Romito’s Cave

romito's cave

Romito’s Cave it's a masterpiece of Prehistory. It’s a small cave inside a limestone cliff near River Lao, which hosted a Prehistoric community for ages and a great artist indeed.


Graffito of Bos Primigenius

In fact, a beautiful graffito was found here carved on a big rock by expert hand, dating back to Upper Paleolithic around 12 thousand years ago. It represents the Bos Primigenius which was a real catch among prehistoric hunters.

Romito’s Cave it’s a suggestive location. It has been inhabited for thousand years firstly by Cro-Magnon Man and later by Homo Sapiens. Lots of traces were left after them as lithium and bones items, some of which were skeletons, broken potteries dating  from  4500 BC and the oldest layers to 16.800 BC.

But what makes it a popular cave all around the world is the Bos Primigenius. It's a real artwork carved on a big stone almost two metres and a half long. The very graffito is 120 centimeters long perfectly sized: horns, nostrils, mouth, eye and neck's wrinkles are exactly replicated. At the bottom of the beautiful picture there's a draft of a bovine figure of which are sketched the chest, the head and a portion of the back.

The father of the masterpiece is a Cro-Magnon man who didn't know anything about farming because he lived of hunting and making harvest of wild plants.

The graves

Near the large pictured stone there's a smallest one with some linear signs on it that are still undeciphered.

The replicas of two graves dating from X millennium are placed in the cave right on the spot were they were found, each of which got two skeletons inside. The first couple is collected in the National Museum of Reggio Calabria and the second one is in the Florentine Museum of Prehistory with the around 300 lithium's splinters found in the cave. A third grave is still  at the stage of study by experts and there's a fourth one too, which has been lately detected and appears to be ancient even more than the other ones.

Romito's cave is a major archaeological site all around the Europe. In fact, the large number of findings led experts to trace Homo Sapiens environment, eating habits, ways of life.

Imagine Copyright: By Huston - foto archivio personale, Public Domain

Opening Hours

Summer scheduling: 7 days a week from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

Early closing time on winter. Contact Proloco of Papasidero to confirm.


Ticket price: full 4€ - reduced 3€ (only groups and over 60).

Free access for people with disabilities, guides, tour operators, children under 6 years old, people living in Papasidero.



AGE: Paleolithic

CIVILIZATION: prehistoric populations

REGION: Calabria


ADMINISTRATION: Archaeological Superintendence of Calabria


How to get to Romito's Cave


Motorway A3 SA-RC, take exit gate Mormanno-Scalea and keep following on SS504 until Papasidero. From here keep driving on SP3 to the direction of Bivio Avenad and keep going until you get the destination.


You can arrive to Papasidero by train from Scalea railway station.


You can get to Papasidero by domestic lines of northern Calabria. The cave it's about 12 Km from the town.

Good to know!

We suggest you to visit also the town of Papasidero because of the churches of San Costantino and Madonna di Costantinopoli, where are beautiful Byzantine style's frescoes. There's a path running from the cave to the town, which is a bout three hours' walk.