The archway that forms the entrance to the Varone waterfall was designed by an architect who was much in demand in this area at the beginning of the century: his name was Maroni, the same architect that was responsible for the Vittoriale, Gabriele D’Annunzio’s villa in Gardone.
As you can see, there is already a little history in the first ten steps which take you towards the waterfall. Once passed by the back of the building, we are in the open air, and from here our visit begins.
THE LOWER CAVE, THE UPPER CAVE, THE BOTANIC GARDENS
THE LOWER CAVE
You get to the Lower Cave by carrying on along the path you are already on: Turn right and the walkway (built into the rocks itself as early as 0874) takes you into the wild gorge, meandering along in a series of bends, going deep into the heart of the mountain. You are walking one metre above the water that gurgles under your feet.
Although you get the impression of being inside a cave, in reality you are in a very narrow, high gorge, which has been carved through the mountain until a depth of 55 metres by the fury of the waters. There are thousands of waterfalls to be seen around the world, but it is very rare for the formation of a waterfall to be accompanied by the formation of a great gorge, as has happened at Varone over a period of more than 20,000 years.
The water here makes a considerable noise. The deafening roar and the boiling and frothing of the water are due to the fact that the force behind the water is tremendous yet the outlet for all this energy is extremely limited. And all the while the water gives off a spray as fine as mist, lending the cave an air of surrealism.
At this point you have come to the end of the first stage of the visit and you leave the Lower Cave in order to climb up to the Upper Cave.