Not only grottos: in Stiffe, water has been used to build one of the first hydroelectric power stations in Italy.
An underground water stream that flows in the cave
The Stiffe Grottos were created by an underground water stream that flows right next to the path and then resurfaces. In autumn and spring, the river has more water and the panorama is most impressive. The complex of the Stiffe Grottos, situated in San Demetrio ne’ Vestini, in the province of L’Aquila, has been opened only in 1981. Before, it was used to produce hydroelectric power. In fact, the first hydroelectric power station of Southern Italy was built in this zone in 1906.
Tour of the Stiffe Grottos
The entrance of the Stiffe Grottos is really suggestive: a metal bridge follows the course of the river, except in the Chamber of Silence, that is silent in summer, since the river carries less water and the sound is muffled. The dominant color is white, while darkest areas are due to the presence of oxidized metals. The tour of the Stiffe Grottos includes the above mentioned Chamber of Silence, the Cascade Chamber, the Concretion Chamber, the Black Lake and the Last Cascade, that ends the tour.
After having visited the Stiffe Grottos, you can go to the Speleological Museum, where you can find interesting pictures of the karst phenomena and speleological formations that those who love to know more about their visit will love to see.
Facilities and relaxation
In the surroundings of the Stiffe Grottos, you can have a picnic in an area fully equipped with barbecue and tables, to make your trips more and more relaxing and special. Furthermore, there is a bar where you can stop for a coffee break before or after your visit to the caves