Imagine going down to the center of the earth, with a long staircase that will take you further and further down for 70 meters. Instead, imagine staying on the surface but going back in time and finding yourself among the dinosaurs, those huge creatures that children love so much. Steven Spielberg had noticed it and they also noticed a Castellana Grotte, in the province of Bari, where they built a beautiful dinosaur park. Come with us for one Puglia different from the usual sea.
Not just the sea! In addition to the splendid beaches of Salento or villages such as Alberobello and Borgo Egnazia, Puglia offers many attractions for children. Steven Spielberg had noticed it and they also noticed a Castellana Grotte, in the province of Bari, where they built a beautiful dinosaur park. A sort of open-air museum with life-size animals, faithfully reproduced from fossils found by paleontologists all over the planet from 1820 to today.
Visiting the Dinosaur Park of Castellana Grotte (BA) will take you back in time. A guide will accompany you between the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic Era.
- Paleozoic era, with primordial fish, amphibians and reptiles, such as the “Dimetrodon”
- Mesozoic Era, dominated by large dinosaurs, extraordinary rulers of the planet for about 160 million years: from Celeofisis, one of the first Theropods to evolve, to Velociraptor, perhaps the last representative of the dinosaurs to transform into the most extraordinary animals that populate our planet today, or “the birds”.
- Cenozoic era, dominated by mammals, the latter represented in the park by the American Mastodon and by some species of hominids “Abilis, Erectus, Neanderthal”
In addition to the guided tour between 25 full-size reproductions and specimens on the move, new educational activities for children are added:
- The little paleontologist: children will immerse themselves directly in what is the activity of the paleontologist with simulation of excavations, finding of fossils and subsequent classification. The workshop will help children to become active protagonists, thus alternating theoretical and practical learning.
- We recreate our fossils: with the help of DAS, plasticine and molds, the children will reproduce real casts of fossils recovered in the previous excavation phase.
- Anthropological lesson on the journey of man: participants will take part in a specific lesson on the evolution of the human species, with the aid of graphs and illustrative tables
- Final quiz and issue of the certificate “The little paleontologist”: At the end of the activities, the participants will have to fill in various multiple choice quizzes based on everything they have learned during the guided tour and the various didactic activities. After the quizzes, the students will receive the certificate
Duration of the route and price
The duration of the guided tour is about 40/45 minutes, but then you can stay as long as you want. The ticket price is 6 euros per person and children under 4 do not pay. The park is open every day from 9.30 to 13 and from 15 to 17.30. The additional cost for educational workshops is € 8.00 per person.
It was 1938, when the speleologist Franco Anelli dropped for the first time in cave of the Grave and began the exploration that led him, together with Vito Matarrese from Castellano, to the discovery of one of the most surprising natural places in Puglia. An extraordinary underground world that develops for a length of 3348 meters and reach a maximum depth of 122 meters from the surface. The indoor temperature is around 16.5 ° C.
The Castellana Caves, in the province of Bari, are a truly exciting adventure for the bravest children. The complex of caves of karst origin can be visited according to customizable itineraries suitable for all ages.
The visit to the Caves winds along a 3 km route: an extraordinary guided excursion, about 70 meters deep, in an amazing scenery, where caves with fantastic names, canyons, deep abysses, fossils, stalactites, stalagmites, concretions with incredible shapes and surprising colors stimulate the imagination of children and adults .
The visit to the public of the Castellana Caves winds along an easily practicable path and with the expert presence of multilingual guides. An extraordinary excursion into the Caves at about 70 meters deep in an amazing scenario of stalactites, stalagmites, fossils, cavities, caves with fantastic names. To visit the Castellana Caves, there are two itineraries:
- Complete itinerary, 3 kilometers long and about 100 minutes long
- Partial itinerary, 1 kilometer long and about 50 minutes long
The ticket price admission is 18 euros for the complete itinerary and 15 euros for the complete one. Children up to 5 years enter for free, while children aged 6 to 14 enjoy a reduction: 12 euros for the visit with Partial Itinerary and 15 euros for the visit with Complete Itinerary.
At the moment the caves can only be visited from Monday to Friday at 10:00 and 12:00. While under current government regulations it will not be possible to make visits on the weekend.
Following the cleaning work of the abyss of the Grave, a depression was discovered that suggests that there is still much to be discovered in this cave, with new branches that would branch off from the initial chasm.
Disclaimer: some places and attractions mentioned in the article may be closed or have undergone time changes due to the Covid-19 emergency. Always consult reference sites to check before traveling with children. Our intent is to reveal hidden places in Italy, villages and unknown places to travel in the vicinity when it can be done more lightly. This is why we will continue to give advice on families who can’t wait to start over!