io. Route. 95
highroad ascends gradually to the right in the direction of Le Mar-
more (p. 94). The former descends in windings past the village of
Papigno (p. 94), then (3/4 M.) crosses the Nera, and on the right bank,
near the Villa oraziani, reaches the lower road (electric tramway,
see p. 94), 1-174 M. from the falls.
The falls of the Velino (which here empties itself into the
Nera), called the *Cascate delle Marmore, are about 650 ft.
in height, and have few rivals in Europe. The rivulet is precipit-
ated from the height in three leaps of about 65, 330, and 195 ft.
respectively, the water failing perpendicularly at some places, and
at others dashing furiously over rocks. The spray of the falls is
seen from a considerable distance.
The Velino drains a valley running parallel to and between the
Umbrian and the Roman Apennines. Near Rieti it traverses an old
lacustrine basin, not yet completely dried up. The stream is so strongly
impregnated with lime that its deposit (travertine) continually raises its
bea ; and the plain of Rieti (1319 ft.) is therefore frequently exposed to
the danger of inundation. In ancient times (272 B. C.) Manius Curius
Dentatus helped to counteract the evil by the construction of a canal,
which, though altered, in stili in use. Two other canals were afterwards
excavated, the Cava Reatina or Gregoriana in 1422, and the Cava Paolina
in 1546 ; these, however, proving unserviceable, Clement Vili, re-opened
the originai 'emissarium' of Dentatus in 1598. But new works are stili
from time to time necessary.
The finest views of the falls are obtained from the lower road
and from the following points. Before reaching the falls, we may
ascend a rough path to the left, leading in ca. 12 min. to the finest
view of the upper and centrai falls. — We now return to the road,
retrace our steps (120 paces) to the cart-track on the left, and
cross the Nera by a naturai bridge, below which the water has
hollowed its own channel. Where the path divides we ascend
gradually to the left. The surrounding rocks (in which there is a
quarry) have been formed by the incrustations of the Velino. The
channel on the right (Cava Paolina) is full in winter only. A
steep ascent of 25 min. to the left, with a fine view of the fall, in
the spray of which beautiful rainbows are occasionally formed,
leads to a small pavilion of stone on a projecting rock, affording a
beautiful survey of the principal fall and the valley of the Nera.
We next ascend a flight of steps (4 min.), follow the path at the
top for a few minutes more, then turn to the right, and come to a
small house, with a garden through which we pass. Then, beyond
several houses, we reach in 8 min. the road to Rieti and Aquila
(p. 84), near the pointsman's cabin No. 216. The station of Mar-
more (p. 84) is seen to the left.
If time permit an excursion may be made by following the road
to the left (without crossing the railway), which in a few min. passes
to the right bank of the Velino. In less than 1/2 hr. we reach the beautiful
Lake of Piediluco (1207 ft. ; 408 acres in area), where the road forks.
The brandi to the right leads to the railway-station of Piediluco (1237 ft. ;
11 M. from Terni ; fares 2 f r. 10, 1 fr. 50, 95 e), while the main road