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Central and National Schools


National Speleology School

National Speleology School



The National Speleology School ( is the part of the CAI’s Central Commission dedicated to teaching caving.


The Caving Groups date back to the beginning of the last century, when the Caving Commission of the Società Alpina delle Giulie organized practical caving courses in Trieste. The scheme was a success and was resumed at the end of the Second World War by various Italian caving groups. The purpose of these courses is limited, however, to training each group’s own cavers. The idea of setting up a nationwide speleology school to teach caving in Italy in the mid Fifties was the brainchild of Carlo Finocchiaro, a speleologist in the CAI’s Trieste branch.


A National Speleology Course was thus organized within the CAI. It focuses on Karst phenomena, on the techniques and materials required to explore underground caves and on the various sciences that help to understand the underground world.

This first course was followed, over the years, by others, becoming increasingly popular. The School now has a more organic framework and in addition to teaching caving techniques, it organizes a series of cultural meetings, including some particularly interesting national courses on scientific subjects applied to Speleology: Karstism, Volcanism, Meteorology and numerous others.

The evolution and spread of Italian speleology is also linked to the School’s activities. As new demands arise, the School responds by providing those opportunities for learning and getting together that help speleologists develop. The courses are split according to the degree of technical difficulty and the cultural or scientific subjects studied.

Today, the CAI National Speleology School is very different from the one imagined by Carlo Finocchiaro but it has by no means betrayed his original inspiration: a not-for-profit public education service open to all.




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