la Grotta del Romito, Papasidero

Well signed and about 6km from Papasidero down a good paved road, you’ll find the prehistoric site of la Grotta del Romito. Discovered in 1961, the most visible find was a drawing of a bull-like animal etched into a stone that had been sheltered by an overhanging rock for over 18,000 years (carbon dated to 16800 BC). I assumed it had been touched up but was assured that the etching is exactly as it was found.

18000 year old etching

In addition, excavations continue to reveal skeletons that have been buried one above the other with thousands of years between each find. Some have been buried as couples and some as individuals and new technology is being used to find out amazing facts. One skeleton is known only to have eaten fish so why he was buried inland is still a mystery. Another skeleton is known to have been disabled and clearly used his teeth to work rope and cord. Further studies are being made by the University of Florence.

The visitor centre is small but has some interesting information and there is a guide to show you the site itself. Whether you are coming from the Tirrenian coast around Scalea or from the Ionian coast around Civita’, this is a really worthwhile stop. It costs just €4 per person and is also a great spot for a picnic!



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