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8/22/2012

MARMORE FALLS . IN THE HEART OF UMBRIA

We discover the beautiful Marmore Falls in Umbria, a few kilometers from Terni, where is the cathedral of St. Valentine, patron of lovers.
On February 14 of each year Love is celebrated here: many couples come to town from all over the world, to receive the blessing in the basilica dedicated to the saint and promise herself as eternal love.



As often happens in Italy, these waterfalls have a mythological origin.
Nera, a wood nymph, fell in love with a shepherd named Velino. She saw him passing daily through the valley, close to the forest.






 Goddess Juno was jealous of her.
To punish the sacrilegious love decided to turn the nymph it into a river.








Velino, in love with his nymph and hopeless, decided to jump off the cliff Falls, to bath in the waters of Nera; so he reunited with her ​​forever.










In fact, the birth of the falls is linked to the ancient Romans and their great works of hydraulic engineering.
It all began in 271 BC., thanks to the consul Curio Dentato.










In an effort to clean up and make fertile those lands, he began the great works that allowed the outflow of the Velino, responsible for destructive seasonal flooding.










After centuries of projects and excavations, the river was harnessed and drained from Lake Piediluco, to be channeled into the gorge of the Nera.









With her ​​three jumps of 165 meters, the Marmore falls is the highest in Europe, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy, since the days of the Grand Tour, when great artists like Goethe and Lord Byron, chose Italy as place of cultural and personal disclosures.









Around the falls and the surrounding valleys 
we find a world to discover.









There is a choice of six hiking trails to discover (with or without the aid of a guide) to venture in specific natural habitats including forests, rivers, valleys and trails that lead deep into the cavities and tunnels dug by 'water in the course of time.








The night tour of the canyon,‘till the jump, the place where we feels the real force of the water, is a very special experience.










"The Specula" is the place where you look at the origin of the rainbow.
From here, thanks to special environmental conditions, 
it is possible to see and photograph this beautiful 
natural phenomenon  so vivid and bright.
Sometimes it’s so clear that one can almost touch it.










Armed with a waterproof jacket you deal with a path that leads right into the waterfall, the "Balcony of Love". This is located in a tunnel, inside the first jump.
Here you have access to a small terrace where you can see the water falling in all its power.
Just stick an arm out of the balcony to touch its energy.
Why is it called "Balcony of Love"?
Because the water that rushes down from the jump, view from the balcony, seems to form a bridal veil.










In the Lower Belvedere we are at the bottom of the waterfall, where we have a spectacular overview of all three jumps that make this beautiful corner of the world.









The practice of water sports such as rafting, canoeing and kayaking allows us to make experience in direct contact with nature and explore the great natural park through different points of view, always spectacular and exciting.








Every year, during the summer solstice, on the waters of Lake Piediluco (an ancient town whose name means "at the foot of the sacred wood") there’s a festival of clear pre-Christian origins: the "Water Festival". 





 


From the shores of this picturesque stretch of water there is a night parade of boats decorated and illuminated, followed by a show of fireworks.









And the green valleys of Umbria are the perfect setting for this sort of paint, in a typically romantic/naturalistic style where, at each step, you find yourself surprised by the greatness of Mother Nature and the infinite limitations of the humans, being in front of her magnificence.































PANPEPATO OF TERNI
Ingredients to make 10 loaves

500 g of peeled walnuts
200 g blanched almonds
200 g skinned hazelnuts
100 g of pine nuts
150 g of raisins
200 g of candied
Half teaspoon of cinnamon
150 g of flour
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Grated rind of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 tangerine
½ nutmeg
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons coffee powder
100 g of cocoa powder
200 g of honey
400 g of dark chocolate
1 cup of lightly sweetened coffee
1 cup anisette liqueur
1 cup of cooked must









Preparation:
Clean walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and pine nuts removing cuticles.
Put everything in a bowl with raisins, candied fruit, cinnamon, flour, grated rind of lemon, orange and mandarin.
Flavor all with nutmeg, black pepper, coffee powder and cocoa.
Mix well all ingredients.
In a small saucepan, melt the honey diluted in a little bit of warm water.
In a pot on a low flame, pour the chopped dark chocolate, coffee and liquor, the cooked must and the liquid honey, then turn until the chocolate is completely melted.
Add to the preparation of hot chocolate and honey in the bowl the dried fruits and nuts, then start to knead vigorously with your hands until the mixture is well blended, consistent and a little 'sticky.
Make small round loaves with a diameter of 10 cm, arrange them on a baking sheet greased with olive oil, spread over each of them a bit of honey left in the pan and cook in oven at 160 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Check back frequently while they’re cooking, because it may happen that initially the dough will spread too much.
In this case, remove the pan and shape the loaves like balls, then put back in the oven until the end of cooking.
you can keep the Panpepato in plastic wrap for about two or three months.
Cut into small slices when serving.