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Antro del Corchia Lido di Camaiore - Fun Lido di Camaiore - Versilia

Antro del Corchia
Fun Lido di Camaiore Versilia

Location : Levigliani, Lido di Camaiore - Versilia
Phone : 0584/778405
WEB : View web site - Email : Send email - Impressions: 18095

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The artificial entrance of the Corchia’s cave is situated inside an old quarry.

The connection gallery looks like the natural subterranean continuation of the external front of the quarry itself. The route goes on slightly uphill for about 170 m in length, getting over a difference in height of about 20 m. The depth of the artificial duct is not fully perceivable because of the presence of a sequence of three doors dividing as many stretches of the gallery, and closing it “air tight”. The aim is that of controlling the draught exchanges between the inside and the outside environment.


As you enter the karst cave, you immediately enjoy, on your right, the sight of a squat conoidal stalagmitic concretion called “The gendarme”. Your progression inside the cave is now made easier by the presence of gangways in the shape of bridges, flights and large steps. Avoiding the contact with the bottom of the cave, they have moderated the transformation of the karst system, caused by the presence of tourists.

Through a difference in height of 37 m and the presence of 212 steps, the route develops in a difficult descent down the so-called “Galleria Franosa” (the Landslides Gallery), whose middle stretch is made of a single stunning and narrow space. This is over 30 m high and never larger than 4 m, even though it can shrink to 150 cm. The spot, originated from a large vertical fracture, is characterised by walls, that, nowadays, are fairly wavy, and present, here and there, large and deep sub-horizontal engravings.
 

The so-called “Galleria Franosa” (the Landslides Gallery) ends at an height of 843 m., in a widening characterised by deposits of masses on the vault. Here is the starting point of the so-called “Galleria degli Inglesi” (the English Gallery) and that of the way in to the so-called “Pozzo Suzanne” (the Shaft Suzanne)
The equipped stretch of the “English Gallery” is 245 m long. It is part of a network of straight, horizontal and overlapping ducts originated on the layer of a single sub-vertical fracture. This underwent to a subsequent enlargement caused by chemical and mechanical phenomena.

The two main galleries are divided, even though many points of connection are present along the route. These vertical links are more evident after the middle of the route, where the cave’s vault rises as far as the higher ducts. Right here the English Gallery is interrupted by small drops made of blocks fallen down to the ground.


Along this stretch of the route, the walls of the cave are covered with small regular hollows called “Scallops”. They have different dimensions and are the result of the ancient tumultuous flowing of the subterranean waters.
At the end of the so-called “Galleria degli Inglesi” (the English Gallery), on your left, a small waterfall falls down a high vent, so engraving the wall in large grooves. As it reaches the height of 859 m, the equipped route avoids to keep going straight on towards the so-called “Risalita dei Romani” (the Romans climb).


The route bends on the right to reach the entrance of the so-called “Galleria del Venerdì” (the Friday Gallery) through a narrow passage which swerves on the opposite side.


This gallery is 261 m long and has a phreatic origin. The duct turns left at one third of its length, where the opposite wall offers a lofty flowing-like concretion, in the shape of an eagle spreading its wing to fly. Beside this concretion, there is a stalagmitic gorge, sustained by a calcareous column, commonly known as “Capanna Trogloditica” (the Troglodytical Hut).
 

After about 75 m., the route reaches the so-called “Laghetto del Venerdì” (the Friday Small Lake). Here the waters are not very deep even though they are crossable only with the help of a bridge grounded on the opposite sandy shore. This little spot has always been a camp frequented by speleologists; at least so it seems judging by the countless overlapping writings on the walls.


The route reaches a narrow and steep gorge. Here flows the water of a small stream, which keeps going right, inside the so-called “Pozzo della Gronda” (the Gronda’s Shaft) (also known as “Pozzo della Cascata” - the Waterfall Shaft). There has its origin that long sloping branch of the Corchia’s cave, which ends at the cave’s bottom, at about 450 m of height.


It is suggested to keep right, where the route penetrates with much more ease inside the suggestive “Galleria delle Stalattiti” (the Stalactites Gallery). However, there is also a sort of concretionary hall to pass through, which is, nowadays, entirely fossilized. It is the so-called “Foresta pietrificata” (the Fossilized Forest): situated on the opposite side of the route, it is characterized by stalactites and stalagmites marked by their bulging shapes an their raw-amber colour. Here the water stopped to flow and no drop enlivens the concretions any more. Even though these concretions are so thick here, to almost block the way, the gangways let you pass through this stiffened and dusty world, zigzagging in all the possible directions. At the deepest point of the Corchia’s cave, the walls ooze with the damp coming from the active phreatic levels situated further.


A big runoff boulder, together with a peculiarly shaped stalagmite situated on it, serves as a sort of architrave to the entrance door of the part of the so-called (Galleria delle Stalattiti” (the Stalactites Gallery) ’which is still alive. According to the definition by Jean-Carlo Fait (speleologist) this spot is to be considered an oasis of rare beauty in the middle of a world made of stone, mud and water. These places are so deeply suggestive, that, nowadays, only a few other subterranean halls in the world are comparable with them.


Because of the chromatic richness and the variety of shapes originated here, it is extremely difficult to describe what catches the eye in this spot. The concretions jostle the one on the other, they descend down the walls and dive in small puddles of clear water. The stone laces characterising some calcite fans, show the alternation of their multi-coloured layers. The stalactites drapery skims a stalagmite covered with calcareous nodules. In the background, a single pillar seems to sustain the vault in this place of aesthetical sublimation.


The so-called “Galleria delle Stalattiti” (the Stalactites Gallery) is a characteristic phreatic flue, situated at a medium height of 871 m., where the precipitation of carbonate minerals is still active. Even here, the equipped route is properly shaped so as to penetrate amidst the concretions with due respect. Finally, the route keeps going down a short sloping stretch, which is crossed by a small stream flowing like a small waterfall, and where runoff boulders shrink the path.


Then, the route, which becomes level and smooth again, re-approaches the closing point of the ring. Here, on the left, you have the opportunity to enjoy again the “Eden” of the stalactites, while, on the right, you face the return to the earthly things.
 

Location : Levigliani, Lido di Camaiore
Satellite coordinates: Lat. 44.0231943 - Lon.10.2880463

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