Italy Waterfalls (Europe)
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Italy Waterfalls take a back seat to the rich history and culture that the country is most known for. After all, practically everyone's well aware of the history evident in famous cities like Rome, Florence, Siena, and the overall region of Tuscany. Then, there's the dream city of Venice where there's simply no other city in the world quite like it. On top of that, there's the cliff-hugging towns of the Amalfi Coast as well as the mountainous lakes of Lake Como, Lake Garda, and Lake Maggiore. Indeed, it's for this reason that we really had to work hard to find the country's most significant waterfalls. But that didn't mean the falls found here weren't worth the effort. In fact, it was quite the opposite!
For while we found ourselves frequently saturated with charming medieval towns, historical and gaudy cathedrals (duomi), grand and buzzing cobblestone piazzas (town squares or plazas), and narrow cobblestone walkways, the waterfalls provided the perfect contast to complement the known sights (and the accompanying crowds) with the tranquility of Nature. The end result was a far more well-rounded and fulfilling Italian experience than most typical tourist itineraries only focusing on the cliche sights.
However, to underscore the degree of effort involved in finding genuine Italian waterfalls, we found ourselves going through road trips requiring a minimum of two hours through winding mountain roads and countrysides in regions most people haven't heard of. Not only did we have to rely on knowing some of the language, but it also tested our trust in our pre-trip research. And this was just case for the waterfalls we managed to find in Peninsular Italy! As you can see from the map above, it turned out that we managed to see quite a few of them, and for the purposes of this website, we need to group them into subregions to make it a bit easier to organize all this waterfalling content.
So we came up with the following subregions - Central Italy
and Northern Italy
. If we're fortunate to return to the country, I'm sure we'd be visiting other parts of the country so we could introduce new subregions or re-think the current waterfall groupings.
The Central Italy subregion pretty much covered a very wide swath of the country essentially comprising the "shin" and "lower thigh" of the boot-shaped country. It pretty much encompassed the regions of Lazio, Abruzzo, Umbria, Marche, Tuscany, Ligura, and Emilia-Romagna. In this geographical subdivision, Julie and I had visited some well known cities and locales such as Rome, Florence, and the famous Toscana area. Of this subregion, when it came to waterfalls, they were pretty much within the Central and Northern Apennine Mountains, which ran along the length of most of this region. So we visited a waterfall as far south as the Cascate del Liri
in Lazio, as far east as the tall Cascata del Rio Verde
in Abruzzo, and as far north as the Cascate del Dardagna
Northern Italy encompassed the far north extreme of the country (the "upper thigh" if you will) covering the regions of Veneto, Trentino, Alto Adige / South Tyrol (or Sudtirol in German), Lombardy, Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta, and Fruili Venezia Giulia. Amongst the famous cities covered in this subregion include the incomparable Venice as well as fashionable Milan. There were also many mountains in the area mostly in the southern end of the Alps, and this included the Dolomites, which was in a region that really felt like we were in another country! Instead of red-roofed medieval-looking stone buildings so common further to the south, we saw wooden chalets perched atop mountains like in Switzerland or Austria. Instead of Italian being spoken, the primarily language was German! Even the signs were in both languages and the cuisine was a rather interesting mix of Viennese and Italian! In any case, most of the Italy Waterfalls we've encountered were here, and this included Cascata di Parcines (Wasserfall Partschinser)
, Cascate di Riva (Reinbachfälle)
, and the Cascate di Barbiano (Wasserfälle Barbianer)
Indeed, waterfalling in Italy was an adventure that yielded rewards going far deeper than the myriad of photos and memories we took home with us. Check out the waterfalls below to get a sense of a side of the country you might not even have been aware of!
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To get a glimpse of what each waterfall looks like, check out the table below. Click on the waterfalls to read more about them.
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