Ancient village hidden in Italian cave

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Ancient Village Hidden in Italian Cave

If you blink, you could miss it.

An ancient village in Sicily is nestled largely inside a cave -- in a natural opening between two rocky mountains. The piazza of the village of Grotto Mangiapane can be found at the opening of the cave, where geese are right at home in their coop.

The opening is about 260 feet high, and the village extends some 230 feet inside the cave. There's evidence the cave was first settled during the stone age more than 10,000 years ago.

Later, residents farmed in nearby fields and fished in the sea only hundreds of yards away.

Photos: The Mangiapane cave near Cornino in the Province of Trapani, Sicily

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Piazza of the village of Grotto Mangiapane
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Ancient village hidden in Italian cave
The Mangiapane cave near Cornino in the Province of Trapani, Sicily
Historic buildings at the Grotto Mangiapane, now a museum village, Custonaci, Provinz Trapani, Nordwest-Küste von Sizilien
The Mangiapane cave near Cornino in the Province of Trapani, Sicily
The Mangiapane cave near Cornino in the Province of Trapani, Sicily
The Mangiapane cave near Cornino in the Province of Trapani, Sicily
Donkeys at the Mangiapane cave near Cornino in the Province of Trapani, Sicily
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Today, the village is more of a museum where visitors can peer into bedrooms and workshops and even the tiny chapel. The hidden village, by the way, is named after the family who settled in the cave and lived there until the 1950s.

So the next time you're in Sicily, be sure to visit Grotto Mangiapane -- if you can find it!

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