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The Monte Cucco Cave, officially named, in 1951, with the authorization of the headquarters of the CAI, "Grotte GB Miliani Monte Cucco ", a vast underground system that extends for over 30 km, reaching a maximum depth of 923 m, have had a history, made of visits and explorations, very complex and very long-term.


XVI century


The oldest date, drawn from an explorer inside the Cave of Monte Cucco, dates back to 1499, but the identity of that absolute pioneer century there has been, until now, completely unknown. Go to the article on the discovery ...


It was, however, in all probability, the noble army colonel Messer Ludovico Santacroce Fabriano, that, "Adi de 18 November 1551", drew, with the carbon black of his flashlight, the first inscription, legible and dated, within the Cave of Monte Cucco.


In the same year, he had to take an active part in perhaps the same, pioneering exploration, an illustrious costacciarolo: the literate Franciscan Father Bernardino Boldrini, who took part, also, the Council of Trent.

A Santacroce Ludovico and Bernardino Boldrini had to happen in a few years, in the exploration of the Cave of Monte Cucco, one of the most famous men of arms which Costacciaro has given birth over the centuries: Messer Ghigi Adramando (or Adromando ), which, in the sixteenth century, "was valiant captain in the army of Emperor Charles V in Flanders."

Inside the cave, in fact, he signed as "Adromando 1555".

XVII century


"Mutio Flore in day August 11, 1604" is how you sign, with the carbon black of the torch, an unspecified explorer of the Cave of Monte Cucco.


The first certain and documented on an exploration to the seventeenth century in the Cave of Costacciaro, is, however, that of July 28, 1670, when fourteen Fabriano They carried excursion, which they define "trip", in the Cave of the Cucco (then descended and went up, "wrist", that is, by sheer force of arms, the access shaft with the single, precarious, and oscillating support provided to them by the big hemp ropes of the time). Among them was the Marquis Dr. Thomas Augustine Benigni, who, the following year, during the carnival, he gave a speech at the Academy of Disunited, precisely on this sensational tour underground.


Had this to say, publicly, the gentleman of Fabriano, about the streams that would have originated from the Cave of Monte Cucco: "[...] From the bosom of Mount Cucco n'escono seven rivers [...] it is, gentlemen ; seven streams out from the bosom of Mount Cucco [...] four of them make proud the Sentino and three are terrible Chiaso [...] ".

XVIII century


In 1720, touches, instead, to the noble eugubino Count Girolamo Gabrielli engage in the investigation of the Grotto. He will leave us a very detailed written report, a few decades later (1745), on this his descent, probably until the current spintasi Sala Margherita, and never ripetutasi.

The Gabrielli died January 15, 1747 in his home parish of the Cathedral with a burning desire to retrace unfulfilled once again, "intellect with love", his beloved  Monte Cucco Cave.


Another important eighteenth-century explorer of the Grotto of Monte Cucco Fabriano was the John the Baptist Casini. Abate, humanist and naturalist exceptional Castelletta born in Fabriano in 1761, and abiding in the monastery Silvestrino city of San Benedetto in Fabriano, Casini was probably the real precursor, in the late eighteenth century, exploration scientific to the Cave of Monte Cucco. These, in fact, it was dipped in Enlightenment culture, therefore wide open to novelties of modern science, enunciated in his report of the visit, innovators principles of geology, geomorphology, biospeleology, paleontology and climatology.


In the eighteenth century, had also explore the cave, together, probably, in Massarello Massarelli Fauni  from Costacciaro, and the rich and enterprising Marquis eugubino Galeotti of the Mint, the great scholar and writer Sienese Giovanni Girolamo Carli (1719-1786).

XIX century


Many descend to visit the Cave of Cucco in the nineteenth century. Among them, are surely remember the great ethnologist of Perugia Professor Giuseppe Bellucci, the distinguished historian of Gualdo Tadino Professor Roger Warriors and, above all, the traveler, historian and polygraph German Ferdinand Gregorovius, who will literally entranced by the beauty of the underground Cucco, much to say that he had never seen anything like it anywhere else in the underground before visited.


The deputy prefect Giovanni Battista Locatelli, Venetian, who invested his high office of magistrate in Gubbio, around 1810 or 1811, dying, then lynched by eugubini April 3, 1815, had, therefore, visit the Monte Cucco Cave in the first (or, at best, second) decade of the nineteenth century.


