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Vaccamorta Grotto

The itinerary goes to the Vaccamorta Grotto through the Cerasolo beechwood, visible from the Motorway A24 from L'Aquila to Roma, just before the long San Roco tunnel. The area can easily be reached from the village of Villagrande, and through the beechwood there is an easy dirt road, used inthe past by charcoal makers. The very interesting Karst features of the soil and waters have through thecenturies createdhuge underground cavities, including the Vaccamorta Grotto. Time: 1 hour -- Difficulty level: easy

From Capo la Villa di Tornimparte, following the road toward the tollgate of the A24 motorway, reach the A.N.A. refuge, where you can park your car. On the right a dirt road begins, which will take you directly to the Vecchia Fonte La Rocca (1125 meters).

Pass the motorway gallery of San Rocco, on the spot where on the right you can see the picturesque spring of the Rocca, by now dry. Cross over the Raio stream and reach through a very short, steep slope the path on the left bank of the stream. Proceed towards south, along the splendid path that follows the rocky riverbed .

Reach a small plain under a farm building, then leave the path and follow a foot track toward East . You will reach another farm building (1218 meters) easy to recognize from the presence of a nearby plate shed, then after a very short slope in an area of felled trees you will reach a brook springing from the grotto. Following the stream or its bed (in summer it is dry) you can reach in a few minutes the Vaccamorta Grotto (1250m).

The Vaccamorta Grotto, located on the Eastern side of the Puzzillo valley, was discovered by chance in 1965 by the Aquilan speleology group. It can be rightly considered one of the most beautiful underground grottoes of the Aquilan district, as well as one of the longest in Abruzzo (800 meters). The visit of grotto is advised only if accompanied by expert speleologists.

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