Sometimes what is stunningly beautiful in a city is not what you can see, but what lies under it. Today we speak about Camerano, a small village near Ancona. The centre of Camerano is full of classical buildings, but it is really small; hence, you would need less than half an hour to visit it all. If you’d do so, however, you will miss a secret part which lies underground.
The Grotte di Camerano are labyrinthic rooms that were probably built as shelter and ritual places. They could not be compared, indeed, to the natural Caves of Frasassi, for example, nor the ancient cellars of Cupramontana used as simple storage rooms. The Grotte di Camerano are a beautiful example of architecture: they have decorations, details and barrel vaulted ceilings.
The itinerary is long and divided into different rooms. They are 20 metres underground, and sometimes they are connected to a building standing on open air. In total, there are three levels of grotte, one of which used to be probably a church. The archaeologists could tell that this was originally a church both for its position, right under the current church, and the word-of-mouth that sometimes works better than historic finds!
Of course when it comes to dark, underground and mysterious places, the legend has it that here there were also gatherings of heretical sects, friars, Templars and/or the Knights of Malta. Let’s hope they were not having parties all together!!! 😉
If you still desire to relive the mystery inside the grotte, it is also possible to attend special events and the living nativity scene in December. The use of the natural light coming from the candles makes everything more and more special!
If you’d like to have a sneak peek of how the grotte look like, you can visit have a virtual tour with Google Maps
Remember to book in advance the visit! Every guided tour has to be booked, and it usually starts at the local tourist office. The temperature inside is usually around 14°C, therefore remember to bring a cardigan if you are going in Summer. And keep in mind that you should go in your sneakers, no high heels or sandals are allowed.