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Here, seas, lakes and rivers are not just places to visit but are incredible places for exciting experiences. From swimming to sailing, from rafting to water skiing, from windsurfing to rowing, kitesurfing, surfing and so much more.

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Nature
TR Cascate delle Marmore

Cascata delle Marmore

The Marmore Falls, in the heart of Umbria Less than ten kilometres from Terni, in Umbria, are the Marmore Falls, among the highest waterfalls in Europe, at a whopping 165 metres. These are actually artificial waterfalls that form where the Velino River, starting from Lake Piediluco, flows into the Nera River. The Romans began excavating the canal, specifically the Curiano Trench, in 271 BC. This engineering work aimed to drain the waters of the Velino River, which was overflowing onto the land, creating stagnant, swampy and toxic areas. The water was directed towards the edge of the Marmore cliff, and over the following centuries many alterations have been made to it until it ultimately became what we see today. Three unique points of view The Marmore Falls are divided into three jumps, which you can admire from two different points, the Upper Belvedere and the Lower Belvedere. The first is located on the outskirts of the village of Marmore, on the road leading to Piediluco, offering spectacular views of the first jump, while from the Lower Belvedere you can admire the entire waterfall in all its majesty. A scenic path connects the two points. From the Lower Belvedere, you can also access the Lovers' Balcony, a small terrace located in front of the first jump of the waterfall, embedded in the rock. It is so close you can reach out and touch the water, so don't forget to bring your waterproof! And unlike with other viewpoints, you have to be accompanied by an experienced guide in a small group. The Falls at night With the exception of the Balcony, you can visit the Marmore Falls on your own. There are six well-signposted trails, so you can admire the jumps from every possible angle. In the summer months, opening hours are extended past sunset to allow you to admire the views long into the evening. An LED lighting system brings a whole new charm to the Falls at night, producing special effects with beams of light that enhance the movement of the falling water. Marmore: sport and culture The Marmore Falls are also an ideal destination for water sports: from rafting to soft rafting, from canyoning to hydrospeeding, from kayaking to river walking, you are sure to be spoiled for choice. Near the Upper Belvedere you will find the Industrial Archaeological Park of Campacci di Marmore, which preserves objects from the Narni and Galleto hydroelectric power stations. The caves of the Archeological Park in Marmore The Marmore Falls also have another nice surprise in store for its visitors. The park to which it belongs has karstic caves, which have been excavated by water over millennia. The main ones, in terms of both speleological interest and beauty, are set in three distinct complexes: the first includes the Grotta della Morta and the Grotta delle Diaclasi, the second is the Grotta delle Colonne, while the third, extending over 190 metres, is the Grotta della Condotta, named after the ancient conduit that once fed the hydroelectric power station system. How to organise your visit Visiting the Falls is a truly unique experience. So you can best enjoy its beauty, we highly recommend planning to be at a good viewpoint the moment the gates are opened so you can watch the powerful rush of water. Otherwise, the Falls are still open, but with a reduced jet of water. The Falls also serve the Galleto hydroelectric power plant, meaning it is not only an environmental asset of rare beauty, but also a valuable resource for the area. Find out more: https://www.raftingmarmore.com https://www.cascatadellemarmore.info
Nature

Gallinara Island

In Liguria, the wonder of the Gallinara Island Nature Reserve Ladies and Gentlemen, the Gallinara Island Nature Reserve. A protected marine area that on maps is just a dot: yet, on what is Liguria's only true island, wonder is in every corner. One only has to look around to see a still unspoilt environment of incredible historical, environmental and cultural value. For diving enthusiasts, then, this is a true paradise where they can look for the wrecks of ancient shipwrecks and caves guarding an incredible biodiversity. A boat trip to see it up close Located opposite Albenga, this jewel of the Riviera di Ponente is private and, therefore, tourist visits are not possible. However, it can be admired from close range by taking a boat trip, during which you can perhaps explore the seabed by snorkelling: you will come face to face with the rich and varied marine fauna. The reserve is one and a half kilometres away from the coast, from which it is separated by a channel of about 12 metres. A legend that may be history Legend has it that St Martin, Bishop of Tours, found refuge on the island of Gallinara. He settled in a cave facing the open sea, which for this reason still bears his name. This was a thesis that the Authority for Archaeological Heritage of Liguria advocated in the 1990s, conducting excavations along the south-eastern slopes of the island and in the San Martino cave that yielded important answers. This area was certainly used both as a burial ground and as a place of worship from the 4th century AD onwards, and hermits stayed on the island for a long time. History suggests that a Benedictine monastery existed here in 500 AD and during the 8th century, the monks made it the seat of a powerful abbey. After a period of prosperity between the 10th and 12th centuries, decline began in 1473 and from the mid-1800s it became a private area. It has been part of the Protected Areas system of the Liguria Region since 1989. Herring gulls and land tortoises On theIsland of Gallinara, herring gulls nest, especially on the high southern cliffs, and there are colonies of land tortoises. Among the seabed, however, it is possible to see yellow sponges, sea daisies and, among the rocky cliffs, formations of the Coralligeno. The northern part of the island is rich in Posidonia oceanica. Where to experience the most spectacular dives There are two diving spots on the island. The first is Punta Falconara or Christ the Redeemer: a second name that has existed since 1998, when a statue depicting a Christ was placed on these seabeds. Amidst sea daisies and benthic fauna, it is an easy dive to a maximum depth of 18 metres. The second dive site is Punta Sciusciau: more exposed to currents, this dive will allow you to admire groupers, moray eels, octopus and scorpion fish. If you go deeper, around 30 metres, you will instead find numerous sea sponges.
Nature

Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore, the village on the rooftop of the Cinque Terre Squeezed between two valleys in a panoramic position, Riomaggiore stretches from the Ligurian coast towards the Apennines, clinging to the ridge. It is the first village in the Cinque Terre coming from La Spezia and offers splendid scenery between land and sea: crystal-clear water and cliffs, brightly coloured houses, and paths leading up towards the mountains for a total immersion in the Mediterranean vegetation of the Cinque Terre National Park. Among the carruggi of the historic centre Alleys and steep stairways wind around houses with pastel-coloured plaster and slate roofs, outlining a picturesque village where dazzling light and shadowy corners alternate. The village follows the course of the stream, buried at the end, looking out to sea at the bottom and then climbing symmetrically on both sides of the rise: a perfect "V" drawn on the cliff. In the upper part you can admire the 14th-century Church of St John the Baptist in front of a beautiful square, then climbing further you reach the Castle, a fortress from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of the coastline. To admire the sunset, choose a spot along the wall and wait for the curtain to open on the spectacle of the sun plunging into the water. A stroll through the old town offers pleasant breaks at outdoor tables, where each restaurant offers both land and seafood menus. You must have the famous trofie with pesto, and try the anchovies, generously offered by the sea. When choosing gourmet souvenirs, be sure to include the fine Cinque Terre CDO white wines and TGI reds from the vines cultivated on the terraces, preserved anchovies and fragrant lemon jams. Experiencing the Sea The Riomaggiore beach is in a small inlet, only pebbles and lapped by a perfectly clear sea. There is an organised, and licensed, diving centre in the village: here, in the Marine Protected Area, snorkelling and diving are an authentic experience. You will come across a surprising amount of fish, from groupers to bream and sea bream; further out to sea whales swim. You will discover the varied vegetation on the seabed near the reefs and in some places you will see veritable sea gardens of lush algae species. For a sea trip, boats can be hired, even for large groups, and solo canoes and kayaks can be hired. By land A walk of less than an hour leads to the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Montenero via a forest path and a sequence of steps. And that is the only way to get there, there is no road that can be travelled by car. You are at an altitude of 350 metres at a point where the vegetation thickens and the green stands out against the blue sky in a poetic contrast. The view is one you won't forget. The entire area of the Cinque Terre opens up from up there, including the three islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto, and on clear days the view flies as far as Corsica. For the more experienced, the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Montenero can be the first stop on a long scenic trek. Just take the Sentiero dell'Infinito from here, which connects Riomaggiore to Portovenere in 12 km. In the Cinque Terre National Park, the territory presents itself in all its magnificence, with ever-changing views. As you walk above the sea, you encounter ancient terraces for the cultivation of vines and olive trees, pleasant vegetable gardens and dense forests: the best of the Mediterranean landscape, which UNESCO has honoured by declaring it a World Heritage Site. Even more challenging is the Monesteroli Steps to reach the tiny village of the same name, which can also be admired from the sea. But it is the 1,200 steps that provide a unique thrill. The coastline follows you in parallel, on what was an old mule track used by farmers to reach the vineyards. A dizzying ascent towards the sky, breathing in the fragrant air: a bouquet of flowers, essences and saltiness.
Nature

