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RISERVA NATURALE INTEGRATA GROTTA DI SANTA NINFA

 
Integral Nature Reserve Grotta di Santa Ninfa

The Riserva Naturale Integrata Grotta di Santa Ninfa- Integrated Nature Reserve of the Santa Ninfa Cave, has been managed by the Legambiente sine 1996 and is situated in Finestrelle district, a high plain high plain of chalky nature with numerous subterranean cavities, including the "Grotta di S. Ninfa" “Santa Ninfea Cave”, which extends for about.1400m, and is of great speleological interest (zone A in integral position) and the “Biviere” which is part of the feeding basin, and extends for about 150 hectares (zone B of pre-reserve).
The landscape is characterised by the presence of karstic phenomena both underground and on the surface, on the chalky outcrops. one can admire suggestive formations, made up of karren and basins of corrosion.
In the area of the Biviere the cultivated land and the reforestations dominate, while on the hilly areas and on the chalky walls strips of Mediterranean scrub survives. The  fauna includes the hedgehog, the endemic Sicilian shrew, the rabbit, the porcupine the weasel and the fox. Among the birds are the buzzard, the kestrel, the woodcock, the nightingale and the jay. Of great interest is the presence, among the amphibians, of the discoglossid, which is similar to a frog and lives only in the western Mediterranean. The cave represents an area of great speleological interest due to the presence of a complex system of tunnels and galleries, with splendid concretions, like cortins, stalatites, wall inflorescences, pisoliths (cave pearls).
On the slopes of Mount Finestrelle are the remains of a necropolis with tombs from the late Bronze age and the first centuries of the 1st millennium B.C
The name Finestrelle, (in dialect finestreddi) indicates the similarity of the rocky tombs to small windows. In the western part of the mountain there are the remains of a prehistoric settlement. The equipped area of Finestrelle has a small interesting agro-forestal museum.
From the Centro visitatori-Visitors Centre (Via Sant'Anna 101, Santa Ninfa, tel. 0924/62376). Legambiente organises excursions in the protected area and speleological visits to the cave.

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