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Wonder
Wonder  }  Mountains and hills

The Manie Plateau

A green paradise a short distance from the sea

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Where is

Liguria

Località Manie, 17024 Finale Ligure SV, Italia (0m s.l.m.)

Directions
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What it is and where it is

The Manie plateau is a green paradise a short distance from the sea, but much higher up. In fact, this expanse of meadows lies at an altitude of about 285 meters and forms an immense terrace overlooking the Ligurian Sea. This fertile and generous land today is a favorite spot for trekkers and cyclists thanks to the many trails that cross it, but its bucolic appearance does not tell us the whole truth: there are many hidden places that hold secrets as old as time.

Why it is special

In fact, the plateau is dotted with numerous caves, some of which have preserved traces of a past so distant that it dates back to the Paleolithic. It is truly exciting to enter them and feel, if only for a moment, transported to the dawn of our species.

Not to be missed

One of the most striking places on the plateau is the cave of the Arma de Le Manie. Inside it, several archaeological finds have been found that document human habitation between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods. But as times changed, the use of the cave also evolved: one can still see structures built by shepherds and farmers so that this environment could provide shelter for them and their beasts. All this makes the Arma delle Manie cave a true treasure chest of the ancestral and cultural history of the area.

A bit of history

The finds point to a history that goes far beyond the ancient world, dating back as far as 350,000 years ago, a prehistoric period traceable to Homo heidelbergensis, the earliest human species to populate the Finalese. Since Antiquity, many contended for the Plateau. Even the Romans became attached to these places. In the Isasco plateau, above Varigotti, a necropolis has been discovered that can be dated between the 1st and 7th centuries AD.

Curiosities

Another cave that is very important for the evidence of the past it holds is the Grotta delle Fate. It too was inhabited by Neanderthals, but here we find traces of another rather peculiar tenant: a cave bear. Its complete skeleton was found here and exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of the Finale. Scholars believe it belonged to a specimen that lived between 200,000 and 20,000 years ago, which chose the cave on the plateau to enter hibernation.

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