The name and discovery of the Grotta dei Lamponi
The Grotta dei Lamponi is one of the most important and longest caves of Mount Etna. It was discovered in 1965 by some volunteers of the C.A.I of Linguaglossa, on the spectacular lava of the Dammusi of 1614.
The expeditioners, because of the vegetation of raspberries that they found in one of its entrances, gave the name of ” Grotta dei Lamponi “.
Start: Via Mareneve
Distance: about 16 km roundtrip
Duration: 4 ore
Altitude: 1700 m
Difference in altitude: 380 m
Mappa sentiero: Etnanatura
How to get to the Grotta dei Lamponi cave?
From Linguaglossa you go up along the Mareneve road that leads to the Ragabo pine forest. When you reach an altitude of 1400 m, at the height of Rifugio Ragabo, park your car and follow the Pista Altomontana. About 8 km after you reach a widening on the lava of Dammusi and the junction for Timparossa you will find a sign that goes up the lava. Climb on the lava flow and at about 50 meters you will find the entrance of the Grotta dei Lamponi.
Characteristics of the Grotta dei Lamponi
The cave has a total length of about 700 m, and has two sections inside, one upstream and one downstream. The upstream section is 300 m long and in a better state of conservation. The floor of the upstream gallery consists of solid lava and lava debris from subsidence of the ceiling.
On the ceiling, however, we can see stalactites from remelting that are abundant everywhere, as well as horizontal lines and cordons superimposed on the walls. In the upstream part we see on the ceiling two large holes, in correspondence of them there is a short gallery located at a higher level, not easy to access.
The downstream part is about 100 m long and is subject to numerous collapses.
The section of the cave is mostly semicircular and in the main part you can see the lateral doubles of smaller section, from the shortest of these tunnels you can get out.