by Samantha Melamed
Tuscia is lucky to have the tallest waterfall in Europe, Cascata delle Marmore. From a distance, the waterfall appears to be a cloud of mist amid green mountains. Just a few feet past the entrance gate, the grand cascade presents itself where you could even feel its mist. There are six different trails to hike up through the mountains to get to the waterfall. I chose the trail that leads to the very top of the waterfall, which sounds more rigorous than it is—the entire trail is paved and most of it consists of steep stairs.
Though the hike is along the mountain, it feels as though it is through a forest. Most staircases are shaded by a canopy of the trees underneath the soft glow of sunlight. About halfway up, there is a long corridor through a cave that leads to a platform directly under one of the tiers of the waterfall with a panoramic view of the cascade. Be sure to visit with a raincoat and umbrella between three and four in the afternoon when the water is running. You’ll be drenched nonetheless, but the pictures are worth getting your socks soggy! There’ll be plenty of time to dry off after hiking to the top and back down again.
You may not have another great view of the waterfall until you reach the top, but you could hear it the entire time. The serene music of the waterfall creates a meditative atmosphere, until you reach the top and encounter a breath-taking view similar to that of a mesmerizing sunset. Afterwards, you can take a few more steps towards the town, reward yourself with a gelato, or take an alternative hike back down.