Exactly one hundred and ten years ago two Teiestine speleologists discovered the Grotta Gigante.
Il Piccolo records the occasion today and carries this photo, clearly taken soon after the discovery. when the cave had been made accessible and been lit by a large number of candles.
The sign above the door to the trattoria says that tickets could be bought there.
I have no memory of its being possible to visit in the time of the FTT but I have visited twice on later visits. It's very spectacular and well worth dodging the conducted tours.
The last time I saw the Grotto, I took the Tram, got off at the Obeliak, walked along the Strada Napoleonica, to Prosecco, had a beer and a panino prosciutto crudo,, walked along the road towards Opicina, over the motorway (which I hadn't seen before) reached the Borgo Grotta Gigante, bought a ticket and tagged on to a party of tourists who had a guide. It's quite a pleasant sloping path down but it's nice to stop and take in the views - it's a huge open space inside so I lagged well behind the bunch. There are also little gem-like places, beautifully lit.
The is an enormous glass tube seeming to stretch from the bottom and disappear in the "roof" which, I think, is concerned with seismology. It's impossible to exaggerate the extent of the space down there.
The way back isn't steep - but it goes on more than a bit.
My plan was to walk to Opicina and go back by the Tram - but there was a bus-stop. In any case, there would be a long wait so I walked and go the Tram.
A fond memory - but I certainly couldn't do it now.
I have been told and read in Il Piccolo that the Grotto Gigante is the largest cave and series of caves in the world.