Sunday, May 29, 2011

A trip to Marmore Falls

With our friends Adelle and Michael, we decided to do some "physical" things other than eat and nap.  Michael is in excellent condition and the 65 stairs barely winded him.  We looked in our guidebook and discovered Marmore Falls.  A world famous site.

We asked Mani about directions, mistake number one.  When giving directions,  Umbrians are thinking about where they are going to eat when they are on the road; therefore their directions include the roads where you are most likely to eat well whether it is a direct route or not.  We read on the internet that the falls are man made, by the Romans.  Those Romans were very busy people.  I am sure that they must have all migrated north to Switzerland.  Anyway, here is a link about the falls.

The odd thing about the falls, is that they are turned on and off.  They were on from 12:00 to 1:00.  We started out at 10:30.  Mani said it would take us an hour and 20 minutes, so we thought we were in good shape.  Things went swimmingly until we got to Spoleto.  The Stoic One, who was driving, thought we should continue on to Terni.  He was correct.  He had however 3 navigators who said, no get off at Spoleto and go through the old center of town and then get on this little road and then.....We got hopelessly lost.  The Stoic One was Stoic.  The rest of us were curious as to how we could have gotten so lost.  We ended up far afield.  I got out of the car at a patisserie and asked the young women behind the counter the direction of the falls.  Hmmmm.  When Italians put their hands together like they are praying and then wave them up and down, it is not a good sign.  Neither is it a good sign when they take their right hand and start shaking it in a gesture that makes you wonder if their wrist is broken.  We finally found a kind man who told us to go  back the way we had come and go the way the Stoic One wanted to go.  It was a silent way the rest of the drive.

We reached the falls at 1:05.  Did I mention that they turned off the falls at 1:00?  We decided to walk down the stairs anyway as part of this was for exercise.  To our amazement, we saw water in the fall, and they were beautiful.

I understand that the falls are more full and wonderful during the time that they are turned on, but these were also wonderful to see knowing that the Romans had created them more than 2,000 years ago.  These things are staggering to me.

So we keep walking down the stairs, to get to "lover's leap" which Mani told us had been closed because so many lovers leapt.  Let me tell you there were way more than 65 stairs.  Here is a picture of us at the bottom looking at going back up.  Note the happy look on Adelle's and my face.

The good news is we made it back up.  The bad news is we were too late for lunch.  The good news is we ate gelato instead.  All in a day's work in Umbria.

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