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Michele Angileri

Cascata della Voltarina

Traveling through the hilly landscapes east of Lake Bolsena, among cultivated fields, farms and medieval villages, you see nothing that tells of the powerful and violent volcanic eruptions that created this area. Today everything appears gentle and human-friendly but 200-300 thousand years ago mighty lava flows gushed out of fractures in the ground and covered the surrounding areas with layers of basalt which were then covered in turn by successive eruptions.
There are points, however, where this ancient geological history becomes evident even to the eyes of the layman, but they are well hidden, difficult to reach. One of these is Voltarina waterfall, which jumps into an abyss on the edge of ancient lava flows made by creek's erosion and the collapses occurred over the millennia. It is possible (though not easy) to go up the stream and reach the foot of the monumental natural amphitheater, featuring an extraordinary columnar basalt formation, beautiful and scary.
You can get there by abseiling the waterfall, of course. When the fall is active you will get indescribable sceneries and unforgettable moments.

Name Cascata della Voltarina
Area Lazio - Regione vulcanica
Nearest village Vetriolo
Elevation loss 85 m
Length 200 m
Highest cascade 40 m
Rock Basalt
Shuttle Possible
Explored by First canyoning-style descent: Michele Angileri; December 18th 2022


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I remember ...

At the time of writing, Voltarina waterfall is an almost unknown place. Only the most attentive hikers have seen it live, by going up the stream to the foot of the waterfall.
Someone told me that many years ago someone else roped the waterfall down, placing bolts on waterfall's edge right at water's jet. Possible: the Voltarina is dry for most of the year, and when a waterfall is dry the descent along the waterway is the safest. In truth, I have not seen any trace of those bolts, but they might have been ripped off by creek's floods.

Copyright © 2002- Michele Angileri. All rights reserved.