Sunday found us with a free day. So when you have a free day in Italy, what you do is find a waterfall. In this case, Cascata delle Marmore was where we found ours. In a small town just southwest of Terni, is an area that has the tallest man-made waterfall in Europe with a total height of 541 feet. This cascata is unique; the Romans first used it about 3,000 years ago to channel water out of the lake to rid it of malaria mosquitos. Today it’s used for hydroelectric power. Twice each day, water is released from Lago di Piediluco, once at noon and again at 3:00. There are two locations to view the falls, one is high up where you can see the water go into a pool and then cascade down further. The second place is down below where the view is rather spectacular. We caught the 3 o’clock show.
|View of the upper falls before the gates are open|
We first went up to the higher viewing point about 2:15. An impressive view to be sure. Then we hustled down to the lower viewing site. At 2:50, a loud siren is blown indicating the floodgate has been opened. We arrived in time to hear the siren, but had to walk about 10 minutes to the viewing area. Not knowing what exactly to expect, we didn’t see any noticeable change in the falls. By 3:10, it was obvious an increase in water flow was taking place. By 3:30 it was massive.
|At 3:30 the falls are amazing.|
Further below, kayakers wait for the release and then race down the river, Nera. In addition, there are parks, walking trails and campsites. All in all, a fine Sunday spent checking out our Cascata delle Marmore.
Of course if you received new Barbie’s for Christmas, who needs a waterfall?