In Umbria, the most wooded region in Italy, there is a natural wonder you definitely should visit: it’s Cascata delle Marmore, or Marmore Falls.
Marmore Falls has a long and fascinating history.
Legend has it that the waterfalls were created by a Roman god to help drain off the lake of Velino while constructing an aqueduct. In any case, they were known to be built by 272 BC as part of the Aqua Anio Vetus, an aqueduct that is still in operation today. At that time, the Romans needed to control the flow of the river, so they decided to divert its course away from nearby villages. But it was the Renaissance man and engineer, Giacomo Della Porta, who, in 1580, truly transformed the area. To control the flow of water from Lake Velino, he built a three-stage staircase that led to the creation of Marmore Falls as it is today. The Falls remained largely unchanged until 1789 when it was redesigned to increase its power and aesthetics. The redesign enabled it to become an even more spectacular sight, with a higher cascade of water falling over the top tier.
Marmore Falls has been an attraction for centuries thanks to the spectacular three-tiered waterfall with a total drop of 165 meters (541 feet). These numbers make it one of the most impressive waterfalls in Europe, and the second highest one in Europe after Rhine Falls. This gorgeous place is often used as a backdrop for films and television commercials.
The area surrounding the waterfall is also worth exploring. Indeed, the Falls is part of Parco Fluviale del Nera National Park. Here, you can enjoy spectacular views of Monte Terminillo and the Apennine Mountains, or you can follow the River Velino, known for its white water rapids and surrounding areas of lush vegetation, making the Park a perfect destination for nature lovers.
The Falls is a sight to behold. The area around the falls has been carefully landscaped, with paths and staircases set up for visitors to enjoy the beauty of the falls. There is a spectacular view from the top of the falls, as well as from various platforms situated at different levels along the staircase. In particular, you should climb the stairs up to Ponte di Marmore, an observation deck that offers breathtaking views of the falls and the valley below. Or you can take a boat ride up the river to the base of the falls, where you can experience its power and beauty up close.
From the panoramic views to the boat rides, the Falls provide an unforgettable experience that will remain with you for years to come. Not for nothing, the combination of history, beauty, and nature makes it one of the region’s most popular tourist attractions, along with towns like Perugia, Orvieto or Assisi.
Marmore Falls is situated in Umbria, Italy and is easily accessible by car or by public transport:
Once at the falls, you have the choice of taking one of the several walking trails or cable cars up to different viewing platforms.
The best time to visit Marmore Falls is during spring and autumn, when there is more water flowing over them. During summer, the flow of water is decreased due to irrigation needs in the area. However, this also makes it a great time to admire the surrounding landscape as well as take photos from different angles without too many people in the background.
Marmore Falls is open year-round and offers a variety of activities for visitors, such as boat rides, walks along nature trails, and visits to local attractions. There are also several restaurants and bars in the area for refreshments and snacks.
Check out the official site of Cascata delle Marmore for more info.