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I was born in Lecco on 28th June 1964.

My life as a scuba diver began when I was 14 years old. After about 5 months of swimming pool training, I passed my first level course of recreational scuba diving issued by ANIS and PADI. I remember that I bought my diving equipment piece by piece, starting with a second-hand single lined wetsuit which, with the various attached patches, accompanied me on all my dives for the first 6 years. I did most of these dives in Como lake, in all seasons, often reaching the diving sites on my moped. I left home with the gear bag between my legs and a single 18lt cylinder on my back! At 19 I succeeded in taking the frogman course in ComSubIn  entered the ComSubIn (the Italian’s Navy combat frogman force)and took the frogman course and, at 21, I begin to attend the Lecco Caving Group. I never imagined that after such a short period of time I would have progressively abandon open water diving in favour of cave diving.

Everything began in 1986 with a chance encounter with two Swiss cave divers. One of them, because of the unforseen impossibility of reaching a sump in a cave located in the area of Varese, asked the local cavers if they knew of a suitable alternative in any of the caves in the surrounding areas. So they contacted Paolo Cesana, our caving group’s chairman, who suggested a location in the Lecco area and offered him our help. Very shortly after, we met  the Swiss Patrick Deriaz at the Fiumelatte cave site where we helped him to carry the necessary equipment for the dive. I was shocked when Patrick, ready to dive with two little 4lt cylinders, said that we would see each other again after about 4 or 5 hours. I, with my little experience, considered this cave dive to be like any other normal dive, but now I realized that the possibility of finding dry spaces to explore beyond the sump gave the dive different and intriguing prospects.

Since the sump had a vertical development, Patrick came back to the surface a short while after, saying that, since he was only a novice, he preferred not to go to a depth beyond -20m. So he proposed returning there with a friend of his, who had more experience of deep dives. In fact, the following week, Patrick arrived at Fiumelatte site with Jean Jacques Bolanz. For the records, Jean Jacques went down to a depth of -60m and then stopped in front of a fault that effectively ended his progress.

These two characteristic people shared my passion for diving but used a completely different mental approach. For example the dive was carried out solo and the equipment was fully adapted to suit that kind of dive which required solving problems connected with that environment. This approach gave me the motivating force to increase and broaden my knowledge. Our paths joined: at first I tried to learn as much as I could following Jean Jacques step by step, then I started to explore various sources and sumps, first the easier ones, and then gradually increasing their level of difficulty.

This passion allowed me to travel a lot around Europe in search of new cave sites to explore. This not only gave me the opportunity to broaden and deepen my knowledge in this fascinating activity of cave diving, but also helped me to come into close contact with the inhabitants of the places I visited, and in so doing, share my life with people who were different from me in customs and culture. These contacts enriched my human and cultural perspectives, expanding my horizons.



Underwater Speleology (the term derives from the Greek words “spelaion”= cave and “logos” = discourse) is the scientific study of caves which are partially or fully filled with water. The activity of exploring flooded caves is also named underwater speleology but it is more commonly known as cave diving, which is the union between two particular and complex activities: caving and diving.

The combination of the two elements, earth (the caves) and water (which floods the caves), not only amplifies the problems of understanding and  safely dealing with them, but also involves a  range of fields of knowledge closely connected with such environments. In fact, my explorations go beyond the purely sporting aspect. They also want to provide a bringing in of data to a lot of scientific studies such as the geology, hydrology, biology, palaeontology, archaeology, etc. and in particular to the studies about the environment I am very interested in: the Karst caves.

Cave diving is an activity much more closely connected to the scientific world than just to an exquisite sporting one, because without placing scientific support before and after the explorations, it would be limited to itself and little different from many other sporting activities. It is known that, only a few cavers and even fewer cave divers are from the academic field, but it is also true that their work directly on the sites and their constant contact with professors, university researchers, etc.. have helped to resolve some uncertainties and to make important discoveries. Currently, the cave and flooded cave explorations have reached such a level of specialisation that to arrive at the most distant and at times deepest points requires very experienced people.

The sporting aspects of cave diving is also very important because it allows you to get the general understanding of the cave morphology; topography gives us a clear idea about the direction and tilt of the cavities; the reports documented with photos and films show us particular places. However, to complete the knowledge of a Karst system we need a scientific study that comes from developing this data and this in turn will enable us to realise the different variations of the system itself in depth.



Cave diving includes different types of explorations: the most evident, for those who are not in this field, is the exploration of sources; more discreet and more connected to the speleological world is the exploration of sumps inside the caves; while the exploration of sea caves is more linked to the scuba diving world. Beyond these, there are the rarer dives in lava tubes, and those in the so called “moulins” that are channels of water which plunge down holes or tubes deep into the bowels of the glacier.



The driving force, at least for myself, is the curiosity to see places that no one has ever seen before, the desire to be the first to penetrate, with all due respect, in perfectly unknown environments, the searching for my personal psychological limits and resistance to fatigue, cold, etc…

Cave diving has allowed me to experience deep and indescribable emotions, to see galleries with bizarre and unimaginable forms of erosion, to dive huge and completely flooded voids, to enchant myself at the sight of underwater concretions (stalactites, stalagmites, columns, crystals, etc.) which illuminated by the lights, create very suggestive patterns of light and shadows, to learn about small animals who live in this peaceful world, to find archaeological remains such as those from the period of the Maya in Mexico Cenotes, or, in Greece, to see, in an underwater subterranean lake, Neolithic artefacts, and to discover bones of animals which existed 35,000 years ago.



I organize Course PSS (Nitrox, Trimix and Cave) and Rebreather; I'm the Author of the book "Manuale di Speleologia Subacquea" Ed.Olimpia

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