Waterfalls and Canyons in Umbria

Cool spots for hot summer days

The Altolina Gorge between Pale and Belfiore

The small river Menotre rises about 30 km east of Foligno at Monte Mareggia. At Pale, it falls 300 meters into the deep through the Altolina gorge, with several waterfalls. A well signposted trail leads through the gorge, but it is quite steep and requires some physical fitness.

If you want to have it the easy way, you can start at the top of the trail at the small village Pale, and just walk downhill. This requires however that a driver is waiting for you at the lower parking lot or who walks uphill to meet you. (Admittedly, we "lazy girls" have asked Wolfgang to do this for us several times ...).

There are several impressive waterfalls, which also show the formation of tufa (travertine): Huge tree trunks have fallen into the waterfalls where lime deposits, so that the organic material gradually turns into stone (picture on the left).

But the best is a small pond at the lower end of a water sluice, which contains wonderfully cold water. You can swim there even in summer. It is like an enchanted green oasis, always cool, with huge ivy-overgrown trees and ferns (picture on the right).

Maidenhair fern. Photo: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frauenhaarfarn
Maidenhair fern. Photo: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frauenhaarfarn

 

You can find rare species of fern such as the maidenhair fern (Adiantum capillus veneris) and hart's tongue fern (Phyllitis scolopendrium), but also widespread species such as the common polypody (Polypodium vulgare) and the spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes).

The Devil's Gorge of Borgo Sala

South of Tavernelle there is another fantastic bathing place. However it is hard to find since there is no official hiking trail. The advantage is that you will have the place completely to yourself, as it is hidden in a deep valley. The starting point is the hamlet of Vignaie, which can be reached by car from Tavernelle. From there it is a walk of about ½ hour through forests and meadows, until one descends to the ravine. If you are on holiday at La Rogaia, we will provide you with a detailed description how to get there.

Here you can find a rock pond filled with ice cold water in a canyon-like rock formation: the so-called "Devil's Nose". If you are bold you can even climb up the rocks and then dive into the water.

Borgo Sala
Borgo Sala

The Cascate di Marmore

Cascate di Marmore. Photo: www.marmorefalls.it
Cascate di Marmore. Photo: www.marmorefalls.it

 

The most famous waterfalls of Umbria are the Cascate di Marmore near Terni. However, these are artificial waterfalls, which are "switched on" at regular times in order to conduct water from a dam to the lower stage. This is a really impressive spectacle, but unfortunately you can not swim there.

The waterfalls are located in a park and you have to pay EUR 10 admission. And since it is one of the main tourist attractions of Umbria, you certainly will not be alone there ...

 

Would you like to experience Umbria's undiscovered wild nature?

We will be pleased to provide you with all important tips, not only about bathing places in the middle of hidden canyons, but also where there are free-flying herds of horses and donkeys, where you can find ancient Etruscan tombs hidden in the woods or where you can discover rare species of orchids ...

Book a holiday apartment in La Rogaia in July or August 2017:

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