Excursion to Verzino Caves

Trekking at the Verzino rock site in the Marchesato

© Regione Calabria

Sport and nature

Ready to set off on a nature and archaeological walk through the woods of the Marchesato?

The excursion to the Verzino Caves, in the municipality of the same name in the province of Crotone, is an experience suitable for everyone, ideal for those who want to enjoy an itinerary in the green and discover the charm of an ancient rocky site not far from the town.

Trekking in the Verzino Caves

The rocky itinerary starts from the historic centre of Verzino, a small Presilan municipality immersed in an unmistakable landscape that alternates the typical hilly dunes of the upper Crotone area with vineyards, olive groves and orchards mixed with clay and barren areas.

The origins of the village are rooted in legend, which says it was founded by Philoctetes. History and archaeology more likely tell of Oenotrian peoples, hunters and shepherds, who already populated these hills at the arrival of the Greeks.

In contrast, the rock settlement not far from the old village is early medieval, dating back to Byzantine times.

After visiting the centre of Verzino, with the Ducal Palace of the Cortese family now housing the Town Hall (17th century), in Piazza Campo di Marte, the Church of S. Maria Assunta and the Church of San Biagio, we take the path leading to the old village.

Regione Calabria

It is an easy 5 km route that leads straight to the rock site of the Verzino Caves, an impressive settlement carved into the rock that was once home to Basilian monks.

The route includes a very interesting intermediate stop, a visit to the Speleology Museum and an old millstone with an oil mill, and ends with a river trek along the gorges and waterfalls of the Vitravo River.

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What to see in the surroundings

Those who wish to spend an entire weekend in the Upper Crotone area can visit other magical places that embellish this ancient territory.

Among these, lovers of uncontaminated nature should not miss the excursions to the Calanchi di Cutro, in a landscape of clay dunes and marls with a lunar charm, or among the forests and lakes of the Sila National Park (Crotone side): from the romantic "Laghetto dell'Amore" to the San Liquora and Perticaro lakes, not far from the old panoramic bridge that leads to the village of Umbriatico.

Heading south, one encounters the not-to-be-missed Geosito dei Diapiri Salini di Zinga, another place of spectacular geology, sculpted by the waters of the Vitravo and weathering into truly striking shapes.

Calanchi di Cutro
Raffaele Marino

A short distance away, the small Church of Sant'Antonio heralds the ancient village of Pallagorio, with its arbëreshë (Italo-Albanian) origins still preserved in its language and traditions, rich in fine buildings and churches, such as the Church of the Carmine, whose bell tower is reminiscent of the bell tower of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.

After tasting the famous Bread of Pallagorio, perhaps accompanied by a slice of delicious Pecorino Crotonese PDO and an excellent glass of Cirò and Melissa CDO, we conclude our excursion in the Marchesato with a visit to the Shrine of the Madonna della Scala, a beautiful 18th century building in the Belvedere di Spinello area.


Ultimo aggiornamento: Feb 15, 2024 10:13 AM