Highlights of this trip

  • To admire a unique rock formation in Northern Italy
  • To learn about the characteristics and geological formation of this place
  • To spend a few hours in the belly of the mountain
  • To see the spectacle of the Santa Giulia ravine
  • To visit this corner of Italy
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Best things to do in Claino con Osteno

The Rescia Caves, a unique geological formation in Northern Italy

Along the road that leads from Claino Con Osteno to Porlezza, we are in the province of Como, on the border between Italy and Switzerland, are the Grotte di Rescia, a geological formation, unique of its kind in Northern Italy, on the eastern side of Lake Ceresio.

Caves of Rescia Caves of Rescia

Travel Tips

The Rescia caves represent a unicum in Lombardy and, perhaps in the whole of Northern Italy. These are natural cavities that open onto the Italian side of Lake Lugano, where it is possible to admire the rock that is still being formed, a beautiful waterfall and even some plants that were unthinkable to see at these latitudes, such as papyrus. Dark, but illuminated by electricity, these caves were a tourist destination as early as 1700. A short but suggestive tour allows us to enter the belly of the mountain and discover rocks, a small lake and many other surprises, such as the Santa Giulia ravine.
It is advisable to dress appropriately, the internal temperature of the caves is low. The entrance to the caves costs 7 euros and this excursion is for the whole family, it is not difficult and is very interesting.

Caves of Rescia, ravine of Santa Giulia Caves of Rescia, ravine of Santa Giulia

I strongly advise against taking pictures with your smartphone inside the caves. A good reflex is much better. The visit to the Rescia caves can be combined with that of Claino con Osteno, or to Porlezza, two small but very suggestive places.

The origin of the caves

Caves of Rescia Caves of Rescia

The Rescia Caves are made up of seven cavities that originated within flows of travertine, commonly known as "tuff". and from the action of water which over the years has carved out a series of voids in the rock, giving rise to spectacular concretions.
Their formation is still active today and by visiting the caves you can closely observe the life of these from the fossil state to the current one.

The caves visited by visitors as early as 1700

Although for some they are unknown, these caves were already a destination for visits in 1700, in fact these caves were frequented by tourists from all over Europe, as evidenced by the painter Johann Heinrich Meyer in 1789 and the writer and geologist Johann Gottfried Ebel who in 1793 told ' of a visit to the caves of Rescia in his important "Guide to Switzerland" talking about large caves full of stalactites.

Postcards of the past

Grotte di Rescia, an internal stream Grotte di Rescia, an internal stream

As evidence of their fame in the past, there are numerous postcards from the era created in 1933 to advertise this attraction. Today they represent a rarity on a national level linked to their origin and are the result of a single complex that was created in the early 1900s and winds along a path of about 500 m on the slopes of the mountain.

The view to the Rescia caves

Grotte di Rescia, the entrance from the road Grotte di Rescia, the entrance from the road

The visit to the Rescia caves winds along an obligatory path that leads us to the discovery of the Santa Giulia ravine, a waterfall almost 70 meters high which is located outside the caves.
After having also admired this spectacle, back inside the caves we conclude the visit, admiring the spectacular shapes of the rocks formed over the centuries.

The current tour dates back to the end of the 19th century when the seven caves of Rescia were illuminated and connected to each other. Initially, they were accessible only by boat and can be visited with the help of a local "guide", equipped with a ladder and a torch that accompanied occasional tourists.

Caves of Rescia Caves of Rescia

The information panels

Along the way, it is possible to see the ancient entrance to the Rescia caves and during the visit, 14 educational panels will illustrate the characteristics of the place and the rocks, the history and geological formation.

How do I get to the Rescia Caves

The Rescia Caves can be reached from the A9 Milano-Chiasso motorway, Como Lago exit, then follow the SS340 towards Tavernola, up to Argegno, then SP13 to Pellio, then SP14 to destination.

Where to stay in Claino con Osteno?

To visit the caves of Rescia it takes about an hour, whoever wants to can stay overnight in the hotels of Porlezza

Recommended tours in Claino con Osteno

The caves of Rescia can be visited with a guide, but it is also possible to visit it alone, just ask at the ticket office

Photography tips

Where to photograph?

Inside the Rescia caves you can take photographs, but the best is outside: from the balcony you can admire the ravine of Santa Giulia in all its beauty

My Camera

Nikond D5000

Is any special equipment needed?

The interior of the caves is sometimes uncomfortable. i would recommend using a go pro

Sightseeing tips

Which sights to visit?

You get to the rescia caves from Porlezza, which is a beautiful town on Lake Lugano that is worth a visit, or from Claino con Osteno, which is equally impressive

Is there a fee to pay to visit some sights?

The entrance ticket to the Rescia Caves costs 7 euros

When to visit?

I recommend booking the visit, so the managers will be able to indicate the best time to visit the caves of Rescia, however I do not recommend the weekend. It might get busy

3. Travel Insurance

Why WorldNomads has impressed us so much?

  1. Backed by specialized insurance providers and global assistance partners
  2. You can always buy the insurance online, even if you are already traveling
  3. You can adjust your insurance coverage during the trip and claim online
  4. They cover a range of adventure sports and activities
  5. Very high availability worldwide

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