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book your visit to the caves

Piazza Dante

Climbing down to the ancient caves of the elegant “Fregonara Gallo Building”, behind the barrels, is possible to exceed the threshold of a subterranean world really suggesting: here the Piazza Dante’s caves.

On two levels of depth, at 10,5 m from the square from which they take the name, these caves appear more recent than the Cantinone’s ones, but it will be surprising for the presence of enigmatic high reliefs and esoteric symbols, linked between the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. In the buildings overlooking the square above, people have lived historically linked to the Carbonari and affiliated to Masonic lodges, as the Count Cesare Gallo.

On the surface there is also Palazzo Campana, home of an important male college founded in the early eighteenth century that was certainly the vehicle of the Enlightenment’s thought in the city. It’s not hard to imagine why these noble and learned gentlemen climb down from their accommodation to meet in the circular room underground and perform rituals initiatory, away from prying eyes. During the Second World War these caves, like others, were used as air-raid shelter here but what impresses most is reading the enormous amount of dates and names engraved on the walls as evidence of those difficult times.

Booked guided visits on Saturday 11.15-12.15-17.00-18.00 and on Sunday morning 11:15-12:15.
On request you can book visits from Tuesday to Friday.

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