Mangiapane Cave of Custonaci
The Mangiapane Cave , located in Scurati , a small hamlet of Custonaci , within the Monte Cofano Reserve , is an ancient prehistoric settlement inhabited by man since the Upper Palaeolithic, as demonstrated by the numerous finds found inside.
The cave, one of the largest in Sicily, takes its name from the family who lived there starting from 1819 and is part of a prehistoric system of settlements known as Grotte di Scurati, some included within the Monte Cofano Nature Reserve. karst, it was the action of the sea that dug inside making it very deep: the cave is about 70 meters high, 13 wide and 50 deep.
Archaeological excavations conducted in 2004 revealed the presence of prehistoric Neolithic pottery ancient and middle. In a second cave, called Mangiapane II, located a few hundred meters to the west, along the same rocky cliff an archaeological excavation was conducted by the French palethnologist Raymond Vaufrey, assisted by the Italian archaeologist Ugo Rellini. The excavation brought to light the remains of a hearth containing pottery from the Middle Bronze Age, abandoned lithic finds in flint referable to the end of the Upper Paleolithic. Some of these finds are exhibited at the Pepoli museum in Trapani, while the remainder of the collection is found in the Salinas Museum in Palermo and at the Ethno-Anthropological Museum in Paris.
What makes this place unique is the small nucleus of houses built, in the early 1800s, close to the cave. Low and very close houses were built and inhabited by a single family, the Mangiapane.
All around, a rich Mediterranean vegetation of olive trees, carob trees, almond trees and agaves completes the choreography, arousing wonder in every visitor. For 150 years the inhabitants of the cave dedicated themselves to agriculture and pastoralism, but after the Second World War they all left the settlement and the cave became a stable.
Today the cave can be visited all year round. You can admire the shops of the trades of the past that allowed the ancient inhabitants to be completely independent thanks to the gifts that the surrounding nature granted.
Its particular location has been used for the production of some films and television dramas. We remember the famous television drama “Il Commissario Montalbano”; the film “Viola di mare” by Donatella Maiorca, and the advertising campaign for the autumn winter season, # DGFW20, by Dolce and Gabbana.