Baia delle Mimose

In Sardinia at Baia delle Mimose, between fine sand and a thousand shades of blue Light, fine Caribbean-like sand and small clumps of bushes and wild flowers that conjure up images of beautiful deserts: yet we are not on the other side of the world, but in the incredible Sardinia that holds constant surprises in store for us. Welcome to Baia delle Mimose, a long beach on the border between Gallura and Anglona, amidst jagged cliffs overlooking the sea and the typical colours of the Mediterranean maquis. A holiday for the whole family Mimosa Bay is a corner of paradise that appeals to everyone: adults can indulge in lazing around in the sunshine, and youngsters enjoy long swims and organised games on the beach. The scenery is literally hypnotic, thanks also to the soft dunes covered with junipers and sea rosesagainst the backdrop of crystal-clear water, in a postcard-perfect setting. Not far from these small sandy mountains are a few small villas, a shopping centre with the main services, including a tobacco bar, a beauty centre, a boutique and an excursion point. The most popular destination for sportsmen The wind is constant at Le Mimose and this makes the 3 km long coastline perfect for wind and kite surfing. In addition, for those wishing to travel and explore the surroundings, its location is strategic: in fact, it is only 6 km from the town of Badesi, 70 km from Alghero and 80 km from Olbia. A small scenic paradise Among the many surprises Baia delle Mimose has in store is that it is not particularly crowded. This is how this beach, despite its limited size, remains an oasis of tranquillity even in high season. An advantage for tourists who want to spend their holidays in direct contact with nature and, at the same time, not stray too far from their residential centre. From here, one's gaze can sweep over the Isola Rossa in the distance in all its splendour and the outline of the Castelsardo promontory. A Blue Flag beach For its quality services, as well as the cleanliness of its waters, the beach has been awarded the Blue Flag continuously since 2017. The prestigious title was awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (Fee), after a careful evaluation including, among others, its excellent accessibility, the presence of parking, refreshment facilities and the possibility of hiring bathing equipment. What's more, even four-legged friends can enjoy a well-deserved holiday here. Not far from the mouth of the Coghinas river, there is a small 300 square metre beach with a dog beach, equipped with parasols, bowls and showers. Exploring the surroundings of Badesi The Bay of Mimosas is spectacular, but it is not the only gem in the area. Not to be missed is Li Mindi, with its clear sand and the possibility of catching a glimpse of Corsica and Asinara in the distance on fine days. No less interesting is also Li Junchi, with its golden sand and often windy, so perfect for surfers. Past the mouth of the Coghinas river, another naturalistic treasure awaits: Valledoria, with the seaside hamlet of San Pietro a mare, with its dunes covered in Mediterranean maquis, stretches of vegetation and a seabed perfect for diving and snorkelling.
Nature

The island of Asinara

The island of Asinara: the long history of a magical place The Romans called it the Island of Hercules before it became a land of contention between the Maritime Republics of Pisa and Genoa, then domain of the Savoy, a place of confinement, leper house and prison. The island of Asinara has had a long and troubled history, but almost a century of isolation has made it a still unspoilt natural paradise. Today, a protected marine area to be explored on foot, by bicycle or boat, discovering the wilder and rockier west coast and shallow shores and sandy seabed of the east. Donkey Island According to legend, Hercules grasped the end of Sardinia with his mighty hand, tearing it from the mainland, hence the name, Herculis Insula. Later called Sinuaria for the wealth of gulfs and inlets on its 110 km of coast. Asinara is perhaps a mispronunciation of the Latin or perhaps it refers to the white donkeys that have lived there since time immemorial and still live free on the island. A story that begins in the Neolithic In the Campu Perdu area, in the north of the island is a domus de janas, evidence that these places were inhabited since the Neolithic period. A few wrecks found in the sea remain from Roman times. One is still visible a few metres from the jetty in Cala Reale. Over time, the island had to deal with Arab raids, later skirmishes between Pisa and Genoa for supremacy in the Mediterranean. It was the Ligurian Malaspina who built the Castellaccio here, which dominates the entire gulf from above. The pirate Barbarossa landed nearby to hide between robberies. In 1885, Asinara became a penal colony and the island's inhabitants had to leave. Many of them founded Stintino, then called Cala Savoia. Since then, the island remained inaccessible for over a century. Only since 1998, when the maximum security prison was closed, has it reopened to visitors. Asinara's most beautiful beaches Being a protected reserve, not all beaches on the island are accessible. These can only be admired from afar, Cala Sant'Andrea and Cala d'Arena. Caretta caretta turtles lay their eggs here. Cala Sabina can be reached via ancient mule track. It is 30 minutes from Cala d’Oliva. Near Cala d’Oliva are Cala Murichessa and Cala Giardino. Don't miss Cala di Sgombro at the narrowest point on the island: steep cliff with rough sea on one side, sandy seabed with a calm sea on the other. On foot, by bike, off-road... or swimming! Thebest way to immerse yourself in the Asinara National Park wilderness is to walk around it. But watch out for the sun: there is hardly any shade. Also bring sufficient water because there are only two cafes on the island. In Cala Reale you can hire electric bikes and cars, sailboats and canoes. Or book an off-road tour accompanied by Geomarine Environmental Guides. This is the only way to visit certain areas of the island like Cala Trabuccato and Punta Scorno. A visit to Asinara cannot be complete without a dip in its crystal-clear waters. Not only for a refreshing swim in the water in shades of blue to green, but also to observe the wonderful seabed populated by countless creatures: a snorkelling paradise. During a boat trip it is easy to spot dolphins, even sea turtles. Not only nature: what else to visit Although nature is the dominant feature, there are many human traces to be discovered around the island. In addition to the Neolithic Campu Perdu domus de janas and the Castellaccio ruins, several watchtowers built in the 16th century can be found along the coast. The Ossuary, built to house the remains of thousands of Austro-Hungarian prisoners during the WWI, dates back to 1936. In Cala Reale, there is the Royal Palace, former summer residence of the Savoy family. In Fornelli, you can visit the old prison.

