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The red cave and the Beryl Valley

A memorable experience for trakking enthusiasts and speleologists, the Red Cave will leave you really breathless. The access is through a narrow cove hidden between the Mediterranean vegetation in the district called ``Valle Nasca``, located in the mountainous massif of Purace, west of the Puraccia plain. A tight path leads into extensive rooms full of concretions tending to red, hence the name of the cave. At the bottom of the cave there is a source of water formed by the dripping of calcareous rocks.

La Grotta Rossa e la Valle del Berillo

The Red Cave is really a unrepeatable experience, of great speleological interest, which has always aroused a great mystery, to the point of being considered the home of fairy-tale creatures. No less important are also the other caves spread throughout the territory of Grattera, such as the abyss Ciacca, a hundred meters deep, the well Puraccia, not fully explored, the caves Cula, between the crest peaks of Gattarelle, the cave Fonda and Panni of altitude 1175 m., south of Pizzo Dipilo.

Since ancient times, Gratteri has been the town that derives its name from Cratere, i.e. for the water that flows, i.e. for the presence of caves that spread very clear whirlpools in its territory, and also craters from which emerge some highly purgative waters, called
vulgarly of Bevuto: “oppidum a Cratere ob perennem stillantem aquam celebri dictum” (R.Pirri, Sicilia sacra…, Vol.II, p. 829, Palermo 1644).

Pirri himself, as Di Marzo and others, add that the fortress is also famous for the stony stone called beryl. Actually, it would be a mineral of hyaline quartz that today can be found in the district of Valle Nasca, where there is a valley popularly called “Lavanca Vrilli”.

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