One of the tallest waterfalls in Europe (165 mt) in the luxuriant Valnerina, a valley in the Umbria region.
Marmore Falls is a man-made waterfall created by the ancient Romans. Its total height is 165 m (541 feet), making it the tallest man-made waterfall in the world. It is located in the Umbria region, 1,5 hr drive from Rome. Its source is a portion of the waters of the river Velino which flows through the highlands that surround the city of Rieti. In ancient times it fed a wetland that was thought to bring malaria. To remove that threat to the city of Rieti, in 271 BC a Roman consul ordered the construction of a canal to divert the stagnant waters into the natural cliff at Marmore. From there, the water fell into the Nera river below. Lack of maintenance in the canal resulted in a decrease in the flow, until eventually the wetland began to reappear. In 1422, Pope Gregory XII ordered the construction of a new canal to restore the original flow. Other popes were involved later to regulate the flow of water which became a resource at the end of XIX century to power the newly formed steel mills in Terni. In the following years, engineers began using the water flow to generate electricity. Nowadays, in order to control the operation of the power plant and to satisfy tourists, the falls are turned on according to a set schedule, achieving a spectacular effect at full flow.