Sant' Angelo Muxaro caves (integral nature reserve)
The Integral Nature Reserve "Grotta di Sant'Angelo Muxaro" was established in 2000. The protected area covers about 21 hectares and is located at the foot of the Sant'Angelo Muxaro hill and is characterized by two distinct areas:
zone A of integral reserve, which coincides with the underground development and, on the surface, with the areas delimiting the main entrance to the cave;
area B of the pre-reserve, which protects part of the hydrographic basin that feeds the karst cavity: it is a blind valley engraved on the clays underlying the evaporitic deposits.
In the Grotta Ciavoli splendid crystallisations and a series of shapes referable to the karst phenomenon are visible, especially an interesting column. Along the way, the meandering figures, the flue chimneys and the small collapse rooms are suggestive. The cavity ends with a pond. In the areas close to the reserve, along the course of this valley, there are also other karst cavities, which constitute the complex called "Caves of Water". The flow of water along the riverbed takes place through continuous ingrottamenti and resurfacing in a fascinating environmental context characterized by high naturalness.
The Grotta di Sant 'Angelo is also an important archaeological center of Prehistory, in which systematic excavations have witnessed ancient settlements. Tholos caves and tombs (8th and 7th century BC) reveal traces of an ancient pre-Hellenic and Greek necropolis. Nature, around the cave of karstic origin, is luxuriant and intense with Mediterranean scrub.
In the territory, with the various species typical of hill and mountain environments, the fauna includes the Martora, the Corvo Imperiale, and also the Eagle of Bonelli.