Famous for more than olive oil, spaghetti and the mafia, Italy is a wonderfully diverse country with a broad spectrum of historic, contemporary and natural sites that makes it among the world’s most popular destinations for foreign visitors looking to get a great bang for their travel buck.
In Italian, waterfall is ‘cascate,’ or ‘cascata.’ No matter how you choose to spell it, Italy is packed with waterfalls. Below is a list of 15 of the most amazing waterfalls in Italy.
1. Cascate del Toce
At nearly 470 feet tall, Toce Waterfall in northwest Italy’s Piemonte region has been called one of the country’s most amazing waterfalls.
It’s been a favorite subject of European artists for centuries, and a famous hotel built on the site in the 1860s is still operating if you’d like to end your day of sightseeing in the lap of luxury.
Located in the mountain town of Formazza, the area is full of amazing views and hiking trails that’ll take you to the best viewing areas for the falls.
There are also a restaurant and gift shop on site, and remember to pack wisely, as it can get downright chilly here even in the summer months.
2. Cascate del Serio
Located about 100 kilometers north of Milan, in the Bergamo Alps, are the Cascate del Serio, argued by some to be the tallest falls in Italy.
Comprised of three unique and separate sections, together they fall nearly 1,000 feet from top to bottom.
The falls are near the town of Valbondione in the northern, Lombardy region, and because they’re now part of a dam, are only viewable 5 times a year when water is released by the local authorities.
Thankfully they give plenty of warning before the releases, so that waterfall lovers can be there to catch the falls’ fleeting beauty.
3. Cascate del Stroppia
At just shy of the 1,000-foot mark, Cascate del Stroppia is one of the tallest waterfalls in Italy.
Due to the amount of water it receives from melting alpine snow, the falls is best viewed in May and June, when it’s at its fullest and most majestic.
Located in the Maira Valley in Italy’s Piemonte region, the fall is an easy drive from the town of Cuneo, and the parking area which is on the road to Chiappera is well marked.
From the parking area, the trails will take you on a relatively easy hike that’ll take about 30 minutes, and bring you to many points from which you’ll be able to get wonderful views from more than one vantage point.
4. Cascata del Rio Verde
Translated into English, the falls’ name means Green River Falls, and at over 600 feet tall, they’re said to be among the tallest natural waterfalls in the country.
Though there’s always dispute about which is the biggest waterfall no matter where you go, you won’t really care once you get a good look at these falls.
Rio Verde Waterfall is located in Borrello, about 150 kilometers east of Rome in central Italy.
The falls have a distinct Y shape, and due to their amazing height, many of the viewing areas on the trail leading from the parking lot will only give you partial views.
5. Cascate del Gorello
Located near the towns of Manciano and Saturnia in Italy’s famous Tuscany region, the Gorello Waterfalls are not only beautiful and accessible, but the balmy and sulfur-rich water that flows from its limestone terraces is purported to have healing qualities.
The views of the surrounding country from the pools are magnificent, and since they’re a public facility they can be visited and enjoyed whenever it’s best for you, no matter the day or time.
Keep in mind that the pools can get overwhelmingly packed with tourists and locals alike, especially at the end of summer, so if you’d like to avoid the crowds, go during non-peak times.
6. Cascate delle Marmore
Near the town of Terni, in Italy’s Umbria region, Cascate delle Marmore are among the most popular and visited of all of Italy’s waterfalls.
A distinct feature of these falls is that they’re really a leftover relic of the aqueducts that were built by the Romans centuries ago.
At nearly 550 feet, the falls are the tallest man-made fall in the world, and a real tribute to the Romans’ craftsmanship.
The falls are made of 3 distinct sections, the tallest of which is just shy of 300 feet.
The waters are part of a lake and dam system that provide the area with power and tourism revenue, and the company that operates the site publishes the times when the water flow will be greatest so everyone can see the falls at their best.
7. Cascate del Catafurco
Located on Sicily’s north-central coast, west of Palermo in Parco de Nebrodi, the Catafurco Waterfalls are easily accessible on foot, even for those travelers who have young children.
From the parking area, the walk to the falls is about 3 kilometers, and will take you through the park’s stunning landscape.
In dry months, the falls’ flow can be reduced significantly, though even if you happen to visit when the flow isn’t mighty, you’ll still be amazed by the area’s beauty and serenity.
