Castellana Grotte, Province of Bari, Puglia
This small, lively town, has a mainly agricultural economy based on the cultivation of olives, almonds, cherries, and the production of wine and olive oil. 2 km from the town are the famous, enchanting Grottos, one of the most important speleology complex in Italy, and among the main tourist destination in Apulia.
- Altitude: 290 m a.s.l
- Population: about 18,000 inhabitants
- Zip/postal code: 70013
- Dialing Area Code: +39 080
- Patron Saint: Maria Santissima della Vetrana, celebrated on 12th January, San Leone Magno, celebrated on the last Sunday in April.
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What to see
- The celebrated Castellana Grottos, discovered speleologist Franco Anelli in 1938, a route winding between calcareus concretion of rare beauty. From the entrance grotto, the "Grave" there are underground passages and corridors - the Black Grotto, the Angel's Corridor, the Little Cavern of the Manger, the Cavern of the Precipice, and finally what is, according to many, the most beautiful grotto in the world for the purity of its crystalline concretions and alabaster, the splendid White Grotto, at 70 m. below ground-level, from which a lift service leads back to the surface.
- The Franciscan Convent, with the attached church of Madonna della Vetrana, who according to the tradition saved the town from the plague in 1691. In the convent there is also a very ancient artistic crib.