The Castellana Caves have finally their museum; after about fifty years, the long-awaited Speleological Museum at Castellana-Grotte was officially inaugurated on January 23rd, 2000. It had originally been designed and funded by Cassa per il Mezzogiorno in 1952, in the framework of a wider project that included the touristic and urbanistic development of the area overhanging the Caves. But, of the entire project, only the buildings for the Direction of the Caves and for the Museum, and the Tower of the Lifts, were effectively built.
In 1953, Professor Franco Anelli enthusiastically wrote:
Within the main building of the first part of works for the touristic and urbanistic development of the Castellana Caves, funded by Cassa per il Mezzogiorno, the wide and luminous hall designed as Speleological Museum had already been completed. The Museum will mostly have a propagative role, aimed at spreading the knowledge of studies dealing with the caves through explanation of the geology, physics, biology, etc., as well as of the anthropogenic activities that developed in past times in the underground world
Professor Franco Anelli could not see his dream come true.
Even though the building for the Museum had been completed, its preparation never began. Lack of interest by the local administrators of that time caused the site to be used as a disco for many years, and then to be eventually abandoned.
Activities of the Speleological Museum "Franco Anelli" at the present deal with:
"The visit at the Speleological Museum will be an easy, delightful excursion over the pages of a fascinating book, the book of the caves: few orderly chapters to provide a commentary for a ponderous volume, that of the Science of the caves"