Title: The Marmore Water Falls
Category: Destinations We Visit on Our Norcia Vacations
Author: Daniele Pintaudi Updated: Jan 30, 2019 Views: 7,384
Tags: water falls umbria marmore water falls umbria water falls

The Marmore Water Falls

The tallest and oldest man made waterfalls in the world... made by the Ancient Romans

The city of Terni, a provincial capital, has a few claims to fame. For one, it is the steel capital of Italy. Yes, as with most steel towns, it is a pretty ugly city in general. However, it is also the birthplace of St. Valentine, and the gateway to Umbria. As you get just outside of the city limits, you see lots of old abandoned steel mills - Look closely, as one of them was used as the concentation camp in the oscar winning movie "Life is Beautiful". Get past those mills, and suddenly you find yourself in lush green mountains. You are in "The Green Heart of Italy" - UMBRIA. Suddenly you see a fine mist rising above the trees, take one more corner and a huge waterfall reveals itself: Cascate delle Marmore.

What you have just stumbled upon appears to be one of nature's miracles, but in truth it is man made. But before you let that turn you off, consider that it was man made by the ancient Romans in 271 BC!

At 541 feet tall, it is the tallest waterfall in Europe, and the tallest man-made waterfall in the world!

In ancient times, the Velino River created wetlands that the ancient Romans believed was creating a disease problem in the nearby city of Rieti. To solve the problem, the Roman consul at the time ordered the construction of a canal that created this waterfall.

In the early 19th century, steel mills were built below the falls for power, and finally the falls were used for local electricity when a hydroelectric power plant was built.

Getting There

If you plan on visiting on your own, you will need a car. Get to the city of Terni (about an hour north of Rome), and follow the signs to "Cascate delle Marmore". As you get close, there will be two places to start: "Superiore", the top of the falls, and "Inferiore", the bottom of the falls.

The best view is at the bottom, but the trail leading from top to bottom has many side trails, and is extremely beautiful.

On weekends there is a bus service that will take you between the top and bottom, so you can park in one area, then get a ride back after walking the trails.

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