The entry pavilion was entirely rebuilt in the 2000s and incorporates the lower stop of the funicular railway that takes you into the heart of the hill. The funicular was installed as soon as the cave was open to the public in 1931 and was the first of its kind built in Europe; it has been modernised several times since, of course, but the initial choices have always been respected.
The first surprise is that you ascend by about 54 metres to reach the cave itself. The tunnel is 160 metres long and has a 36% gradient, avoiding the need to climb 300 steps! If you wish (and this is optional of course) you can come down the steps when your return from the visit. The guide will certainly mention this.
A board at the upper station shows description of the features of this historic funicular, and you can even see how it works from the glassed-over cabin.
On your left in the middle of the tunnel a full-size model of Ursus spelaeus (the cave bear) discovered in the upper network of the cave in 1929.
You arrive at the upper station of the funicular and as Jules Verne wrote, your 'journey to the centre of the earth' is about to begin.