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Grotta di San Giovanni d'Antro

A journey inside the mountain and history

About this place

Eighty-six stone steps lead to the entrance of St. John d’Antro Cave, stunning for its concretions and 5400 explored meters of galleries. The cave is also famous for its history, having been known to man since the Neolithic period, as evidenced by artifacts found inside, and for having been home toUrsus Spelaeus, the cave bear, the remains of one specimen of which are visible. The cave has been of strategic value at various times and played a valuable role during the period of barbarian invasions, when it was used as a refuge by the local population. The entrance cavern houses a church, built under the rock vault. Church and cave can be visited through guided tours by reservation.

Why visit


Fascinating landscape

The Natisone valleys are a fascinating area, rich both culturally and naturalistically, and the route to the cave passes through hills, meadows and several quaint villages.


The little church

Climbing the steep steps, going over the walls and discovering a church built inside a cave is fascinating. Knowing its multi-thousand-year history and discovering the contributions left by man in different eras makes the visit even more exciting.


The visit to the cave

The evocative route that leads to the discovery of the cave is within everyone’s reach, and the guided tour allows people to learn about both the geological and karst peculiarities and the thousand-year history of this place.

The hidden little church

The small church is located at the entrance to the cave. The original construction dates back to 1477 AD, but the church and chapel tell the story of many other eras. In fact, the Natisone Valleys are a borderland, which has been home to Lombard, Slovenian and Italian peoples. The small church bears witness to these alternations and reports medieval, late Gothic, neoclassical, and Baroque artistic and architectural elements. The vaulted chapel and the rock-ceilinged church are very impressive, and it is surprising to discover them concealed by the masonry, which is also very old.

The cave of cavern


The nature tourist trail is located behind the Baroque altar of Bartolomeo Ortari and continues for 300 meters to the statue of a Madonnina. The trail winds along a karst gallery where calcitic flows can be seen, also passing a small lake.


At the beginning of the trail are several display cases with exhibits from various eras and the remains, found inside the cave, of an Ursus Spelaeus, the European cave bear, of which a life-size reproduction can also be seen.


The hour-long guided tour provides insight into the history of the cave, the church and the events related to them. The guide also explains to the visitor the geological features of the place and the karst phenomena that led to its formation.


Visiting the cave does not present any technical difficulties, but the path can be slippery in the paved sections due to moisture. Sneakers or hiking shoes are required. Helmet is provided at the entrance.
The temperature is a constant 11°. A sweatshirt or jacket is recommended.

Opening hours, guided tour and prices

Cave d’Antro can be visited from April 2 to December 8. In the remaining period, it is possible to visit by reservation only, for a minimum of 5 participants. The cave can be visited on Saturdays and Sundays; during the week by reservation.
The nature tourism trail includes church and cave. The unit cost of the guided tour is 8 euros. For a visit to the church alone, from the prayer area to the exhibition area, the cost is 6 euros.
Tours are guided only and places are limited. Reservations are strongly recommended. Occasional 4- to 5-hour caving tours are organized in cooperation with the caving group Valli del Natisone.

getting there and parking

In the municipality of Pulfero, past the hamlets of Tarcetta and Antro, continue via the paved road, which is comfortable but has a few bends, following the signs to the small free parking lot (about 10 parking spaces). Leaving the car, walk 5 minutes to the ticket office.


It is not possible to visit with dogs, unless they are very small, held in arms.

It is strongly discouraged to show up without a reservation as places are limited and it may not be possible to make the visit.

Absolutely. The trail is easy and the trip is very informative.

Contact and information

Through this section you can directly contact the association that runs the guided tours of St. John d’Antro Cave. Explorer FVG does not handle responses, nor is it responsible for the information exchanged in these conversations.

For information:

Cultural and Social Welfare Association “Tarcetta”
Tarcetta Street, 96
33046, Pulfero (UD)

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