Cascate del Serio – Pianlivere, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Cascate del Serio

Pianlivere, Italy

The highest waterfall in Italy is only "turned on" five times a year. 


Located in a lush Italian valley, the three drops of the Cascate del Serio can only be seen a handful of times each year when the waters are released from the reservoir at its summit.

The Serio falls flowed freely as the second highest falls in Europe and the highest in Italy up until 1931 when the Barbellino Dam was built. The dam stopped the flow of the Serio to create the artificial Lago di Barbellino under the jurisdiction of the National Electric Energy Corporation. After outrage from the local people on the Barbellino Plateau who were upset that the waterfalls natural power and beauty had been stifled, a compromise was reached in 1969 which saw the release of the dam for one day every July. Over the years extra release days were added to the schedule and the waterfall can be seen for a total of five days each year. The Cascate del Serio may be the world’s largest faucet, but only being turned on for its scant quintet of dates, it doesn’t seem to be wasting any water.    

From Around the Web