The Valnerina and Marmore Falls

The green heart of Italy beats even stronger in the Valnerina, where nature still today manages to express itself in all its magnificent beauty. Nature trails are intertwined with cultural, gastronomic and hiking routes, up to the most spiritual cities such as, for example, Cascia.

Certainly one of the places to visit in the Valnerina area is the Marmore Falls, one of the highest in Europe, 165 m, divided into three different jumps. The waterfall exists thanks to the Velino river that flows from the Piediluco Lake in the Marmore area and then plunges majestically into the Nera, the river that reaches Terni.

However the waterfall was perfected in the Roman period by Manio Curio Dentato who ordered the construction of the Cavo Curiano in order to make the stagnant waters flow in the direction of Marmore making it perform, therefore, a natural leap that would have flowed directly into the Nera. This solution, however, generated other problems related to the large amount of water carried by the Nera that threatened the town of Terni creating a controversy that went on for centuries and that found a solution only in 1422 when, thanks to the intervention of Gregory XII, work was carried out on the canal, reducing the flow of water.

A century later, Pope Paul III commissioned Antonio da Sangallo the Younger to open the Cava Paolina, a new channel that, however, worked for only fifty years.

At the end of the century it was then concluded that the Cava Curiana was enlarged by building a sort of valve with the task of regulating the flow of water, but even this intervention caused problems for the plain below.
In 1787, Pope Pius VI ordered the architect Andrea Vici to work directly on the jumps, giving the waterfall its present appearance and solving a good part of the problems.

The strength of the water was used at the end of the nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century as an energy resource, fueling the mechanisms of Terni’s new Acciaieria and for the production of hydroelectric energy.

Today, it remains undoubtedly the main attractor not only of the province of Terni, but of all of Umbria, significantly increasing the tourist flow of the region.