Amazing landscapes and skyline, ancient cities and famous monuments. This is Tuscany, but there’s much more to visit. If you are planning a trip to Tuscany, don’t miss these eight Tuscany waterfalls.
Let’s start from the beautiful Colombara waterfall, on the way to the Bosco di Rossano, in the territory of Zeri, Massa-Carrara. It takes its name from the Colombara moat and descends into a beautiful half-opencave. You can reach the Colombara waterfall by taking the highway to Pontremoli and going straight to the centre. Bypass the Annunziata bridge and, after a few meters, turn left towards Arzelato. After a long road winding upward, you’ll move towards Bosco di Rossano and before reaching it you’ll see a parking lot on your right. The waterfall is denoted by a sign. Be careful on the trail when it rains.
If you are adventurous, in the same area, at only 30 kilometers, you can keep on exploring the Lunigiana following a CAI path up to Irola, near Villafranca.
You can ford the Monia stream to find many small, hidden cascades and the remains of the Debbia mill.
On the opposite side of Tuscany, going southward, on the boundary line between Siena and Grosseto, we’ll find the Canaloni del fiume Farma (the big canals of the Farma river) created over millions of years by water erosion. They are situated in the Tuscan Mining Geopark of Grosseto, or, more specifically, in the territory of Roccastrada.
The place is evocative, green and enriched by grey rocks sprinkled with quartz fragments and smoothed by the streams and the waterfalls.
From a historical point of view, the Farma river represents the connection among the world of mines, the trade of manufacture and metals, the iron and steel industry and the beauty of the wood.
In central Tuscany, in the province of Siena, there’s a residential area called Colle Val D’Elsa, touched by the Elsa river that forms enchanting corners like the Diborrato falls. Fifteen meters high, they jump into a 10 meter-deep small lake.
You should also admire the Grotta dell’Orso, the Conchina, the Masso Bianco, the Nicchia and the Spianata dei Falchi. Institutions have designated this special space a “Protected Area”, extending from the territory of Colle Val d’Elsa up to the Caldane Thermal Springs.
In the Valdera area, in Pisa, there’s a little medieval hamlet called Chianni. It is situated in a 70 square kilometer region covered with chestnut woods, vineyards and olive tree gloves, enclosed between two mountains 600 meters high (Monte Vaso and Monte Vitalba) and crossed by two rivers (Era and Fine).
Near Chianni, on the way to Castellina Marittima, we can find the Ghiaccione falls. After crossing the tiny bridge on the Carbonaia stream you’ll find a parking lot, then you can take the trail that goes up, following the river flow. After having waded across it, you can reach the first of three little falls.
The second one is 10 meters high and jumps into a pool in which you can swim if you are not too sensitive to the cold. Ghiaccione, fittingly, means “freezing,” and it’s like this due to the shady wood that encloses it.
Between Rondinaio and Tre Potenze Mountains, in the territory of Bagni di Lucca (to be more specific, in Val Fegana) there’s the Orrido di Botri Protected Area that contains a calcareous canyon which is a deep, narrow rocky gulch, with steep cliffs carved by the cold waters of Mariana and Ribellino rivers (that form the Rio Pelago when they meet).
There you'll find a beautiful stratification of different kinds of greenery: the higher you go the warmer it is, so it changes from moss and fern to columbine plants. The sides of the canyon reach 200 meters and are the ideal place for golden eagle nests.
In the summertime, when the flow rate is smaller and the temperature is warmer, you can climb from Ponte a Gaio to the Piscina.
If you want to reach the falls of this canyon, first you need to get to Borgo a Mozzano along the Brennero road and before you get to Bagni di Lucca, in the village Chifenti, turn left towards Garfagnana and then turn right after a few kilometers, following the direction of Tereglio. Go straight for about twenty kilometers and then follow the road sign indicating Ponte e Gaio – Orrido di Botri.
Staying in the province of Lucca, there’s also the Malbacco waterfall, a natural slipway dug in the stones. If you are looking for a different and special place to spend a summer day, just a few minutes from the Versilia area, the natural 'pools' of Malbacco (a small town in the municipality of Serravazza) at the foot of the Apuan Alps, will surprise you. You can dive or jump into the crystalline and incredibly cold pool and you can climb the rock wall with the help of a rope.
Moving to Arezzo territory, the most interesting hiking routes crossing the Foreste Casentinesi National Park, Monte Falterona and Campigna, are those that bring you to the Acquacheta falls, on the boundary line between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. They are so impressive that even Dante Alighieri wrote about them in the Divine Comedy.
The easiest, most well-beaten path starts from the medieval village of St. Benedetto in Alpe (495 meters high), achievable by car from San Godenzo via the Muraglione pass. From there, take the trail number 407 leading to the waterfalls (720 meters high). The climb takes a couple of hours but it's worth it.
If you want to discover more waterfalls in Tuscany, read this article about three waterfalls in Versilia.