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), it is the tallest man-made waterfall in the world. Located in the Umbria region, it is 1.5 hr drive from Rome. Its source is 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 from the city of Rieti, in 271 BC a Roman consul ordered the construction of a canal designed to divert the stagnant waters into a natural cliff at Marmore. From there, the water fell into the Nera river below. Due to a lack of maintenance in the canal, the wetland reappeared. In 1422, Pope Gregory XII ordered the construction of a new canal to restore the original flow, 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 in full flow.
Complete your day trip:
The area surrounding the falls, Valnerina, is perfect for hiking, canyoning and rafting in the wild nature. Teens love these activities, which also provide you with a different viewpoint of the Italian landscape. During summer months, it is a relief to escape the heat of the Eternal City!
The little town of Labro is a typical medieval village, all made in stone and boasting a great panoramic position over the valley of Rieti. It is built around the castle of the Nobili Vitelleschi family, sometimes opened to the public, and it offers the chance of a pleasant break, maybe for lunch.
The Sabine area, surrounding the city of Rieti, is rich in natural treasures: Turano and Salto lakes, regional reserves and the Lucretili mountains. On a clear day, you can spot these mountains from Rome panoramic terraces.
This area is famous for its Franciscan sanctuaries, such as Greccio where St. Francis created the first “live Nativity” in 1223. Also, it features the convent of Fonte Colombo where he wrote the rule of his religious order.