23 April, 2019
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Henry James, visiting Umbria, wrote: «His first [visitor] care will be not to be in a hurry to walk everywhere very slowly and aimlessly preserving all that his eyes will encounter».

A handful of words that inspires this itinerary among the flavors and aromas of Valnerina, significative elements of an Umbrian identity, which wants to tell its story. Authentic tastes which come back to life thorough valleys and ancient towns where the laboriousness of man is kept.  Here it is possible to know the whises of the Umbrian people to reflect, at the table, the richeness of their land: this is the reason why  we decided to discover the flavors of Valnerina.

The trout of the Nera river

The Nera river is like a primitive flow, which for millennia has tormented the sleep of the ancient bridges and stone of Valnerina. It has shaped this superb landscape, combining its name with the territory and becoming an incomparable icon of Umbria. Valnerina is a place where biodiversity resists to the agri-food chains that aim to bury stories of the fishermen, worn by the Nera and its breeze. And it is precisely in this context that the river drags downstream the trout of the Valnerina, considered as a trophy by the fishermen coming from everywhere.

 

Honey

Honey

In Valnerina, the journey through the lands of taste can continue, crossing one of the many passes and borders and finding different souls and unexpected aromas. Visitng small companies that produce ancient flavors, such as honey, allows the visitor to meet people, faces and stories. Buying directly from the producers, at zero km, not only guarantees the quality, but also allows to follow an itinerary along the paths of an uncontaminated landscape. This part of Umbria has a strong voction for this noble nectar both precious and appreciated, which has flourished, with renewed and lively enthusiasm, derived from the source of an ancient tradition.

 

legumi tipici umbri

IGP lentils of Castelluccio

If there was a night of the gastronomy Oscars, on the red carpet of taste and tradition, the Umbrian excellences would win more than one award.  But if there is an award that certainly can not miss is that for the lentils of Castelluccio di Norcia: a product in which archaic tastes are exhibited, with an extraordinarily modern charm.
Castelluccio di Norcia, a poor land with healthy products, would be the closing title of this short film about the Umbria of genuineness. In the “tradition casting”, the main role belongs to the famous lentil, legume, that in the cold of the Apennine Mountains ‘ winter, manages to preserve an incomparable quality. A food proudly made in Valnerina that, in the shyness of an extraordinarily small seed, hides an infinitely large flavor.

 

Keep it going…

A route made of byroads, paths, riverbanks and perched villages. This is what the Greenway is about.

Marmore Waterfall

Marmore Waterfall

 

A pedestrian and cycle path has been created in the green heart of Valnerina, with the aim of letting people know and live these places which have been neglected far too long. It is a 180-kilometre ring dedicated to nature lovers. It is not too difficult nor too challenging and allows the wanderers to enjoy the landscape along the Nera River and its outfalls as well as the local cultural aspect, which can be appreciated while crossing the historical villages.

The Idea

The Greenway has been thought to promote Valnerina and the area belonging to the mountain community. However, there is more. It started, indeed, as a real environmental emergency, to preserve the landscape while exploiting its huge potential, but respecting its ecological balance at the same time. Thus, it has become a straightforward learning tool about nature and its articulate shapes, the place where a creative and engaging approach can be experimented to attract new forms of tourism and knowledge of the territory.

The routes

The first step to connect the visitor to the territory has been identifying and arranging an alternative route, which you can either walk or ride on a bike or a horse. The starting point is at Marmore Waterfall, which is also the arrival point. It is a ring completely immersed in greenery, which allows the tourist to enter an unchartered world made of green paths and enchanting villages. Thus, in a place beloved by Lord Byron and all the other travellers who revered the Grand Tour, you can set off on a long route partly formed by chartered paths: Benedectine trails, the Via Francigena, and the former Spoleto-Norcia railway.
From the Marmore Falls to the fork to Preci it is possible to walk along the Nera. The left bank of the river is entirely viable and is one of the most interesting dirt roads of central Italy. From there it is possible to take a mountain trail which has been connected and which crosses Preci, Norcia, Cascia, Monteleone di Spoleto, Salto del Cieco, Piediluco, Prati di Stroncone and then goes back to the Waterfall going though Campacci di Marmore (The upper Belvedere).

