D-40 (6 June—Wednesday) Arrone to Piediluco

Another great day, covering only 13 km (8 mi), but having to climb about 1000 ft—but what a reward after the climb. First, a bar/cafe had just opened for us (met my Australian hikers at the top), so it was a cappuccino and donut. THEN, we had also arrived at the entrance to Cascata delle Marmore (Marmore’s Falls) which is a man-made waterfall created by the ancient Romans. In fact, it’s the highest man-made waterfall in the world.

Here’s the story (Wikipedia). The Velino river flows through the highlands (we just climbed 1000 ft so we’re in the highlands) that surround the city of Rieti—I’ll be staying in Rieti in two nights. In ancient times, it fed a wetland in the Rieti Valley that was thought to bring illness (probably malaria). To remove that threat to the city of Rieti, in 271 BC, the Roman consul Manius Curius Dentatus ordered the construction of a canal (the Curiano Trench) to divert the stagnant waters into the natural cliff at Marmore. From there, the water fell into the Nera River. The waterfall’s total height is 165 m (541 feet), making it the tallest man-made waterfall in the world. Of its 3 sections, the top one is the tallest, at 83 m (272 feet). Since the waterfall is also part of a hydroelectric plant, they turn the falls off and on to balance tourist and power demands. Luckily, it was on when we were there!

After descending (without backpack) to a fantastic lookout point, and paying my respects to the waterfall, I hiked on another 6 km (4 mi) to Piediluco to my hotel (Hotel Maralago) situated right on the lake—I feel like a tourist!

For about a mile, the trail skirts Lake Piediluco, at times even giving you the flavor of wetlands right next to the path. There’s also one pic of the town of Piediluco itself.

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