Marmore Falls

There are millions of natural beauties in Italy,the complex of the Marmore Falls is certainly one of them; imposing and majestic, with its 165 meters of height this complex system of waterfalls is divided into three main jumps, with heights respectively of about 83 meters for the first jump, 24 meters for the second, and 48 meters for the third. The width can vary depending on water flow and weather conditions, but it is generally around 8-10 meters.

The Marmore waterfall as a whole is the largest in Europe and is undoubtedly also the most famous and touristic; it is located in Marmore (east of Terni) in the Umbria region and its water jumps seemed to have acquired a certain notoriety even internationally.

The Marmore Falls is an impressive man-made work and was built by the ancient Romans in 271 BC. The origin of the waterfall is linked to the hydraulic engineering work known as “Velino Waterfall”,a canal built to divert the waters of the Velino river in order to prevent flooding in the plain below and ensure adequate drainage of agricultural land.

The project was commissioned by the Roman consul Manio Curio Dentato to solve the problems of flooding in the Rieti plain, caused by the frequent flooding of the Velino river. To solve this situation, the Romans decided to divert part of the water flow of the Velino River to a series of man-made canals and waterfalls, including the Marmore Falls, in order to create an efficient drainage system. To build the waterfall, the Romans built an artificial canal about 3 kilometers long, known as the “Conductor of Montoro”, which diverted the waters of the Velino river towards the eastern slope of Monte Pennino. Here, the flow of water cascaded down a natural drop of limestone rock, forming the spectacular waterfall.

The Marmore Falls, as we see it today, is the result of centuries of human intervention to regulate its water flow and maintain its natural beauty. Over time, the waterfall has been used for different purposes, including watermills and hydroelectric power plants.

Today it is a great Italian natural heritage where the flow of water is monitored and regulated to ensure the safety and preservation of the surrounding environment. Every day, the falls are opened and closed to allow the swirling flow of water for electricity production. This makes the falls one of the few waterfalls in the world that can be “turned on” and “off” as needed.

The Velino River cascades down in stages. At several points, small streams are created with small rapids, creating a breathtaking spectacle.

The waters of the Marmore Falls plunge into a landscape of lush forests in a area of outstanding natural beauty located in the region of Umbria, in the heart of Italy: the Valnerina. The Valnerina is an enchanting destination that offers a unique mix of natural beauty, history, and culture, making it a perfect place for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the beauty and authenticity of central Italy. Its name comes from the Nera River, which flows through the valley, and “nerina,” a term meaning “black,” in reference to the dark color of its waters. Characterized by a mountainous topography, the Valnerina is surrounded by majestic mountains covered with dense vegetation, deep canyons, crystal clear streams and small villages nestled among the hills.

This region is a paradise for nature lovers and offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, climbing, rafting, and fishing.

The medieval villages that dot the Valnerina are another fascinating feature of this region. Villages such as Scheggino, Arrone, Ferentillo and Montefranco are immersed in an atmosphere of ancient beauty, with narrow cobbled streets, stone houses and medieval towers rising above the roofs of the houses.

The Marmore Falls offer a variety of trails and hiking routes with plenty of vantage points that allow visitors to explore the natural beauty of the surroundings and spectacular views surrounded by lush vegetation, which attracts numerous visitors every year.

Here are some of the top hiking trails in the surrounding area:

Great Waterfall Trail: This is the most famous and popular trail that leads to the base of the Marmore Falls. Along the way, visitors can admire the waterfall from different perspectives and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views. The trail is relatively easy and suitable for people of all ages.

Lovers’ Trail: This trail follows the course of the Nera River and offers spectacular views of the waterfall and its surroundings. It is a romantic and evocative route, ideal for couples looking for tranquility and natural beauty.

Three Saints Trail: This trail takes visitors through chestnut forests and along the banks of the Nera River, providing a chance to explore the local flora and fauna. Along the way, there are also several viewpoints that offer panoramic views of the surrounding valley.

Piediluco Lake Trail: This path leads to the picturesque Piediluco Lake, located near the Marmore Falls. The route passes through oak forests and offers panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

Monte San Francesco Trail: This is a more challenging route that leads to the top of Monte San Francesco, from where you can enjoy spectacular views of the Nera River Valley and the surrounding mountains. The route is suitable for experienced hikers and offers a rewarding experience for those who are willing to put in a little extra effort.

The Marmore Falls are a popular destination for nature lovers, water sports enthusiasts, and anyone looking to enjoy a day immersed in the natural beauty of Umbria, the green heart of Italy.

The excursion includes:

  • Entrance ticket to the Marmore Falls;
  • Certified hiking guide reserved for our group;
  • Lunch in a local restaurant in Valnerina – drinks included;
  • Sorprendimi Umbria on-site assistance;

Not included:Transfers, tips, extras and anything not expressly indicated under “the excursion includes”.

What to bring? Sports clothing and comfortable walking shoes, hat, water bottle and Kway-type raincoat are required.

Additional services / activities: We can combine the excursion to the Marmore Falls with various guided tours and activities to complete your day and enrich your visit to the Valnerina, for example:

  • River rafting;
  • Kayaking on the river;
  • Mountain bike rides;
  • Guided tours of Spoleto and other villages such as: Arrone, Scheggino, Sant’Anatolia di Narco and Vallo di Nera;
  • Visits to the oil mill with tasting of extra virgin olive oil and other typical products;
  • Wine Tours with tasting;

Are you interested in this experience?

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