Lake Bolsena

Lake Bolsena, land of popes' choice. The body of water of Bolsena is the largest volcanic lake in Europe. Surrounded by a crown of hills, its shores are dominated by magnificent medieval villages, rich in important works of art, a legacy of the Farnese seigniory and the many popes who loved this area. Two islands of lush nature, Bisentina and Martana, rise out of the lake. Its crystal-clear waters are an invitation to enjoy various water sports, including swimming. Scenery and great food. The area around Lake Bolsena is one of the most fascinating in Lazio, the ideal place to spend a weekend, or even a whole week, enjoying nature, art, beautiful landscapes and great food. The lakeside village of Bolsena is dominated by the Rocca Monaldeschi della Cervara, which houses a regional museum, and is rich in palaces, squares and churches, including the Baroque Cappella del Miracolo, and restaurants, where you can try dishes based on the lake's fish, eel and whitefish. Going on with the tour, clockwise, on a promontory rises Montefiascone, another beautiful Renaissance town, dominated by the imposing Rocca dei Papi (12th century), where the best view of the lake is a must. Here we drink white wine, the famous Est Est Est! Back on the shore, you go through Marta, a fishing village with colourful boats moored on the banks, arriving at the Capodimonte promontory, dominated by the Rocca Farnese (the work of Antonio da Sangallo the Younger), with a beautiful little harbour from where you can sail to the islands, and beaches to relax. Valentano is another must-see promontory. It is a village where the Farnese family settled, embellished with a majestic fortress, monumental gates (Magenta and San Martino) and many palaces. Also in Gradoli, a pretty centre rising on a spur of tufa rock, is a Farnese palace, built by Pope Paul III, who had elected the village as his summer residence. Down the Brigands Trail The western shore of Lake Bolsena, from Gradoli to San Magno, the greenest and most wooded, is bordered by a section of the Sentiero dei Briganti, a 100-km itinerary that can be travelled on foot, by bicycle or on horseback. The trail runs from the Monte Rufeno Nature Reserve, on the border between Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria, to the village of Vulci in the Latium Maremma. This is a route that today has great naturalistic value, but at the end of the 19th century was among the most marginal and isolated areas of the country, where Brigandage, the phenomenon that spread among armed gangs and dedicated to robbery and murder, had fertile ground. Modern brigands travel through it to discover an unspoilt Italy, where there is still so much to discover. The island of Bisentina, a sweet spot Bisentina Island, the largest (17 hectares) of Lake Bolsena, is part of the municipal territory of Capodimonte: its name comes from a nearby hill, Mount Bisenzio. Inhabited since time immemorial, the island was a place of refuge for the coastal populations during the barbarian invasions, and later became a sweet spot when it was acquired by the Farnese family around the 15th century. There are records of numerous popes who spent their holidays here. That explains the presence of various chapels and religious buildings dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries, the most important of which is the Church of Saints James and Christopher, built around 1500 with a dome by Vignola, one of the greatest architects of the time. The island is still private and not open for visits, except during FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano) days. The Mystery of the Martana Island The island of Martana, with its characteristic half-moon shape, measures about 10 hectares and takes its name from the nearest coastal town, the village of Marta, about 2 km away. The history of this island is linked to two tragic events: the martyrdom of St. Christine and the murder of Amalasunta, a queen of the Goths, daughter of Theodoric, are said to have taken place here. Over the centuries, the island was inhabited by various monastic communities and disputed between the Holy See, Orvieto and Viterbo, then owned by the Farnese family, who preferred the Bisentina for their leisure activities, and gradually abandoned. Martana Island is also private today and mooring is not possible, but it can be seen externally thanks to the public lake navigation service, which offers excursions from the port of Bolsena, circumnavigating both islands and the promontory of Capodimonte.