Cascata delle Marmore
Cascata delle Marmore and Valnerina: Monastic sites and ancient hydrogeological reclamation works is part of the Tentative list of Italy in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
The Cascata delle Marmore at 165m high are the tallest man-made falls in the world: they were built in 271BC by the Roman Consul Curius Dentatus, who wished to put an end to the floods in the Sabine Valley. The falls are located in the Valnerina, a valley in southeastern Umbria. Due to the isolation and protection of the Alta Valnerina, the upper valley, it was favoured as the site of many hermitages. These grew into monastic organizations, who organised the development of farming in the valley, with many of their works still visible today.
Map of Cascata delle MarmoreLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
This proposal includes the impressive and picturesque Marmore waterfall and several monasteries. Another one of these Italian sites, where they try to include completely different sites into one WHS, just for the geographical vicinity (looking at you, Paestum).
Due to lack of time I was only able to visit the waterfall. I will return to the monasteries, if this ever gets inscribed. While I can’t say anything about the monasteries, at least the waterfall is remarkable, as they are man made by the Romans to divert the Velino river into the Nera river and dry the wetlands in the Rieti Valley (flooding Terni as a side effect).
The waterfall is located close to Terni, shortly off the route between Viterbo and Assisi that is spiked with WHS and TWHS along the way.
To my surprise, this site is very touristy. Your main target should be the lower viewpoint. Select “Parcheggio auto Cascate delle Marmore” on Google Maps and you are fine. There you can buy a ticket. The line was long, but I found an online purchase option to skip it. The ticketed area, located after a village of shops and restaurants, offers very nice views, two fast food options. There are “hiking” trails that bring you close to the waterfalls. Very close indeed as you will for sure get wet. There is also an upper view point on the other side of the valley.
Be aware: the water is nowadays mostly diverted through a hydro plant, leaving the waterfall with few water. The water is only fully flowing through the waterfall on specific times for touristic reasons. Check the official website for times. Weekends during the summer month are usually safe.
2007 Requested by State Party to not be examined
Withdrawn at request of Italy
2006 Added to Tentative List
The site has 7 locations
21 Community Members have visited.