The Passetto caves in Ancona are an a-part world. For its inhabitants they are the “beach near your house”. They were dug on the early ‘900 to recover little fishing and pleasure boats and to find a bit of shade during summer sunny days in order to enjoy the seaside so near but difficult to reach, considering the rocky promontory upon which the city has been built.
The caves’ owners – called “grottaroli” – do inherit from father to son their respective ones over the years, effecting new works of restoration year by year in order to make the caves more comfortable for them and for their friends; electricity, drinkable water, methane supplied gas-stoves, works in colored wood make the Passetto caves a very unique, magical and enchanting place. Beach is constituted by classic reefs and parallels to the coast; it is frequented by the caves owners and by the locale inhabitants that have the chance to take quick “touch-and-go” sun or water baths.
The Caves do testify the extraordinary test of love of their owners for the sea: there are very lot of people that use the over four hundred artificial caves dug in the base of the cliff to recover their boats. There exist associations that represent cave owners and they are: “Grotte di Monte Cardeto (Cardeto Mountain Caves)”, “Grotte del Passetto (Passetto Caves)” and “Ginestra del Conero (Conero Broom)”.
There are three groups of caves.
Starting from the right hand and watching toward Adriatic Sea, the first group of caves is under the Passetto Swimming Pool; you can reach them by land thanking little path situated in the little park and is located just before the entrance of the swimming pools.
The central group of caves is the one located just under the left hand of the War Memorial and you can reach it following three ways: one by using stairs down the War Memorial; the second one using the elevator that works only during summertime, and the last one by using a very steep little path located at about 50 mts on the elevator left side.
Visiting Ancona during winter or autumn time, we advise you to go down to the staircase and take a walk alongside this coastline to take a healthy breath of sea air and taste its peculiar “perfume”!.
The third and last group of caves is the one located on the extreme left hand; they are reachable by using a little path in Panoramica St. actually that path is inaccessible because of securing and restoration works in progress.
On the below seaside between the War Memorial and the elevator there is a bathing establishment and one restaurant built on pile-work just on the water.
In order to reach Passetto area and its caves starting from railway station or from the tourist pier, you can catch bus line #1 with 10 mins frequency.