MyBestTimeHiking is a portal that describes adventures in our marvelous Dolomites or in general in the splendid Italian mountains. In this article I want to share a somewhat particular excursion, with a less mountainous imprint but which deserves to be cataloged among my adventures to give you readers a pearl of our beautiful country: the Marmore Falls!
We are in the heart of Italy, in Umbria, and more precisely in the municipality of Terni at the entrance to the Collestatte Piano village. Together with Giorgia we are about to visit the river park of the Nera River to discover the highest waterfall in Europe, and among the highest in the world, with controlled flow!
As soon as you see the sign indicating Collestatte Piano, shortly after on the right there is the paid parking for the Marmore Falls. Here you can pay by taximeter or with the convenient EasyPark App. At the end of the parking lot there is also the ticket office, but we advise you to buy the tickets independently from the portal dedicated to the waterfall which I report below in the "Information" section.
Parked the car. You follow a pedestrian path that allows you to get to the main entrance. Having verified the tickets we are inside the park and we are already beginning to see the waterfall with a decidedly reduced flow: it is little more than a trickle! In fact, it must be taken into consideration that the waterfall is not always at maximum flow rate and the flow is adjusted daily. The times in which, in May 2023, the water is released are:
WEEKDAYS: from 11.00 to 13.00 and from 15.00 to 17.00
SATURDAY: from 10.00 to 13.00 and from 15.00 to 18.00
SUNDAY: from 10.00 to 18.00
In any case, I advise you to check the portal dedicated to the waterfall for any changes to the timetable or for more information in order to avoid unpleasant surprises and not enjoy the show that the waterfall offers!
We are in fact in the Lower Belvedere, more precisely in Piazzale Byron where, near the bar, you can find the indications of the paths to take in order to see the waterfall from the best points of view and fully experience the park. We follow the paths that are proposed to us in order and we start from PATH 1 called "The ancient passage". We pass the iron bridge, where today we find a real film set of the film "Non ho l'età" with Gigliola Cinquetti and Valeria Fabrizi waiting for us! Here is the Piazzale della Ninfa with a splendid glimpse of a small lake where the splendid water lilies stand out. We proceed towards Piazzale Velino from which, keeping to the right, the real path begins and the row of 600 steps with a difference in height of 150 meters.
The track has obviously been refurbished recently, the path is wide with a gentle slope supported by steps that are not quite so comfortable for progression. On the side of the track we notice the old path, now abandoned, which in some points entered rocky crevices that are no longer accessible. We are in the middle of the woods, on this route you cannot see the waterfall at all along the way. About halfway through, you notice a track that enters a tunnel and then flows into the Innamorati terrace. To reach it you need to buy an extra ticket. Within 20 minutes we reach the top of the route and we are in fact in the Upper Belvedere. Here we await the opening of the water flow anticipated by a couple of deafening sirens.
Cascata delle Marmore
Terni, Umbria, Italy
The view from this point is splendid, the waterfall arises from here, immediately making its biggest leap of the total 165 meters in altitude downwards. We are in the presence of a truly impressive waterfall, the roar grows minute by minute until it reaches its maximum expression, when the water together with the wind form a whirlwind of refreshing droplets that cheer up this very hot day at the end of April. The view is spectacular on the waterfall but above all on the window we have on the Umbrian hills and valleys below.
After the usual photos, we retrace our steps and reach Piazzale Velino again. From here we proceed towards PATH 2 called "The ring of the nymph". It is the path that comes closest to the waterfalls. It really gets wet here! Fortunately, the day is perfect for a refreshment and allows for quick drying without the need for a k-way. We enter in front of the branch of the waterfall at the height of the second jump. Wooden and stone ladders allow you to first reach a panoramic terrace where you are literally submerged by a continuous spray of vaporized water. Descending and moving in the direction of Piazzale Byron, there are panoramic windows on the waterfall and its flow which re-enters the park in a slightly less incisive and turbulent way.
Thus we rejoin, after 10 minutes of walking, at Piazzale della Ninfa. From here we choose the trail of PATH 3 called "The meeting of the waters". It is the quietest and most relaxing track in the park. We enter the thick vegetation observing the last impetuous leap of the waterfall which returns to calm as it settles down on the bed of the Nera river. Between inlets and still cheerful bends of the river, we discover plants and trees, with exhaustive explanations on special plaques, during the 10-minute journey.
So we return to Piazzale Byron, but we still don't rest on our laurels because we want to follow the path that will allow us to better observe the waterfall in its entirety! We then temporarily leave the park, cross the provincial road 209, and head towards Belvedere Pennarossa. Here a new checkpoint allows us to access the area with the same ticket. Thus we begin the PATH 4 called "Path Pennarossa - The Majesty". There are another 100 meters in altitude with two terraces, a lower one, reachable in less than 20 minutes, and an upper one with an addition of another 10 minutes. In both terraces the view is as expected: majestic! Here you have the best panorama of the whole day. The Marmore waterfall at its maximum power and scope is in front of us in its entirety! There are no words to best describe the beauty and I hope that the attached video can at least help you to enjoy this wonder!
We go down towards the Lower Belvedere and leave via di Pennarossa. Meanwhile the waterfall is losing strength and falling asleep again before it opens again. We return to Piazzale Byron for a quick lunch and then to the parking lot.
In one morning, in complete tranquillity, it is possible to walk the first 4 paths of the park, enjoying the view of the Marmore Falls from all the best angles! To date, the price of the full ticket is €12, but the thrill of experiencing this adventure in the heart of the waterfall is worth every penny. I hope I have done something pleasant in giving you this report a little out of the ordinary MyBestTimeHiking schemes. See you next adventure!
Tourist - Itinerary on narrow streets, mule tracks or wide paths. The routes are generally not long, do not present any orientation problems and do not require specific training if not the typical one of the walk.