Good Practice Database - Country - IT - Monte Cucco Cave
Good Practice Database

Monte Cucco Cave

Practice on:

Sustainable development of economical activities in natural side.

Practical details:
NUTS 2: ITE2 Umbria
Start date:
Type of initiative:  public
Description of the practice:

The good practice demonstrates how it's possible for a public authority to preserve a natural area and in the meanwhile to let people enter in (without damaging flora and fauna equilibrium).

The good practice is linked to regional public policy involved in natural areas preservation and valorization (ERDF managed by Umbria Region).

Monte Cucco Regional Park is located in the north-east part of Perugia Province and it is one of the most impressive, best preserved models of mountain environment in the Umbrian-Marchean Appennines. It is characterized by the presence of a complex system of karst caves that make up one of the broadest and deepest underground systems in Europe.

Umbria Region wanted to help sustainable development of economical activities in Monte Cucco natural side, in particular "Monte Cucco karst cave practice" was developed in order

(1) to increase tourist coming in Natura 2000 sites

(2) to promote the natural preserve of Monte Cucco Park

(3) to increase tourist and economic opportunities

(4) to create new jobs

(5) to promote tourist packages, such as the visit of the underground environment of the caves. Investments in Monte Cucco karst cave were possible thanks European structural funds, and in this project there was the collaboration of Umbria Region and the local mountain municipalities association.

The total budget of investments was: € 1,230,000.00. Investments were:

(a) creation of guided tours for small groups with advance reservation (by involving private local cooperatives);

(b) shuttle bus service from the villages down in the valley to the passing places (by involving private local cooperatives);

(c) realization of mountain track from the passing place to the cave entry;

(d) creation of an access to a limited area of the karst subterranean system (1350 – 1450 m a.s.l.).

(e) creations inside the karst cave: limited sector-activated lighting, marked track of maximum 1.5 m in width, parted from cave walls, access stairs in zinc-coated steel, steel platform at the same level as the access place;

(f) environmental monitoring before and after the intervention, according to the parameters agreed through a public evaluation procedure.

Evidence of success
Biological/biodiversity values:

"Monte Cucco karst cave practice" is included in Monte Cucco Park which has got a very strong link to biodiversity values, first of all because in the Park there is the “Monte Cucco” SIC area, coded IT5210009, which includes the peak of the Monte Cucco system at a height of 1556 m. The caves are one of the peculiarities of Monte Cucco and the Regional Park, which is an area of extreme naturalistic and environmental significance with a wide landscape and ecologic value, where the presence of unequaled karst phenomena make the whole orographical complex a unique resource. The hydro-geological and hydrographic characteristics have turned this territory into a fundamental and delicate node for the movement of the deep water-table of the Appennines’ carbonate massifs. The Monte Cucco massif is an essential, irreplaceable hydrological reserve for all those settlements in Umbria and Marche that draw water from its sources. Monte Cucco karst cave includes also other peculiar areas, such as Bocca Nera chasm, Faggeto Tondo pit, Boschetto abyss, Valcella hole, Ferrata cave.

Visual impact and recreational value:

Monte Cucco Regional Park  includes a big visual heritage, in particular inside Park territory there are four small towns Fossato di Vico, Scheggia, Costacciaro e Sigillo. The historical centers of these towns are of great importance for their culture and landscape, rich in walls and defensive towers, in churches, in pictures, in fossils collections, in rare archival documents.

In the northern part of the territory of the Park there are also several Benedictine and Camaldolensian abbeys, and among the most important ones: Sant'Emiliano in Isola Fossara and the Hermitage of San Girolamo in Pascelupo. Thanks to "Monte Cucco karst cave" it's possible to have interesting  recreational activities, such as: treks on the Park area and excursions inside the cave (in the summer time also by night), guided tours and environmental education activities aimed to scholarship.

Cultural heritage:

"Monte Cucco karst cave valorisation"  practice is not connected to a particular cultural heritage.

Environmental impact:

All the actions carried out in order to exploit "Monte Cucco cave karst" have a positive impact on the environment, as a matter of fact all above-mentioned investments were subjected to a environmental monitoring before and after the intervention, according to the parameters agreed through a public evaluation procedure.

Economic viability:

Monte Cucco Park's karst cave investments were possible thanks to public fundings (European Regional Development Funds).

Transferibility of this practice is quite high, because Monte Cucco karst cave investments were possible thanks to european structural funds and also because all over Europe there are karst caves to exploit.

Contact details:
Name: Mr Paolo Papa
Organisation: Regione Umbria
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Completed on: 29.07.2011
Date added: 6.9.2011  Hits: 181
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