I keep thinking that done right Terni would have enough attractions to overcome its flat, ugly, grid pattern of streets and lure tourists to the area. Tale this little village for instance, just a few miles from Terni's center.
Home to the largest waterfall in Europe. the Cascate Delle Marmore may not be Niagara Falls but whenthe water is flowing they are impressive nevertheless.
The fact is the water only flows a couple of times a day in tourist season and the rest of the time they are shut off, because some few years ago someone had the bright idea to dam the Nera River to make a hydroelectric plant. When the water flows it creates a great cloud of mist.
My wife was a little taken aback by the falls, impressed more than she had expected to be and we stood and watched for quite a while.
One French tourist who had asked me for directions and was surprised when I answered him in his own language confided to me that he thought they were beautiful, but bit was a pity they were artificial. To me the place is artificial when the natural falls are cut off.
The falls created a pleasantly cool environment to take lunch, a simple sandwich to ease our livers suffering from a diet of rich food.
We saw some rather overwrought visitors acting as though there was a danger of getting drenched.
Others were less concerned.
Dead on time at one pm the flow started to ease, imperceptibly at first.
But soon enough it was back to making electricity until the evening show.
A fine use of seven Euros we thought.
We staggered back to the bathrooms where we encountered a blast from the past.
All public loos used to have them, little old ladies collecting a small fee for Mai rinsing the facilities. One pays after use to ease the embarrassment of patrons taken short but I took care of my wife's urgently needed 30 cents (four bits, American).
I have a soft spot for the falls. My grandmother Gina Palmucci took the stage name of Nera Marmora after her home town's leading attraction when she quit teaching and became a surprisingly talented opera singer. She retired early to marry my grandfather and died giving birth to my mother in 1924.
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