A couple of months ago, I mentioned Vagli, the vanishing village near Lucca in Tuscany. The reason is that the Italian electricity utility, ENEL, keeps it under wraps -- or water, to be precise -- most of the time, since it just happened to stand in the place they wanted to use as a reservoir about sixty years ago. Italy's tallest -- and Europe's second-tallest -- waterfalls have a similar history. Until 1931, when the Barbellino dam was built, the Cascate del Serio pursued their natural course, dropping 315 metres in three stages -- of 105, 74, and 75 metres respectively -- into a lovely rockpool below. These days, they do it between 11 am and 11.30 am, five times a year in June, July, August, September and October. To see dates for the current year, visit this web page. If you want to be in on the scene, then head northeast out of Bergamo, taking the Val Seriana road, past Clusone, until you get to Valbondione. From there, take the road to Grumetti. Park here, and then it's 45 minutes on foot, past the village of Maslana at 1,168 metres, and over the medieval Ponte della Piccinella, under which flows the river Serio. Take the path to the left and, fifteen minutes later, you will reach some rocks from which you -- and a whole lot of other people - will be able to admire this outstanding sight.
By Roberta Kedzierski, Milan