Cascate delle Marmore
The Marmore Falls, described by Lord Byron as “horribly beautiful” and favored by Federico Fellini as the setting for many scenes in his films, is linked to a love story. According to legend, the Black nymph fell in love with the shepherd Velino, and the goddess Juno would have punished her profane love for her by bringing her to the top of Mount Carrier and transforming her into a river: the Nera, in fact. Velino would have thrown himself off the cliff of the Marmore to be reunited with his beloved, giving rise to today’s waterfall, a symbol of eternal love.
The spring/summer season is, without a doubt, the greatest time to explore a naturalistic location. If you, like us, are sensitive to heat and crowds, late spring, from May to early June, is the greatest time to visit. You walk a lot at the Marmore, and you go uphill and downhill. Above all, because you will get wet a lot in the Marmore (if you want to perform certain courses), it is best to visit on a hot and bright day, such as a typical spring bright day.
The most beautiful locations, in our view, are also the ones where you get soaked the most, therefore carry a nice kway and a nice backpack cover in your bag. Another thing to consider is bringing a packed lunch if you have the opportunity. There are several picnic places around the falls, so if you want to save money, it’s advisable to bring your own food rather than relying on the bars. Visiting the Marmore waterfall necessitates walking over ecological routes that, though mostly flat, are nonetheless uphill and downhill and require excellent tennis or hiking shoes to avoid slipping and falling, especially in damp areas.
Because the water from the waterfall is used to power a hydroelectric plant, the spectacular flow is only visible at certain times. As a result, you should schedule your visit in advance to avoid missing the enticing show. In July, on Saturdays and Sundays, the water is open from 10 to 13, from 15 to 19, and from 21 to 22. In August you can admire the flow from 10 to 13 and from 15 to 22.
The full ordinary ticket is 10 €. Children from 5 to 10 years pay a reduced ticket of € 7. The rate for over 70s is € 8.
Our recommendation is to start at the top, you can watch the waterfall open from the Specola Pio VI viewpoint, which offers a spectacular view of the entire valley and a unique opportunity to see how the waterfall comes to life and take truly exceptional photos!
The Lovers’ Balcony
You can reach the “Lovers’ Balcony” after a 20-minute walk along with path number 1 if you want to take a loving selfie in front of the waterfall’s first jump. It’s a small terrace at the end of a tunnel carved into the rock from which you can reach out and touch the Velino’s water. But don’t forget a raincoat or a cape – which you can buy at the ticket offices – to protect you from the puffs of the water.
This small tower, located at the top of the waterfall’s upper viewpoint, is the best place to observe the Marmore’s rainbow, a phenomenon visible only under certain atmospheric conditions linked to the presence of water vapor. A sight described as one of the world’s wonders by travelers on the Grand Tour.
If you don’t want to stop admiring the water’s beauty and want to explore the vast hiking area surrounding the waterfall, the Natural Park offers six trails of varying length and difficulty. Number 4 is the only one that gives you a full view of all three jumps, while number 6 is only for experienced hikers.
Children will enjoy observing forest animals and being engulfed by water droplets that tickle their faces, especially on itineraries 2 and 3.
From naturalistic walks with expert botanical guides to visits – with a speleological guide – to the spectacular caves carved out by the water over millennia, the guided excursions are numerous and suitable almost always. The “fantasy walk” in the company of the entertainers, along paths 2 and 3, in the footsteps of the Gnefro, the legendary elf who lives in the caves beneath the waterfall, will be impossible for children to resist. On Valentine’s Day, couples will be guided through the area’s most romantic spots.
The Cascata delle Marmore is an ideal location for rafting, a thrilling rapids descent in a rubber dinghy. The bravest can also try their hand at the hydrospeed, a small floating plastic “bob” that can be used to float safely between the rapids.