Camerano underground city is a dense and, partially unknown, a network of tunnels and chambers carved in the sandstone below the old town.
Origin and purpose of the city are still uncertain. It was used for different purposes and by different people in the past. It’s unclear who and why built this complex.
Weirdly enough, there aren’t many references describing the tunnels in the local historiography.
During the Second World War was used as a bomb shelter.
According to the local tradition, the underground city always existed. Oral tradition suggests that ” there is more of Camerano below than above,” testifying the great planimetric development of the underground paths, and that ” the caves are as old as the country is old .”
Camerano has very ancient origins, the first prehistoric settlements date back to the Chalcolithic (III millennium BC).
Scholars put the origin of the cave in a remote period as well. Tunnels dug at that time had to be very narrow and created for practical reasons such as the preservation of food, search for water, housing, shelters, etc.
Currently, there is nothing left of that era. The caves today are the result of changes and additions made over the centuries, from the Middle Ages until the first half of 900 and even during World War II.
The caves have been used as places of worship and assembly: evidence is two underground churches with a circular and octagonal shape with ornaments and religious symbols, related to orders of warrior monks.
Camerano underground city had a protective purpose: tunnels allowed the population to hide in case of sieges and threats against the country.