important archeological centre
Located on the slopes of the namesake mountain, Cetona conserves the characteristic structure a Medieval village, with alleys and narrow streets that spiral through the town, ending at the fortress above. ...