It is assumed that the first to discover the existence of the Grotta del Cavallone have been the numerous shepherd who lived in Maiella for much of the year with their flocks. Unfortunately we haven't some testimonials. Below, in the timeline, the various discoveries and explorations have brought to light this fabulous underworld.
1666. First trace of an exploration: the date is engraved in the Stone of ancient names, along with other peoples, at the entrance of the cave.
1704. The doctor Jacinto de Simonibus and D.A. Franceschelli made a more thorough exploration of the Grotte del Cavallone and Bove. We are familiar with various references of subsequent explorers saw that, unfortunately, the original manuscript and relief on parchment were untraceable.
1705. Felice Stocchetti, neapolitan physicist, mentioned the caves in one of his opera, also Francesco Cicconi made the same(1759). But it wasn't the presso the means by which spread the news of the existence of this wonderful cave, but the oral tradition of the locals people and the storytellers.
1831. Michele Tenore, neapolitan naturalist, tried to explore the cave but was discouraged by the lack of steps to overcome the most hardest routes. He visited the Grotta del Bove,due to its easier access.
1865. By chance, a tarantolese pastor, Matteo Ciavarra, to retrieve a goat perched on the mountains, he found himself in front of the entrance of the cave; This, in a sense, was the beginning of a new era of exploration which helped revive interest in the cavity, after more than a century of oblivion. Dr. Egidio Rinaldi, in fact, went to a more thorough exploration of the cavity as surely beyond the narrow wall downward the” Bolgia Dantesca”.
1893. The chancellor of the District Court Alessandro De Lucia, thanks to the use of ropes and ladders and to the help of a brave farmer and two miners, he managed to go down the bottomless well.
1893, december. De Lucia, together with 46 citizens of Lama dei Peligni and Taranta Peligna, created the League of the Grotte del Cavallone and del Bove, aiming to enhance their tourist value. The company, in fact, created a staircase of entrance into the cavity totally rock and wooden staircases etched placed to facilitate the most difficult passages in it. He also organized a guide service.
1907. The speleologist Vittorio Bertarelli made a meticulous survey of the cavity and estimated it’s size.
1912. To this date start the first exploratory research with scientific purposes. The geologist and spelelologo De Gasperi conducted early research geomorphology and produced the real layout of the cave in terms of size.
1913. The archaeologist Ugo Rabbi performed paleontological research within the cavity.
1948. Till this date research were stopped, due to the two Wars, either because of internal disputes to the League of the Grotte. From here there were numerous Speleological and geomorphological study of the cavity.
1949. During the National Congress of Speleology (Chieti), was visited the Grotta del Cavallone. This led him to draw the interest of foreign scholars including the Oxford University expedition with: F. H. Witehead, Michael Holland, David Russel and the young Mario Di Fabrizio discoverers of the Lakes Gallery.
1950-1960. New impulse to explorations thanks to CAI Chietino and CAI Bolognese.
1961/1962. The speleological group URRI of Rome encounters the complementary and pass brilliantly some difficult passages (the pseudo trap, where they arrested the previous explorations, a siphon and the endless pit). Also, along with Domenico Di Marco, started the official toponymy of the cave.
1987. Giovanni Piazza and Luigi Centobene, of the Chieti Speloclub, discovered the Lakes Gallery, surpassing the siphon until then inviolate.