Between Montecatini Terme and the medieval village of Montecatini Alto lies a thousand-year-old natural cave known as Grotta Maona. The name derives from the ancient Maona family who, between the 9th and 12th centuries, not only contributed greatly to the growth of the area, but also had properties in the area.
During the 19th century, thanks also to the important reclamation work conducted by Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo di Lorena, there was an increase in population that led to the need for more building materials. As the hill is rich in limestone, excavations began in 1860 and it was on this occasion that the cave was discovered. Besides animal remains, artifacts belonging to the Maona family were also discovered.
A rare protected species of bat inhabits the cave, which is kept at a constant temperature of 15°C. One of the most fascinating aspects of this amazing natural phenomenon is that there are two shafts: the first, the entrance shaft, leads into a 20m deep and 200m long cavity; the second, the exit shaft, returns the visitor to the surface.
The thousands of years of water infiltration have given rise to what looks like a cathedral of stalagmites and stalactites.