Grotto of  Meraviglie in Marina di Maratea

The Smallest tourist cave in Italy

grotta di marina maratea
The Cave Meraviglie's (wonderful ,in English) Grotto, the only tourist cave of Basilicata, opens in the municipality of Maratea, on State Road 18 in the village Marina di Maratea - from which the name of Marina di Maratea Caves - in the locality of San Giuseppe on the slopes of Mt. La Serra near the Vallone of Mantenia.

a completely accidental discovery

The entrance to the cave is placed at 76 meters of altitude above sea level.

It was discovered in 1929 during work on the construction of the S.S. 18 of Calabria; 'cause the entrance is positioned to the side of the road S.S. 18, it's extremely easy to reach by car; there is also parking.

 Visit to Grottos of Marina di Maratea . 

The Grotto of Marina di Maratea

How to get

From the old town of Maratea, go along the road leading towards the sea to the intersection with the highway 18 then take direction Praia a Mare and after about 5 km you reach the cave entrance, well marked.
Coming from Calabria Cave is about 6 kilometers from Castrocucco and one kilometer from Marina di Maratea,  towards old town Maratea.
Coming from Campania the Cave is located about 24 kilometers from Sapri, always along the highway 18 towards Reggio Calabria.

Technical features

La grotta è basata su litotipi carbonatici del Cretaceo inferiore appartenenti al complesso dei monti Giagola e Gada e presenta concrezioni carbonatiche del tipo stalatitico e stalagmitico.

La grotta si è formata lungo una frattura della roccia con l'acqua che,  a causa di azioni fisiche e chimiche, ha eroso la roccia allargando sempre di più la faglia. 

A cavità formata si  è innescato un processo inverso con l'acqua che al posto di scavare costruisce molto lentamente: il carbonato di calcio infatti, filtrato nella discesa si posa sotto forma di piccolissime particelle sulla volta e sul pavimento dell'ambiente della grotta , creando , nel tempo le stalattiti e le stalagmiti. 

C'è un grande tasso di carsismo nella zona della grotta delle Meraviglie e lo si ben capisce dalla presenza di altre piccole grotte. 

The cave is based on the Lower Cretaceous carbonate lithologies belonging to the complex of mountains  Giagola and Gada: it has concretions of carbonate type stalatite and stalagmite.

The cave was formed along a fracture in the rock by the water that has eroded, due to physical and chemical action, the rock more and more widening the rift.

Once it formed the cavity there is triggered a reverse process with the water that stops digging and on the contrary it builds very slowly: in fact, the calcium carbonate is filtered in the descent and is laying in the form of small particles on the vault and on the floor environment of the cave, creating over time stalactites and stalagmites.
There is a large rate of karst in the Meraviglie's Grotto  area and is well understood by the presence of other small caves.

Let's go to  visit to Meraviglie's Grotto in Marina di Maratea

the numbers

39 ° 58'09 "

03 ° 16'35 "

ALTITUDE a.s.l.:
76 mt.

78 mt.

86 mt.

72 mt.

Series carbonate Mts. Giagola and Gada

Lower Cretaceous

South Coast Maratea Porto

dry cave, just oozing


C. Marotta - Orofino F. of 8/23/1980