A party of mountaineers of the Italian Alpine Club, from Perugia, Gubbio and Costacciaro ascended the Monte Cucco in the morning of August 19, 1883, to visit the cave opened in the eastern flank of the mountain, cave popularly designated as "Buga de Monte Cucco ". This group was composed, among others, Messrs Louis Chemi mayor of Costacciaro, Giuseppe Giuliarelli councilor, Chiodini A., D. Costanzi, Pillows L., E. Scardovi town clerk, Mr. Melancholy. L. doctor, Donati L. Rome, Miliani V. Seal, residents in Costacciaro, Marinelli prof. Zeno (professor and, in his youth, a painter of ceramics), maestro Roberto Baldoni (?), Scassellati A., Ruspetti G., A. Corsi, from Gubbio, Bellucci prof. Joseph, president of CAI in Perugia, Purgotti A., from Perugia.

These mountaineers of Perugia and Gubbio them up always a grateful remembrance of their courteous welcome manifested in Costacciaro and thoughtfulness demonstrated, because the ascent of the mountain and the visit to the cave were able to their full satisfaction.


Despite the "competition" of these large, and well-known personalities, will only Giambattista Miliani, the great explorer, mountaineer, and caver Fabriano, brilliant and innovative industrial papermaking, as well as Senator of the Kingdom of Italy and Minister of Agriculture, which, especially between the years 1889-1890, will continue, with enthusiastic spirit positivist, the first real scientific exploration of the  Monte Cucco Cave, the Voragine Boccanera and dell'Inghiottitoio of Fossil Grove.


Between June of 1883 and April of 1892, the Giambattista Miliani Fabriano, in fact, perhaps driven by the example cited scholar Perugia popular traditions, Professor Giuseppe Bellucci, begins, so, the epic exploration of what goes, commonly under the present name of "Tourist Branch" of the Grotto of Monte Cucco. Miliani was a skilled mountaineer, belongs to the Italian Alpine Club of Rome. It was the 303 pages of the number 58, volume XXV, the bulletin of the CAI, printed and published between 1891 and 1892, and entitled "The Grotto of Monte Cucco", that the Miliani gave the account of his very accurate, repeated, and almost ten, reconnaissance to the cavity. Miliani will be also the first to draw, and draw up a precise cartography of the large cavity umbra, and to conduct the first distinguished scientist, paleontologist bolognese, and, then, Senator of the Kingdom of Italy, Professor Giovanni Capellini and the first woman, Margherita Mengarini, in the great room that perpetuates, until this day, the name of this great scientist: "Sala Margherita". Faithful companions Scanner U.K. Miliani, who constantly followed him in all his visits to the Monte Cucco Cave, were: Peter Statius, Achille Caracci, and Francesco Moscatelli.

XX century


After these "historical avant-garde", it will be necessary, however, to wait many decades, because someone returned to explore, with courage, and systematic method, the many "underground regions" of Cucco.


On August 20, 1922, the Company Hikers Fabriano (SEF), honorary president Giambattista Miliani, put in place, along thirty meters dell'inclinato access shaft to the Monte Cucco Cave, the iron ladder, for over seventy years old, was one of the determinants of the development of the Umbria-Marche Apennines caving. Its presence has proved, in fact, instrumental in creating interest and passions for studies karst and has greatly facilitated the great explorations of the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties of last century. Giambattista Miliani, who contributed so much to start research on the underground world of Monte Cucco, was one of the main proponents of the company, also making available its renowned paper company to buy and prepare the necessary materials. At the event, was also organized, always by the SEF, a conference of hikers, opened, and opened by a speech of the same Miliani, and which saw the participation of over 500 enthusiasts and mountain caves. Before the implementation of the famous iron staircase, on the outer edge of the entrance to the Cave of Monte Cucco still existed the "stump acera" (most likely a Sycamore [Acer pseudoplatanus]), described by Miliani (while others writes, already in 1884, "beech"), which allowed, to many generations of explorers, the descent of the thirty meters of the pit entrance, aptly named, much later, "Well Miliani". The plant was, in fact, already used as a natural anchorage, from Miliani itself, between 1883 and 1892, and even before, by John the Baptist Casini, at the end of the eighteenth century, and by Thomas Augustine Benigni, in 1670; the latter, called dialect tree, still young, "caspa", ie 'bush', describing it as "no bigger than an arm." When dried up (the thirties of the twentieth century), the Sycamore had, therefore, to count around three hundred years old.