The water at the falls’ base is always inviting for a swim, and the small villages nearby are great places to explore when you’re done.
8. Cascate del Sasso
Located in Italy’s Marche region, Cascate del Sasso is different from many of Italy’s falls, in that it’s known for its breadth, not height.
The fall is on the Metauro River not far from Sant’Angelo in Vado, which is an amazingly scenic and quaint town that’ll make you feel as if you’ve been teleported back in time a few centuries.
At nearly 300 feet wide, the fall is a pleasant contrast from others as it spreads across the breadth of the river.
It’s easily accessible from the town too, just ask any local.
9. Cascate del Liri
If you happen to prefer your waterfalls to come with private castles, bridges and cafes, then a trip to Cascate del Liri is in order.
Located on Italy’s west-central coast in the Lazio Region, the Liri falls are actually two falls in one.
At 27 meters, they’re not the biggest, but they’re found in a section of the Liri River that has divided into two distinct streams, leaving an island in the middle where the town of Isola del Liri resides.
The falls are easily accessible from the town, so stop for a double espresso and ask a local how to get there.
10. Cascate del Acqua Fraggia
At nearly 400 feet tall, Cascate del Acqua Fraggia, located on the Acqua Fraggia River, is an easy-to-access waterfall in Italy’s Lombardy region, near the town of Borgonuovo.
The fall is conveniently located on the road leading out of town, and unless you’re asleep or daydreaming there’s little chance that you’ll miss it.
There’s ample parking in the lots just off the road, and with only a short walk, you’ll be at the river, which is a favorite picnic and park area for the locals.
It’s a great place to swim, view the natural beauty and stretch those legs on the surrounding trails.
11. Cascate del Acqua Bianca
Located near the town of Alagna Valsesia in the Piemonte region, the trails that take you to these falls will also take you to a few others in the area.
In total, the trails are a few kilometers long and should take around 40 minutes to walk.
The best option to get to these falls is to take a shuttle bus from town, which departs on regularly scheduled trips throughout the day, especially during the busy summer season.
If you happen to be near the falls in the off-season when the buses aren’t running, you’ll need to get a special permit from the local government to take a private car.
12. Cascate Forte Ampola
Located in Storo, it Italy’s northern Trentino region, Cascate Forte Ampola isn’t grand in scale, but it is among the most beautiful and photographed of Italy’s waterfalls.
Found near beautiful Lake Ampola, and on the Palvico River, the fall is about 40 feet tall, and the amazingly green pool below is a great place to take a dip or just relax and take it all in.
On the road between the towns of Storo and Val d’Ampola, the fall is accessible by a parking lot near the bridge, and there are easy trails that lead to the most scenic spots.
The area is also famous for a battle between the Italians and Austrians that happened in the early 19th century.
13. Cascate di Barbiano
At nearly 450 feet, Cascate di Barbiano is a waterfall of massive proportions in the northern Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy.
If you walk from the village to the falls, it takes roughly an hour, and though the fall may not look that grand from a distance, you’ll change your mind when you see its height and powerful flow up close.
A round-trip walk to the top of the fall will take 3 hours or more, though your effort will be rewarded.
There is plenty of affordable lodging and food in the area, and it’s convenient stop-off point for a trip to nearby Germany.
14. Cascate del Comelle
In the Veneto region in Italy’s northeast corner, the 200-foot waterfall at Cascate del Comelle is wonderfully picturesque, and near the town of Canale d’Agordo, which is famous as the birthplace of Pope John Paul I.
From the town, the fall is in a southerly direction heading toward Valle di Gares, and at the end of the road there’s a restaurant and parking lot.
In the busy summer season, there’s a minimal fee to park, but at other times of the year there isn’t.
The fall, which is 200 feet from top to bottom, is just a short walk on the clearly marked trail, which will take you to multiple viewing area.
15. Cascate di Chiapili di Sopra
Located between the towns of Ivrea and Ceresole Reale in the Piemonte region, Cascate de Chiapili di Sopra is a real mouthful for most English speakers, as are a lot of Italian names.
At 200 feet tall, the impressive falls are usually overlooked by many visitors.
They’re visible from the roadside if you’re just passing through without a minute to spare, but there’s a trailhead just beyond the parking lot that will take you to a few different viewing areas if you’ve got the time and energy.