The Caves of Onferno


We enter into the folds of mystery, visiting a charming little town called Onferno, perched on the hills of the Valconca, bordering the Montefeltro. Its ancient name derives from the Latin ‘castrum inferno’ (1231), which later became Inferno. Tradition, not upheld by any historical fact, tells us, and we like to believe, that the great poet Dante created the rings of his ‘Inferno’ drawing inspiration from these caves. In the year 1810, Gualfardo, the Bishop of Rimini, decided to change the name of the area, probably wishing to sever the association between his diocese and the dwelling place of Lucifer, by changing its name to Onferno.
It has now become a Natural Reserve, rich in rare species of vegetation. Inside the most impressive cave, visitors can wander into the home of a colony of bats, the most important colony of the whole region, with about 3500 specimens. If next we want to experience the thrill of the unknown, we descend into the belly of the cave and explore its 1350 metres to admire the outcrop of gypsum crystals and the many ‘Chirotteri’ (bats) that inhabit the depths of the caves of Onferno.
For Onferno, mystery means not only knowledge, but also adventure. The guided tour, which you can undertake equipped with a head torch, is an adventurous experience and a thrilling exploration for young and old alike. A word of warning: take care not to disturb the bats, we are in their home.