They might not be the world’s highest and biggest but Italian waterfalls certainly pack a punch. Many of them are only accessible in summer, so, now is the right time to start planning your waterfall hikes and visits in Italy. Here are the top five falls that I love.
Cascate del Serio, Lombardy, is the tallest waterfall in Italy. It drops from the height of 315 meters in three sections. As it is connected to a local hydroelectric power plant, it is only open from June to October, once a month for 30 minutes. Here are the opening times for this year.
Cascata delle Marmore, Umbria, is 165 metres high which makes it Europe’s biggest man-made waterfall. Ancient Romans created it by diverting the Velino river from the marshlands near Rieti in an attempt to save the population from persistent malaria outbreaks. Being part of a hydroelectric power plant, the waterfall is turned on and off on a regular basis to keep the visitors pleased. Make sure you get there before the gate is open to see the magnificent spectacle when the water starts rushing down the cliff. You can find the schedule of falls opening times here.
Cascata del Toce, Piedmont, is certainly the most beautiful waterfall in the Italian Alps, with a jump of 143 metres. You can hike to a wooden viewing bridge from which you can lean over the rushing water. As the two previous falls, Cascata del Toce is open on certain days only. Check out the schedule before planning your visit.
Cascate Nardis, Trentino Alto Adige, rushes from the height of 130 starting from the spectacular Presanella glacier. Although, humans have not tamed it to produce electricity it can only be visited during summer months, as the paths are inaccessible during winter.
Cascate Di Riva, Trentino Alto Adige, is made up of three streams rushing down. The best time to visit the falls is in summer months when the melting the Vedrette di Ries glacier feeds it. To get to the waterfall you will have to hike for over an hour on a well-marked trail with a spectacular suspended bridge.
Photos via Flickr: Piero Annoni, Sergio Conti, Aldo Zanini, trinchetto.