Horse Cave (Vulcano)

Ingresso della Grotta del Cavallo sull'isola di Vulcano

The Grotta del Cavallo (Horse Cave) is located in the north-western part of Vulcano, near another of the island’s great attractions: the Piscina di Venere (Venus Pool). The name is said to originate from the shape of a rock that sits at the end of the natural cave and resembles a horse’s head. However, another version suggests that it might have been due to the presence of numerous seahorses in the past. The Grotta del Cavallo, also known as the Grotta dell’Eremita (Hermit’s Cave), can only be reached by sea and has four different entrances, some of which are now underground. Reflected light filtering through a natural siphon makes it entirely navigable by small boats. This allows you to fully appreciate the interplay of light inside. The interior features galleries, wells, ponds and formations of stalactites, stalagmites and cannulae. In addition, the combined effect of normal karstification, sulphurous waters and the vapours they emit has led to the formation of distinctive dome-shaped “vaults”. The Grotta del Cavallo on Vulcano is populated by various species of bats that have contributed to the production of guano over time. This substance, made up of the droppings of seabirds and bats, is rich in phosphorus and has led to the formation of carbonate apatite, which is a very rare mineral.

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