I heard about the Casata della Marmore recently and got to thinking about waterfalls. Some are natural, like Niagara; and some are made by human engineers, like Casata. I have hundreds of photos of waterfalls I have seen during travels, and they are dramatic and usually taken in a crowd of photographers. Most people look at them, take a few pictures, and leave. Why do we like these cascades so much? Some come straight down in a rush like the one above taken in Iceland. Some flow haphazardly down a steep mountainside like the one at the bottom, and others separate into multiple thundering streams, like Shoshone Falls below in Twin Falls, Idaho. No matter how they flow, the really big ones attract a crowd.
The most dramatic cascades I have ever seen are the Iguazu Falls between Brazil and Argentina. Ruth and I were lucky enough to get under one of them with an entire soccer team. Or unlucky, depending on the way you view experiences. The most unexpected falls were the one in Greece at Edessa. Seen partially below, they were created by earthquakes but adapted by humans to provide free electricity and to make textile factories possible for the benefit of the local economy. One of my favorites is isolated Palouse Falls in a Washington State Park in the southeastern part of my state.
The Casata della Marmore is the tallest human-made waterfall in the world. It was created during the Roman Empire in 271 BCE. The Romans were great engineers and needed to drain a swamp to kill mosquitoes. The Casata della Marmore resulted. Today someone in an Italian hydroelectric plant flips a switch 2 times a day to start the flow of a plunging waterfall to the Nera Valley below. The drop is 541 feet, and this Casata has become a major tourist attraction, but only twice a day. I do not have a photo of this phenomenon. Yet.