Mangiapane Caves and Mount Cofano Nature Reserve
TRAVEL TOUR PROPOSES:
EXCURSION EAST NATURAL RESERVE MONTE COFANO AND GROTTE MANGIAPANE (CORNINO CUSTONACI)
Monte Cofano is a protected natural area of Sicily, established by the Regional Authority "Territory and Environment" of the Sicilian Region and entrusted in management to the Azienda Foreste Demaniali of the Sicilian Region. The Reserve area covers 537.5 hectares, of which 325.5 are area A and 185 zone B or pre-reservoir. Monte Cofano is a mountainous promontory of calcareous nature, with a characteristic triangular shape overlooking the sea, which reaches 659 m in height. It is located on the coast of the province of Trapani, at the eastern end of the Gulf of Bonagia.
It is included in the municipality of Custonaci, along the coast that leads from Trapani to San Vito Lo Capo.The true botanical peculiarity of the reserve is represented by the rock environment that hosts numerous endemisms including the rock cabbage and the sparrow of Mount Cofano, endemism exclusive points of Monte Cofano and the nearby Zingaro reserve; the Bivona cabbage, the cornflower of the cliffs, the euphorbia of Bivona, the saffron of Linares and the smorgoned delphinium. the presence of the fox, the rabbit, the weasel and the hedgehog is also reported, as well as small rthe raveodents such as the Savi vole and the quercino. It has several species of resident birds such as the peregrine falcon, the kestrel, the buzzard, n, the wild dove and the common gull. Among the reptiles we must mention the presence of the Sicilian lizard, the lizard, the gongilo and, among the snakes, the snake and the viper.
The points of interest are: Gorgo Cofano. It is a seasonal pool of roughly circular shape, located on the south-eastern slope of Monte Cofano, at an altitude of 247 m s.l.m. It hosts a rich community of crustaceans. The buttercup of Baudot grows there and, during the summer season, when the water level is lowered, the lentil of water, Torre di San Giovanni, is a coastal tower built by the Camillians in 1595
Tower of the Tonnara di Cofano, dating back to the early 16th century, unique in Sicily for its star-shaped and square plan.
Ash and Thunder calette.
it is crossed by three main paths:
the path of the sea that winds along the coast line from Cornino to the bay of Castelluzzo, the Baglio path that runs on the eastern slope of Mount Cofano, from Baglio Cofano up to the Tonnara di Cofano the Scaletta path that winds at the foot of the slope Southern.
GROUPS OF MANGIAPANE :
In the territory of Custonaci, including the Eastern Natural Reserve of Monte Cofano, there are numerous caves, of great geological and palaeontological interest, as well as morphological.
Among the most interesting, proceeding from north to south, there are the Grotte di Scurati, including the well known Grotta Mangiapane which takes its name from the family that lived there, inside tiny houses from 1819. About 60 meters high and 70 deep, it was used by man since the Upper Paleolithic, as demonstrated by the findings found in its interior. The cave and the space in front of it make a suggestive natural setting for two events of great ethnographic and anthropological interest: the living Nativity which takes place there during the Christmas period and the Living Museum in the summer. Home and work environments, furnished with original furnishings, recreate the life of the rural village of the early '900, while men and women reproduce, using ancient tools, lost jobs and activities of other times. The Mangiapane Cave also called "Grotta degli uffizi" is one of the most important caves in the Trapani area.
Located at an altitude of 55-60 meters above sea level in Scurati, about 70 meters high and 50 meters deep, it was inhabited by man since the Upper Paleolithic.
The first studies were conducted by the Marquis Guido Dalla Rosa in 1870 and by Raimond Vaufrey in 1925.
Among the numerous prehistoric findings, were found teeth and bones of animals, worked flints, obsidian and rock paintings still preserved at the Pepoli Museum of Trapani, the Museum of Prehistory of the Tower of Ligny and the Ethno-anthropological museum of Paris.
Inhabited until the early 50s by the Mangiapane family, today the cave is the natural home of the Nativity scene and the Living Museum.
Are present :
Located just behind the Mangiapane cave, 4 meters wide and 23 meters deep, the Buffa cave opens up.
It was explored by the Marquis of the Rose and the Vaufrey, and within it were found more than 500 tools and weapons in stone as well as many remains of animals preserved in several Sicilian museums.
Cave of the Crucifix
Located in the R.N.O of Monte Cofano to about 55 m s.l.m and above the small votive chapel, there is the cave of the Crucifix.
It has an ogival corridor, 6 meters wide and about 22 meters deep: the layer of the cave does not seem to be distorted so it still remains a cave of considerable interest.
Numerous tools, bones of animals and the excellent flint have been a renaissance within the cave.
Recently, both in the cave of the Crucifix and in the cave Mangiapane, archaeological excavations have been conducted by the Superintendency bb. Cc. Aa. of Trapani.
Located in the homonymous district about 100 meters above sea level, the Rumena cave was explored by the Vaufrey who defined it as one of the most beautiful in the Custonacese territory.
Numerous concretions and flints of various kinds have been found inside it.
The cave has an oven-shaped room 3 meters wide and about 13 meters deep and was used as a fortification during the Saracen invasions.
In the locality of Scurati and also expelled from the Vaufrey in 1925, the Miceli cave has a round room 5 meters wide and 12 meters deep.
The signs on the rocky walls of more than 20,000 years are still engraved today.
In the frame of the suburban park of Cerriolo, the Cufuni cave has beautiful limestone formations and stalactites and stalagmites.
Cave of the Clava
La cave della Clava is a horizontal cave discovered by chance in the 50s. It is so named because of the presence inside a club-shaped stag. It is accessed from a hole on the ground discovering countless stalactites and stalagmites.
Grotta Maria Santissima of Custonaci
At 150 meters s.l.m. in the flat territory of the zubbia at 2000 meters south of Monte Cofano, the cave was explored by professor F. Anelli in 1965.
In the terminal cavity for the wealth of crystalline concretion, it has been nicknamed "white cave".
Abyss of Purgatory
In a succession of vertical cavities that reach approximately 200 meters and located in the homonymous district is the Abyss of Purgatory.
The cavity is accessible only to speleologists equipped with specific equipment through an open pit 10 meters deep.
Booking is required, possibility of tasting typical Sicilian products (ricotta, cheeses, olives, bread, wine, etc.) or organize typical on-site lunches with restaurants affiliated with us.
N.B. tourist guides and entrance tickets are not included.
Included in the entrance ticket is already included guide inside the Mangiapane Caves.
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