 

Marmore Waterfall

 

As a ring, the Greenway can be followed one way or the other. As to make it accessible to anybody, it has been divided into sixteen stretches, each of them a ring itself, so that it is easier for the travellers to go back to the starting point without having to follow the same route. Many of the stretches along the river, from the Falls to Preci, are mostly flat even though the mountainous ones on the way back to the Fall can present quite challenging climbs. Yet, these can be avoided by choosing the alternative paved and low-traffic routes. Each of these routes is five to twenty-two kilometres long. By joining several trails, you can plan a journey any length you like. Each route, clearly indicated by signposts, goes through residential areas where public services are provided. Moreover, along the route all the paths that take to the protected natural areas are clearly signalled.

A trip for everybody

 The Greenway is a route accessible to everybody. It is completely safe as it is dedicated to non-motorised users and it grants access to anyone thanks to the so-called “soft-traffic”, which allows the tourists to enjoy the area they are crossing slowly as to observe the surrounding landscape in all its aspects.

 

Nera River

Nera River

 


Sitografia: http://www.lagreenwaydelnera.it/it

Spring is coming: we can already feel in the air new smells and see the first flowers, everything comes back to life, emerging from hibernation. Including us, who have passed the winter moving from a house to another, to a pub, to a cinema: finally we’re going out. Why not to come and see an outdoor sight that starts again?
In the heart of Valnerina, Marmore Waterfalls are waiting for us.

Marmore Waterfalls | Pic by Giovanni Bicerna

An Ancient Engineering Project

Maybe not everyone knows that the Waterfall is an engineering project dated back to 290 b.C., when the roman Consul Manio Curio Dentato ordered to dig a channel to make Velino River flow in the valley of Rieti, directing it until the cliff of Marmore, where the waters thrown down and merged into Nera River, throughout a drop of 165 meters. This project was made to reclaim Velino River, which formed a brackish marsh so it was possibly dangerous for the people because of malaria.

The Waterfall Now

Today the Fall is used to generate electricity by the powerhouse of Galleto and that’s why the water’s release is controlled;in specific days and moments of the year we can admire it in all its beauty, in particular from March to October, including festivity days in the other months. It’s interesting to discover that the place hots one of Centers of Environmental Education, scattered from there to the valleys of Nera River and Piediluco, areas that fall into the European Ecologic Net Natura 2000 by Project Bioitaly, which is working to promote an eco-sustainable tourism, with the knowledge, the preservation and the promotion of the territory, supprting the development as better as they can.

Curiosity: the name Marmore comes from salts of calcium carbonate that settle on the rocks, making them look like marble crystals. What increases magic, besides the enchanting landscape, is the Fall’s pixie Gnefro, who tells the legend of Marmore to the children that will begin the Enchanted Walk with him.

Itineraries

But in the park, we can find footpaths that adults can do too: six routes, different for name, for environment and for difficulty.
The Ancient Passage links the two entries to the Fall, the Belvedere Inferiore with the Belvedere Superiore and it isn’t so simple to go along, but throughout this way you can go to the Lovers’ Terrace. So put on trekking shoes and let’s go!

 

Marmore Waterfall | Pic by Enrico Mezzasoma

 

The Ring of the Nimph is the easier one, it lets us approach to the Fall as possible as it can, because there are small stairs and small wood bridges, and then we can admire one the 300 natural caves scattered in the area.

The Meeting of Waters is a way that follows the canyons that Nera River hollowed in the rock until the confluence with Velino River and it is the way used to realize the Enchanted Walk. Furthermore, it’s the best place to see canoeing and rafting lovers who challenge the waters.

The Magnificence is the only route that lets us see the three drops that create the Fall, so this way is defined the touristic walk par excellence. There’s a complete vision of the show.

The Man and the Cliff is the longest route, which starts from Belvedere Superiore and develops along the edges of Marmore cliff, showing different views like the basin of Terni and the clefts of Ferentillo. With tour guides, we can visit some the most evoking natural caves.

Finally, the Wise Holm Oaks, only for experts because it goes from the bottom to the top and vice versa, throughout steeps and disconnected paths, and it’s the unique way that doesn’t allow us to see the Fall, but only the old power station pipes.

May I tell you when you should go to Marmore Waterfalls? In summer, in the hottest moments. You will be stunned by the microclimate made by the union of the dense nature and the water. Believe in magicalso in Gnefro!

 

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