Caglieron Caves – Fregona, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Caglieron Caves

Fregona, Italy

These caves are home to a small church and were used to age cheese.  

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The Caglieron Caves (Grotte del Caglieron) are located near the town of Fregona, in Veneto, Northern Italy. The cave complex consists of various cavities, some of which are natural, while others have artificial origins.

The natural part of the caves, which is actually a gorge, was incised by the Caglieron stream over millions of years. The torrent flows on calcareous conglomerates and marl creating various waterfalls, some of which are several feet high. A wooden path crosses the entire ravine, and in some areas, the water flowing from above rains down on the walkway.

Certain areas of the gorge have been used to extract sandstone known as pietra dolza (tender stone) since the 16th-century. Other artificial cavities can be found all around the Caglieron ravine. When these caves were excavated, some inclined materials detached, this created several unique caverns with tilted columns that now support the rocks above.

The Caglieron Caves were not only used to extract a particular sandstone, but the caverns were also utilized to age cheese, grow mushrooms, and one hosts a little church. Near the caves, two old water mills can also be found. The caves maintain a cool temperature year-round, while during the winter, the waterfalls can sometimes freeze.