Frasassi Caves (Grotte di Frasassi)
Frasassi Caves © Ben Francis
Located just 50 miles (80km) from the region of Umbria, the city of Genga's Frasassi Caves complex is considered to be one of the most wondrous in Italy. A remarkable karst cave system - that is, a system comprised of limestone that has been dissolved over millennia - the site has been well-prepared for visitors over the years. Known as a 'show cave', the complex is fitted with safe, comfortable walkways and theatrical lighting to bring the otherworldly stalactites and stalagmites into even greater relief. The walkways are easy to traverse and you don't have to be particularly fit to manage it. You will experience a genuine thrill as you make your way down into the 'centre of the earth', as the temperature drops and your breath begins to mist, and the overwhelming silence is broken only by the resonant sound of dripping water. Tours are in Italian but audio sets are usually available for foreign visitors. Note that, despite the many photos on the internet, photography is not allowed in the caves and cameras probably won't be allowed in. One of Italy's most talked-about tourist attractions in recent years, if your travel itinerary includes a stop in Umbria, be sure to make the short trip to the Frasassi Caves.