ince the early 17th century the "Cascata delle Marmore" Waterfalls captured the imagination of travelers, artists and poets, and in the 19th was a regular feature of the Grand Tour followed by noblemen and intellectuals through Europe to complete their education. The rainbow that so often appeared on the Falls was included among the Italian marvels, alongside with Pompei and the Vesuvius.
he Waterfalls are a consequence of the changes made by the human intervention on nature in the course of the centuries. The calcareous waters of the Velino river deposited debris that used to block the Nera river causing floods and turning the fertile plains around Rieti into unhealthy marshes. In 271 BC Roman consul Manlius Curius Dentatus ordered the digging
of a canal from the deppest point of the marsh up to the Marmore rock, creating in this way the waterfalls.
he canal allowed to reclaim the marshlands, but was not enough to prevent floods of the Velino river during high water. The people of Rieti wanted to make the canal wider, but the population of Terni refused, since they feared the floods would then hit their own territory, so the situation remained unchanged for many centuries.
inally in 1787 Architect Andrea Vici from Terni devised a solution: an oblique cut in the rock that
would deviate part of the falling waters, achieving a better flowing of the waters of the river Nera and giving to the waterfalls their present appearance.
hen in the 20th century the Marmore waterfall became the logo of the SocietÓ Terni, one of the main Italian hydroelectric companies. Nowadays the Marmore falls are not only a picturesque view or a source of energy, but also a sports center for kayak, rafting, hydro-speed and other water sports. From 1998 the Falls are also lit by night through a highly chromatic lighting system. The climate of the area is also especially mild in winter and hot in summer, and the valley below is rich in water and vegetation.