Bossea Cave (Grotta di Bossea)

Bossea Cave


Location: Bossea Localita, Commune Frabosa Soprana, Piedmont Map

Tel. 0174 34 92 40

Open: Mon- Sat 10am- 4:30am

Sun public holidays 10am- 5:30pm

Closed: Dec 25, 1 Jan

Prices: Adults 10 Euro

Children (under 10 yo) 7 Euro

Tourists /w disabilites Free

Bossea Cave is located in Commune Frabosa Soprana, Piedmont province of Italy. This is the first cave in Italy that was opened to the public in 1874 after it was first discovered and explored in 1840 under supervision of Domenico Mora. Bossea Cave is roughly divided between the upper and lower parts that are separated by Ernestina lake and a waterfall that flows into the lake. Calcium carbonate that is dissolved in the waters of many underground streams created an unique cave with picturesque geological formations. Bossea Cave system measured more than 2 km (1.2 mi) in length. In the concert hall of this underground system you can find a 15,000 year old skeleton of the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) that once called this cave his home. This animal is currently extinct, presumably due to human hunting.



The Bossea Caves are part of a karst system located between Prato Nevoso and the Corsaglia stream, in the municipality of Frabosa Soprana in the province of Cuneo; they are about 2 km long and have a difference in height of 700 m. Inside they have diversified environments, such as underground streams and lakes, cyclopean boulders, stalagmite columns, stalactites and calcareous concretions.



The first explorations of the cave date back to the first half of the 19th century; a few years later Domenico Mora reached Lake Ernestina, in 1874 an expedition passed the waterfall reaching the canyon of the torrent and in 1949 the exploration of the main branches was completed. Some speleological groups still continue to discover new ravines.

The cave was opened to the public in 1874 and an internal lighting system was installed in the second half of the 20th century.



Inside the cave the typical fauna of the karst environments is found; there are about fifty endemic species of the biotope, including Plectogona sanfilippoi (Diplopoda), Eukoenenia strinatii (Palpigradi) and Troglohyphantes pedemontanus (Linyphiidae).



Cave bears frequented the site between 80,000 and 12,000 years ago to spend the winter hibernation and give birth. On some walls you can see the signs of deep nails.


Scientific research

In the cave there is a laboratory managed by the Geo-resources and Territory Department of the Polytechnic of Turin in collaboration with the local section of the CAI and the ARPA of the Aosta Valley.