The cave of Poetry

a great view on the "grotta della poesia" in puglia

The cave of Poetry

In Roca di Melendugno, in Salento, exists one of the most evocative and mysterious archaeological sites in Italy: La Grotta della Poesia, a small paradise on the coast of Salento. 

Here, along a coastline dotted with ancient archaeological remains, lies what has been included in the list of the most beautiful natural pools in the world. It is the Grotta della Poesia (Cave of Poetry), and it is part of a karst complex that includes another enchanting smaller natural pool. As the name suggests, these caves were once caves equipped, and therefore, with a cover of rock. Over the course of time, the impetuosity of the sea and the karst and atmospheric phenomena have caused the ceiling to collapse, transforming them into suggestive natural pools with emerald-colored waters that will leave anyone lucky enough to admire them open-mouthed. 

The cave of Poetry salento puglia italia

La grotta della Poesia

The origin of the name is still a mystery, but the most credited hypothesis is that perhaps in the past there was a spring where it was possible to drink fresh water, which in Greek is called “posia“. Some say that the name comes from a legend about a beautiful princess who, bathing in the waters of the cave, was an inspiration for singers and poets of the area.

La Grotta della Poesia (Cave of Poetry) can be accessed by a staircase carved into the rock and from the southern side it connects to the open sea, while at the bottom there is an underwater tunnel that connects it with the Poesia piccola, another small pool of equal charm which is part of the larger archaeological park of Roca Vecchia.

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Throughout the site, there are numerous testimonies of the presence of man in these places since ancient times. On the walls of the caves ancient Messapian (but also Greek and Latin) inscriptions have been found that would confirm the consecration to the god Taotor. Just the incredible number of tourists who frequent the area and the lack of respect for the rules put in place for the protection of this archaeological site of national importance have meant that the municipality decided to take rather strict measures. It is planned, for the next months, to fence the area where La Grotta della Poesia is located, in order to preserve its integrity.

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