Nature is tireless, even when it seems motionless. She works to give us breathtaking landscapes, almost unreal enough to seem magical. Yet they are as real as ever, and often all it takes to reach them is a comfortable pair of hiking shoes and the desire to be amazed. Among the most enthralling natural suggestions are the spectacles that waterfalls, of which all of Italy is rich. They can be found in every region, some are hidden among lush forests and streams, while others can be admired set in natural landscapes that seem to be made to enhance their magnificence. Treating yourself to a day, or a few hours, immersed in nature to explore one of these waterfalls is a wonderful opportunity to unearth corners far from the crowds, take a break, and treat your senses to a unique experience. The whole of Italy is a landscape designed by waterfalls. We have chosen three that, from north to south, will surprise you.
In Lombardy, and more precisely in the province of Sondrio, in Borgonuovo, the striking Acquafraggia waterfalls offer a majestic landscape that can be admired even from a distance. But it is by walking on the equipped path through chestnut forests among the rocks that you get up close to them, to become part of their natural spectacle. It is an enthralling experience, starting with the deafening roar that the falling water produces. Even Leonardo da Vinci fell in love with this wild beauty, so much so that he reported in his "Atlantic Codex": "Up by said river one finds chadute of water of 400 fathoms which make a belvedere." Nor did Leonardo neglect and appreciation for the more enjoyable side of the Chiavenna Valley: "Truovasi di miglio i(n) miglio bone osterie." Here then, that after a hike to the Acquafraggia Falls, the occasion is also ideal to taste some local products such as honey, bresaola and cheeses.
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Hidden among the Bolognese Apennines, in one of those nooks and crannies to be uncovered far from the best-known routes, but which once visited are hard to forget, the Dardagna Waterfalls allow a moment of escape in close contact with nature. A real gem, these waterfalls, a small natural luxury within everyone's reach. In fact, the path you take to reach them is quite easy, perfect for a family hike and, even at the most challenging points, it is well equipped with handrails and softened by ladders that make it more manageable even for those who are not experienced hikers. It starts from the Sanctuary of Madonna dell'Acero-we are less than two hours from Bologna, in Lizzano in Belvedere-to plunge into cool woods along the Dardagna stream, in the middle of the Corno alle Scale Park. Here nature is at its best and shows all its flair, with as many as seven jumps that amaze from step to step immersed in the lush vegetation, up to the most majestic waterfall, which provides an enthralling natural spectacle.
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We move on to Sicily for the last leg of our ideal trip to the Italy of waterfalls. Our destination is the Cascata del Catafurco (Catafurco Waterfall), splendid with its scenic jumps among rocks carved by water and time in the Nebrodi Park, in the province of Messina. It is the rushing waters of the San Basilio stream that create this natural spectacle there where they plunge from a drop of about thirty meters onto rocky walls. But the most beautiful suggestion is to dive into the Marmitta dei Giganti, a real natural pool that has been created right at the base of the waterfall and that in the hottest season not only gives a bit of refreshment, but above all an exciting contact with nature. The right reward after the walk to reach the waterfall. Along the paths - a shorter one from contrada San Basilio and the other, a loop from Portella "Addrichi" - one crosses an evocative village of shepherds, in contrada Molisa, now abandoned, where one can still admire the pagghiari, the haystacks where the shepherds took shelter, and the typical hovels built in stone without the use of mortar.
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