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Lara Dimartino: The archaeological site of "Cava Celone"

Lara Dimartino: The archaeological site of "Cava Celone"


by Lara Dimartino


The archaeological site of "Cava Celone" consists of an archeologically interesting hypogeum and, given its location, irresistibly beautiful because it is immersed in the typical landscape of the Iblean "quarries". A combination that could certainly interest not only local enthusiasts, but also many tourists, who would pay handsomely to visit them.

The archaeological site was part of the “Archaeotur” project born from the collaboration between Italy and Malta, financed with European Community funds. The designers who designed the access routes to the Catacombs of Contrada Celone more than 3 years ago are two technicians employed by the Municipality of Ragusa, the engineer Giuseppe Corallo and the surveyor Giorgio Iacono. Cava Celone can be reached by taking the SP 10 provincial road which leads from Ragusa to Chiaramonte Gulfi, about 4 km from Viale delle Americhe. It is one of the largest complexes of the Late Roman-Byzantine age, about 1.500 square meters, which includes 3 large hypogea and many others of smaller dimensions; the catacombs, carved into the rock, are organized in a corridor with burials and niches in the walls. The necropolis dates back to between the IV-VI century. A.D 
The design intervention of the new access path to the necropolis was added to the old path, a mule track, called "scalazza", characterized by a steep slope and a very bumpy ground that meant that the catacombs were visited almost exclusively by hikers. The new route, however, completed in 2013, starts from the plateau, on the side opposite the "scalazza", and winds along one side of the quarry, parallel to its development, thus guaranteeing a gentle route, which anyone can use.


With the precious collaboration of the State Forests Company, the track, about 650 meters long, was freed from the thick brambles that concealed everything that was under them; the differences in height, on the other hand, were overcome with stone steps found on site, and to protect the downstream side of the path, a fence was put in place, made with chestnut wood poles, transported by hand for several hundred meters. Therefore an exceptional and meticulous work that has revealed and made the site easily accessible to all, through interventions perfectly harmonized with the surrounding environment. A real pity that it is not possible to include fabulous archaeological and landscape sites like this, in a complete tourist tour, (perhaps involving the Region and / or the Forestry), where our story is told, as well as from the Baroque, or in summer from the sea, even from much more, and perhaps so, who knows, some tourists might even return and / or extend their stay!

Lara Dimartino

The archaeological site of “Cava Celone

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