Belfry Bulletin

Search Our Site

Article Index


The Proposed Destruction Of The Capanina "Lusa" On Monte Corchia, Apuan Alps, Italy

I have recently received urgent communication from Italy requesting the intervention of British clubs to oppose the proposed destruction of the above mentioned Bivouac.

The Capanina "LUSA" was built 2yrs ago, with the full authority of the local government, by the Speleological group of FAENZA (RA) to commemorate the death of Antonio LUSA. Visitors to the 1978 B.C.R.A. Conference will remember Signorina Simoneke Alessandri from this group who gave a most interesting lecture on the Abisso Fighera or Boca del Caciatore.

The Capanina "LUSA" is a small cabin designed to accommodate about 12 people, it measures about 12' x 12' x 10' high and is situated about 100yds from the entrance to the Abisso Fighera at nearly 6,000' close to the summit of Monte Corchia.

It is open at all times and may be visited by anyone wishing to do so.  The Abisso Fighera comprises some 14kms of passages and, at present stands at -850m and there are several other deep caves nearby.  To expeditionaries, the advantages of having a small base in this area are obvious especially when one considers that the next nearest refuge is 2,000' below which necessitates a 2hr really hard slog with equipment.

Unfortunately the hut is situated just on the skyline but it is painted to match the colour of the rock and from below appears as such, even with binoculars it is barely discernable as a building.

As stated previously the cabin was built with the full approval of both the local authority and the villagers, who in fact, assisted in its construction.  However, strong pressures are being bought to bear from the section of the C.A.I. at Lucca some 40 miles away, who claim the hut is detrimental to the natural beauty of the area.  The natural beauty in Question consists of several large marble quarries and their appropriate roads and other works which bite relentlessly into the lower and middle section of the Monte Corchia.  It is now apparent that unless strong pressure is bought to bear from outside then the chances of losing the bivouac are very high.

The Italian clubs would like interested British clubs and individuals to write letters opposing the destruction of the Capanina "LUSA" and pointing out the usefulness of this building particularly to foreign groups.  The letters can be written in English and sent to: -

IL Segretario, Commissione Centrale Protezione Natura Alpina, Sede Centrale del C.I.A., Via Vgo Foscolo N 3, MILANO, Italia.

A photocopy of the letter should be sent to either myself or to: -

Sig. Guido Rossi, Via San Marco 41, 37100, VERONA, Italia, who, with the FAENZA group is fighting the situation at local level.

It doesnÂ’t matter if you have never caved in this part of Italy this is an international problem and could be only the thin end of the wedge.  The losing of this fight could result in other restrictions being imposed on cavers in this area, which enjoys freedom of movement and exploration without restriction.  A situation which both British and Italian cavers would like to see continue.

Stan Gee, 26. Parsonage Street, Heaton Norris, Stockport, Cheshire. SK4 1HZ.