Ispinigoli cave was opened to the public in 1974: it is a karstic chasm, which can be visited thanks to a guided tour of about forty minutes in its inside. It hides a 38-meters stalagmite column, which links the roof with the floor of the cave itself. Ispinigoli doesn't mean “spine in the throat” how wrongfully it is called in different occasions, but the word has its origins in the name of the adjacent area. The main room, with an 80-meters diameter, shows a basement full of rocks because of the crash, which gave birth to the cave.
The Virgins' abyss
An other fascinating peculiarity of the cave is the Virgins' abyss: it is a 60-meters deep sinkhole which connects the Ispinigoli cave to the cave of San Giovanni Su Anzu.
The big room belongs to the karstic system Ispinigoli - San Giovanni Su Anzu - sos Jocos.
They are three communicating caves, that reach their total length of 17 km; this karstic system is developed inside the mountain S'Ospile. It has got three entrances, which open in different altitudes.
This situation creates differences in pressure, which, consequently, generate a continuous air flow inside the cave, with a temperature of 16°-17°C in every season.
The huge tunnels of this karstic cave are characterised by remarkable clay deposits, enormous columns and white uncountable concretions
In the bottom of this complex small underground streams flow: they resurface in the near cave of San Giovanni Su Anzu. The system were explored since 1954 by the Group Caves of Nuoro, which located the connection between the two caves; so the researches continued for the following years thanks to sardinian professional speleologists: Padre Furreddu, Bruno Piredda and the Piemontese Eraldo Saracco, who died in 1965 falling down in the second well of the cave. The tablet in the entrance of the speleological branch is dedicated to him. In 1995, speleologists of Dorgali and Sassari found a connection between sos Jocos' cave and that one of San Giovanni Su Anzu; this way, they completed the survey of the whole complex; explorations are still going on.
The cave aroused a remarkable scientific interest because of fossil findings of an otter of the Ice Age, important archaeological finds of the Nuragic (XVII/VI sec. b.C.), Punic (VI-III b.C.) and Roman Age (III b.C.-VI a.C.), which witness a long utilisation of the karstic cave like a worship and burial place. Between the finds exposed in the Archaeological Museum of Dorgali, there are glass paste beads dating to Punic Age (VI-III sec b.C.) and to Roman and Late Roman Age (II sec. b.C.-VI sec. a.C.).
At the beginning, these findings fed the hypothesis of a place linked with human sacrifices in Nuragic and Punic era, but today it is considered groundless. Because of these hypotesis, the chasm was baptised the Virgins' abyss.In this cave it is forbidden to take pictures, film and touch the concretions!