strapatente cave and balconi grotto ring route
nel ventre della montagna
On this route, departing from the hamlet of Boragni, there are 3 caves: the Frangia cave, the Strapatente cave and the Balconi cave.
The first is a sheltered cave, common in the Finale area.
The other two are natural tunnels that cross the Bastionata di Boragni, a scenic white mountain among the dense vegetation.
The cave of the Strapatente
The second cave you encounter is the Strapatente which contains this
characteristic in its very name: the term derives from extra patens which means “that opens outwards”.
Inside this cave dating back to the Miocene, the drops of water still sculpt stalactites and stalagmites today.
It is about sixty meters long and the largest room measures about 10 × 10 meters.
On one side, towards the south exit, you can see a wonder that nature has built over millions of years: the stoup, a basin that collects the water that falls from the ceiling.
And there you perceive the distinct sensation of being in the living womb of the mountain.
Balconi Grotto or Domus Aurea
Near the cave of the Strapatente, the north entrance of the Grotta dei Balconi opens up.
You are faced with an entrance more similar to that of a dwelling than a cave, in fact among climbers it is called Domus Aurea.
The hole on the other side is instead a classic circular hole that offers a splendid view of the wild vegetation.
Leaving this side you will find an oblique stone slab equipped with ropes for a descent of about 4 + 2.5 meters, increasing the degree of hiking difficulty (if you scroll the pictures you can see the descent with the rope. Go around it or go back by following the same route as the outward journey without giving up a similar experience.)
From the beauty and magic of the caves, to the “Amazonian” environment, to the pinkish white color of the rocks and their bizarre shapes, … a short excursion that catapults you into a real space-time journey.
(Bring a headlamp or flashlight and wear hiking shoes.)