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L’Antro del Corchia: the jewel of the Apuan Alps

Mount Corchia, with its 1678 metres above sea level, differs from the other peaks of the Apuan Alps, due to the presence of a large inner karst complex, named as a whole Antro del Corchia.

We are located in the small village of Levigliani, a few kilometers from Forte dei Marmi, a well-known seaside resort in the famous Versilia, along the SP9 road that climbs from the coast towards the Apuan Alps and then descends into the Garfagnana which, with its green hills, constitutes a splendid landscape richness.

The total development of the karst complex of the Antro del Corchia is 70 kilometers with 20 different access points, which makes it the largest in Italy and one of the largest in Europe; an extension that is destined to increase in the coming years, as speleologists are committed every day to carry out new explorations aimed at opening new paths in the heart of the mountain.

The exploratory history of the complex dates back to ancient times, as it began in 1840, when the owner of a marble quarry on Monte Corchia, intrigued by a ravine that emerged during the quarrying of the precious white stone, opened the first long tunnel. just a hundred metres which later allowed speleologists to venture into the magical labyrinth hidden in the belly of the mountain.

Access to the cave takes place in small groups accompanied by a local guide and takes place along a path of 1978 meters, with 646 meters of metal walkway, 1005 steps and a total height difference of 356 meters which takes about 2 hours. The temperature inside is constant throughout the year and is around 7.5 ° C

The spectacle that the mountain offers to  its visitors is fascinating: stalactites, stalagmites, columns, lakes, petrified forests and waterfalls that suddenly spring into the caves when thunderstorms drain rainwater onto the mountain slopes.

The Antro del Corchia can be visited with a single ticket which also includes access to the quicksilver mines, that is, mercury, which were in operation until the first half of the twentieth century. Here you can see mercury in its pure state trapped in the structure of the rocks, a phenomenon that occurs only in two places in the world.

For more info about tickets, timetables and attractions visit its website: www.corchiapark.it

 

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