Pian del Tivano and the valley are crossed by an intricate system of caves and hollows which take rainwater from the mountains to the lake like a sort of huge underground drain system. The entrances to the caves have always been known to people from Zelbio as they open only a few metres from the village among the terraces used in the past to agriculture. The first, called Tacchi entrance after the owner’s surname, was known by the nickname “uregin del mar” because of the noises caused by air current in the narrow passage at the entrance. The second was used by the butcher of Zelbio as a deposit for meat between the ‘40s and ‘50s. The first the first pioneering attempts to explore the cave started at the beginning of last century; but the karstic system of underground rivers prevent the access.

Periods of drought are necessary for further exploration. In the sixties the two caves in Zelbio were joined together finding then connections between the structures in Pian del Tivano and of Monte San Primo. Last winter, after a long period of drought, speleologists found the last connections making it the longest cave in Italy with its 60 kms: a hidden, mysterious and fascinating world.


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