1. Cascia, Norcia and Marmore Waterfalls Full-Day Tour
Experience the beautiful landscape of Umbria on a full-day tour of the Marmore Waterfalls, the Sibillini Mountains, and Valnerina Valley. Taste the black truffle, hams, and cheeses of Umbria, all Protected Designation of Origin (DOC). Drive to the remote town of Cascia, home of the Augustinian nun Santa Rita. The former Roman town was destroyed in the 1st century B.C. by an earthquake. In medieval times it was sacked by the Byzantines and Lombards, and later occupied by papal troops to become a papal city. Visit the home of Santa Rita in the nearby hamlet of Roccaporena, perched at an altitude of 2,320 feet (700 meters). Stop for lunch in Norcia, birthplace of the founder of the Benedictine order, St. Benedict, and see the Gothic façade of the Basilica of Saint Benedict, with a rosette and crests of the 4 evangelists that dates to about 1200 A.D. Depart Norcia for the staggering Marmore Waterfalls. Among the highest in Europe, the waters cascade 540 feet (165 meters) down 3 terraces, the first (and highest) a drop of 272 feet (83 meters). The name derives from the calcium salts in the rocks that take on the appearance of marble. The manmade waterfalls were constructed by the Romans in 271 B.C. to drain the stagnant waters of the Velino River’s swamps, directing them to the natural leaps of Marmore and on into the Black River. Built over 2,000 years ago, this is the largest manmade waterfall in the world.