The new scale greatly facilitated, as mentioned, the descents in the cave in the twentieth century. Among the many exploratory visits twentieth century of the Monte Cucco Cave deserves, of course, to be remembered also that accomplished by Efrem Bartoletti August 20, 1922, concurrently at the inauguration of the new iron staircase. Eminent socialist politician, trade unionist and writer costacciarolo, emigrated, to do the "miner of iron", the United States of America, Bartoletti, with the clever his pen, put forth, around the Cave costacciarola, an inspection report, scientific and poetry together, in 24 pages, entitled "A hike to the Monte Cucco Cave". The report of the exploration, contains, in the preface, dated August 1924, significant information at the history of Men Originating Costacciaro, and is dedicated verbatim "Hon. G. Battista Miliani, continuer Cartaria happy art of their ancestors, mountaineer and tireless scholar of mountains and caves. "

Nell 'year 1956 were the Perugia Lemmi, Passeri, Cesareo, Mazza, and others, to descend, for the first time, in the Grotto and go over everything he had previously explored and found Miliani. The real exploration of the Speleological Group CAI Perugia, however, began in the course of next year 1957, twenty years after the death of Giambattista Miliani, when, along with Leonsevero Passeri, Francesco Salvatori staged a five-day camp on the summit of Cucco and explored new ducts ("Gallery Perugia") and, above all, he discovered the "Pond Terni" and the well of the same name.


Guido Lemmi, Leonsevero Passeri, Giancarlo Viviani, Franco Giampaoli, and others, led, well, a series of systematic exploration and research that will lead, in a gradual manner, to discover, and to the study, dell'intiero large and complex , underground system of Cucco, exploration and research partially completed only in 1978, with the so-called "Operation Scirca". In addition to the Grotto, the elements of the tip of the Speleological Group CAI will travel Perugia, esplorativamente, in those years, and among the first, ever, of Italy, also the precipitous gorge and evocative of Rio Freddo.


Wednesday, April 2, 1969 (fateful year when man set foot on the moon), at 17, Stephen Arzilli, Franco Giampaoli, and Gianni Melis, members of the caving group CAI of Perugia, after two years of determined attempts, touch, finally, the bottom of the Grotto of Monte Cucco. A muddy wall of the base layer of the cavity, delimiting a clear mirror of crystal clear water, was, well, engraved with the names of the discoverers. The Grotto of Cucco became then world record for depth on July 23, 1974, when the local explorer "uncorked" the highest input of the Cave, later known as "Pit Kite". The name of Giambattista Miliani, real god of scientific exploration to the Grotto of Monte Cucco, cavers CAI Perugia took consecrate also the naming of the underground river of large cavities umbra: the "Torrente Miliani" which, once came to light, gives rise to abundant and very well known, resurgent karst Scirca. That's how both the beginning (entrance pit) is the end (best known) of the Grotto of Monte Cucco eternalize, today, in the name, the pioneer, whose example and to whose great beauty, you must, more, the resumption of the investigation caving, deep inside the cave, during the 50s and 60s of the last century. With cavers of Perugia, about eighty years later, Miliani touched, so, ideally, the top and the bottom of his beloved " Monte Cucco Cave".


The eighties of the past century led to the rather well caving on Cucco. In that decade, in fact, were discovered, in succession, the "Hole of Beasts" or "Faggeto Tondo", l '"Abyss Pure" or "the Grove" and found themselves extended continuations to the "Cave of Eugubini" or "Buca the Valcella ". The nineties of the twentieth century passed, however, without a large and substantial discoveries, except, perhaps, on another contiguous relief of the massif, Mount Le Gronde, to that of the "Buca Water will pass" by the Speleological Group of Gualdo Tadino.

From then until now are mostly cavers Umbrians to make explorations in the Cave of Monte Cucco.

XXI century


Among the most important discoveries of recent years, there is certainly that of "Buca Futura", discovered and explored by a joint team of cavers from Umbria.

In spring 2009, the Monte Cucco Cave, one that, with the authorization of the headquarters of the Cai, assumed, at the time, the name "Cave GB Miliani Monte Cucco ", was officially open to tourist visits, scientific and educational activities.


In 2011, after several years of work by a group of cavers groups from all over Italy, the Cave opens again, unveiling a new branch called "Cucco Free" that, in addition to giving a new fund of well 927 meters and numerous wells and galleries, is currently still exploring leaving a new chapter in the long and fascinating history of exploration of the  Monte Cucco Cave.


And history continues .........


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