VISIT TOUR OF THE MARMORE WATERFALLS
Marmore Falls is a controlled flow waterfall,, among the highest in Europe, relying on a vertical drop of 165 m, divided into three jumps. It is located about 7.5 km away from Terni, in Umbria, near the end of Valnerina, the long valley carved by the river Nera. The name comes from the calcium salts present on the rocks that are similar to white marble. The water of Velino river contains a high concentration of calcium carbonate and after flowing through Piediluco lake near the community of Marmore (376 m. above sea level) it jumps into “Gola del Nera”.
In 271 BC, the Roman consul Manius Curius Dentatus ordered the construction of a canal (the Curiano Trench) to divert the stagnant waters of Velino River.
If on one hand the so-called “Curiano Channel” made life easy for the Sabina inhabitants, on the other hand it created many inconveniences to the lower Valnerina and for the Interamna Plain ( Terni ) inhabitants.
It was, during the overflowing periods of the two rivers that the territory underneath was often subjected to flooding. Always to confirm the risks of the flooding, the historian Caius Cornelius Tacitus refers of a great flooding of the Valnerina and of Interamna until Rome, (the Nera is one of the greatest attributes of the Tiber) which happened around the 15 b.Ch., under the Emperor Tiberius.
With the Fall of the Roman Empire, the barbaric invasion and the development of the feudal system the planed territories and the countryside were gradually abandoned. The lack of maintenance of the Curiano channel caused the raising of the base level and as a consequence the re-swamping of the Reatina Plain. We need to wait till beginning of the XV century to re-do a new land reclamation. in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries a famous architects of the time (Antonio da Sangallo e Giovanni Fontana) worked at Marmore’s falls.
The last adjustment which gave to the Falls the present day aspect was made by the architect Andrea Vinci in the late 1700s.