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Le Cascate del Menotre

Menotre Waterfalls

Among Pale and Belfiore there is a magic place where you can admire the Menotre river getting up with several jumps and insinuating in narrow gorges, from here you can start your exploration: in descending manner from Pale, in ascending manner from Belfiore.

You are facing a prominent figure of this territory, that is born close to the village of Orsano and to the Mareggia mount – in the municipality of Sellano – about 800 meters high, and from the first drops it train in digging its bed among gorges and limestone rocks, along a path of 30 km. 

The water makes its way into the valley that bears its name, snappy crossing the villages of Rasiglia – where various sources close to each other considerably increase its river flow – Casenove, Scopoli, Pale, Belfiore, Vescia, Scanzano and finally flowing into the Topino.
Once passed the hamlet of Belfiore, after a roundabout, you can leave your car in a forecourt surrounded by olive trees. From here is starting a trail of over a kilometers, gravel and flattish in the first part, that unfolds in the Altolina Park and it borders almost all the riverbed.

Along the track, at the points of natural interest, you can pause in some dedicated areas equipped with benches and tables, surrounded by poplar trees and ferns.

Hidden among the vegetation peep out some stone sculptures, in memory of what once was the garden of a noble family, the Elisei, settled in Pale with a building of its own since 1268. On the path you also do run into an old hydraulic brickwork which emerges from the ground, used to canalize the river’s water towards the factories built downstream over the centuries. 

The first thunderous jump of the Menotre suddenly opens to the view, with its bubbly power; after two bends, while the path is going to be steeper, it ensues another which worth admiring up close along a little detour on the left side: the restless water arrives winding among the walls of a ravine creating a small lake with a thousand shades.

After other two jumps as an athlete, one of which is hiding the access to a small cave, the Menotre gives its best close to Pale, with a spectacular and thunderous dip of about 150 meters in the valley below.

Above you open up the houses and the castle of the old village nestled between the river and the rocks, which tell the industrial history of the paper mills whose Menotre was the prime mover.

Just think that the first printing of the Divine Comedy was realized at Foligno, in 1442, with the paper of Pale’s paper mills.
This journey walkable in about an hour it is accessible most of the year, but we recommend you to visit it during late spring or summer: the luxuriant vegetation and the water make the visit fresh and pleasant.

If you have some time you can visit nearby the St. Mary of Jacob’s Hermitage and the Abbadessa Caves.
A small old world composed of water and rocks that will leave you breathless.

For more information:
www.paledifoligno.it 

Ph.: Tommaso Camilloni, Andrea Spaccini and Bernardino Sperandio
 

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