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Caverns and Canyons

Grotta di Belvedere Grotta di Santa Margherita Il Pulo La Gravina La Gravina La Gravina La Gravina Grotta di San Michele Grotta di San Michele Cripte di San Leonardo e San Nicola Cripta della Favana Grotta di San Biagio Frantoio Ipogeo Lagopagliaro Grotta dei Cervi
 
The region of Puglia, the most antique of all of Italy, is characterized by an extraordinary phenomenon of surface and subterranean erosion.

There are invisible rivers, such as the one that created the Caverns of Castellana, or wild canyons called Gravine that are scattered with hundreds of ravines and caves that point towards the coast and has given life to a colourful flora and diverse wildlife.

Only recently, a study has been undertaken of the sweet water springs found within the salt-water sea; there are many along the coast of Ostuni and Carovigno.

Many of these structures were used as hiding places during times of war and pillaging, creating hidden habitations, places of refuge, underground mills, and places for cult worship. Many are those that fled from persecution to hide there, as far away as Byzantium. The paintings within, dating back over 1000 years, give testimony to the faith and culture at that time.

The caves (called grotta) of the canyons and those scattered throughout the territory were inhabited since antiquity, especially those of Cervi di Porto Badisco, the on the southern coast of Otranto, called the Louvre of antiquity, and the cave of man of Altamura with human artefacts so antique (over 100,000 years) that it questions the known history of Puglia.

There are also the finds at the cave of Santa Maria if Agnano, as well as Delia where a figure of a young pregnant woman was found all dating back 25,000 years and now conserved at the historic centre in Ostuni. For the enthusiast, we have several examples of caves, cave drawings, and canyons allowing complete freedom to enjoy a stimulating and enlightening tour of these places.