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Menotre Waterfalls

Menotre Waterfalls

The Menotre Waterfalls are an extraordinary spectacle of nature in the vicinity of Pale and Belfiore, near Foligno. A naturalistic oasis, where the flowing water of the Menotre River feeds a lush and sometimes wild vegetation, creates a series of jumps and creeps through narrow gorges.

The river, which crosses the territory for 30 km before flowing into the Topino, played a crucial role in past times, when numerous important paper mills were fed by its waters. These water mills contributed, until the 19th century, to the printing vocation of the nearby city of Foligno, where in 1472 the first printed version of the Divine Comedy was produced, using precisely the prized paper from Pale.

How to reach the waterfalls

The path that leads to the discovery of the Menotre Waterfalls is about 2 kilometres long and can be easily covered either going down from Pale or up from Belfiore.

Starting from the hamlet of Belfiore, after passing the town and a roundabout, it is possible to leave the car in a square surrounded by olive trees and take the path, unpaved and flat in the first section, that winds through the Altolina Park. Along the trail, it is possible to stop in areas equipped with benches and tables, nestled among poplars and ferns.

The first Menotre jump suddenly opens up to view in all its thunderous power, concealing access to a small natural cave, hidden behind the foaming waters. Although the action of the water on the stone changes over time the shape assumed by this first waterfall, the current one seems to resemble the profile of a white dress, which has earned it the romantic nickname of “Velo della Sposa” (Veil of the Bride).

The path continues between water features and small waterfalls before reaching a more imposing drop, immersed in a charming natural setting of rocks polished by the power of the water.

At the end of the path you arrive in Pale, where you can admire the village and the castle of the same name. In the built-up area, it is also possible to arrange a visit to the Caves of the Abbadessa, an underground system also created by the action of the river, or to continue on foot for 450 metres along the Via dell'Eremo and in the direction of the Falesia di Pale (Cliff of Pale), to reach the 305 steps leading to the Hermitage of Santa Maria Giacobbe, built in a ravine of bare rock.

The itinerary to discover the Menotre Waterfalls lasts about an hour and is accessible almost all year round, although in spring and summer it is possible to enjoy its lush vegetation and take refuge in the coolness offered by its waters.

For more information: www.paledifoligno.it

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