An ancient, now deserted, Italian village set inside a cave is a little-known, yet rather unique attraction located in western Sicily.

It’s called Grotta Mangiapane and takes its name from the family who lived in tiny houses inside the cave from 1819 to the 1950s.
The Mangiapane were a Sicilian family of farmers and fishermen who, besides the houses, built a stable for animals, a wood oven and a chapel, as they led a simple life, enjoying the breathtaking view of the Gulf of Erice.
Grotta Mangiapane is one of nine caves known collectively as Grotte di Scurati, located within the nature reserve of Mount Cofano, in Custonaci, province of Trapani.
The Mangiapane houses have been restored, and it is possible to visit the cave and its living museum of crafts from April-November (€3 charge).
Since 1983, at Christmas time, the cave becomes the set of an evocative living nativity scene, staged by more than 160 extras, including artisans from all over Sicily.

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