• 21 January 2019

Road Trip Day 3 – Marmore Waterfalls

Road Trip Day 3 – Marmore Waterfalls

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After having visited the cities of San Marino and Urbino, and after having walked along the Furlo Gorge on the ancient consular road traced by the romans, we left the morning of July 31 from our camping, ready to reach our next destination: the Marmore Falls.

Marmore Waterfalls

The Marmore Waterfalls were created by romans around the 271 BC, when the Roman Consul Manio Curio Dentato ordered the creation of a canal (the Curiato Cable) able to drain the stagnant water coming from the Velino river to the nearby Nera river. The Velino river was naturally blocked by the presence of limestone, this led over the centuries to the creation of a swampy and unhealthy area for the whole surrounding environment (the Lacus Velinus).

The solution adopted by the romans solved the problem of the marshy area, however it created several problems to the area in front of the waterfall, the city of Terni was, for example, repeatedly threatened by the Velino and the Nera. People of Terni tried several times to put the matter to the attention of the Roman Senate, but without result. In the year 1545, Pope Paul III gave the mandate to build a new canal, the Cava Paolina, replacing the previous one whose maintenance had gradually decreased over the years. In 1598 Pope Clement VIII inaugurated an extension of the canal, the Cava Clementina, enriched by a bridge able to manage the flow of water entering the waterfall.

Also in this case, the realization of the work ended up to cause various damages to the surrounding area, for this reason in 1787 Pope Pius VI gave a mandate to regulate the leaps of the waterfall, which finally took on today’s appearance, in order to definitively solve the problem .
Only since the 19th century the waters of the waterfalls began to be exploited for their driving force for the production of hydroelectric energy, first from the Terni steelwork mill and subsequently from Enel.

The Marmore Waterfalls have now become an important tourist attraction, around them has been created a park with two lookpoint (called respectively “Lower” and “Upper”) and several intermediate observation points. These observation points are connected to each other by a network of paths that allow to move and discover the waterfall from different perspectives.

The Marmore Waterfalls park is now open to the public in different periods throughout the year, moreover, the waterfalls are not always active at their maximum power, they are “turn on” for a few hours a day in order to produce electricity. However, during the summer and during some festivals they are also “turn on” for tourism purposes. For these reasons remember to check the opening hours of the park on the dedicated website: https://www.marmorefalls.it. The ticket to access the park has a cost of 10.00 euros with some reductions (more informationLower Ticket Office).

Our visit

After covering the long distance that separated us from Terni, we arrive at the Marmore Falls around lunchtime, just 45 minutes before the closure of the main water flow that feeds the waterfall. For this reason, after buying a ticket (at the slowest ticket office in history) we start our race towards the Lower viewpoint from which we feel the power and power of the falling water from one of the highest and most incredible waterfalls in Europe.

After taking some photos we followed the paths that border the waterfall until we reached the viewpoints B and C (Map) from which we could really appreciate the power and the roar of the waterfalls. Here we awaited the stop of the water flow. Then, waiting the reopening of the waterfall (scheduled around 3.00· PM), we moved inside the picnic area made available by the park.

After lunch we were looking for the path number 1 (which connects the Lower viewpoint to the Upper viewpoint) but as we were not being able to find it (the access point was covered by a building site) we decided to reach our destination by car (Google Maps). Here’s a little advice: this trick allowed us to reach, quickly and comfortably, the Upper viewpoint, however this forced us to go back to the parking and to drive across the narrow road that separates the two observation points. I advise you to not follow our steps and proceed to the Upper viewpoint using the path number 1 (if you can find it). However, if you decide to use your car it’s important that you know that the ticket bought downstream can also be used upstream, and vice versa.

Once we arrived at our destination, after about 15 minutes, we reached the observation point at the top of the waterfall, from which we could see the water make the highest of its three jumps: 83 meters in free fall. Finally, we walked on the path number 1 until we reached the Lower viewpoint, during the walk we stopped at the Balcony of the Lovers, located about halfway between the two access gates.

The Balcony of the Lovers is at the end of a long tunnel inside the mountain, this tunnel leads directly into the first jump of the waterfall, a privileged and incredible vantage point. To reach the Lovers’ Balcony you will surely need a raincoat! You can find more information on the official website of the Marmore Falls.

Camping Zeus

After visited the Marmore Falls we left again towards the Campus Zeus, near Pompeii. Zeus camping is located a few meters away walk from the archaeological excavations of Pompeii (Google Maps), for this reason I recommend it to anyone who wishes to visit the area, however it is a bit less convenient if, like us, you use it as start point to visit the Royal Palace of Caserta, the fourth stage of our road trip.

Despite this small inconvenience our stay in Naples was comfortable exactly as it had been in the Furlo Gorge


After spending half a day inside the park of Marmore Waterfalls I can’t recommend this incredible italian natural attraction. However, the price of the ticket, which is about 10.00 euros (less than some reduction), is, in my opinion, too expensive, especially considering that the waterfall is used to produce energy and that the park doesn’t offer particular services.

In a week I will publish the fourth article about this incredible road trip. In the meantime enjoy the photos!