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The Waterfalls of Sarnano

Antico Molino waterfall

Near the historic center of Sarnano, there are three gorgeous waterfalls. Long hidden in the vegetation and frequented only by locals, in 2020 they were all brought to light and connected by a very simple itinerary that took the name of Via delle Cascate Perdute. The road of the Lost Waterfalls.

The village of Sarnano is located between two rivers: the Rio Terro and the Tennacola. Both are characterized by numerous falls, some natural, others artificially created in past centuries to build the mills intended to grind cereals and produce the flour necessary for the livelihood of the population.

This is why, a stone's throw from the center of Sarnano, it is possible to admire three spectacular waterfalls: the Cascatelle in the Romani area, the Antico Molino waterfall in the Piano area and the "de lu Vagnatò" waterfall in the Morelli area. Three fairytale settings, reachable with a short walk within reach of adults and children.

This circular itinerary touches all three waterfalls, also passing through the historic center of Sarnano.

Along the itinerary there are three large parking areas: one in Largo Bozzoni, in the historic center, one in the area of ​​sports facilities in via Scarfiotti (near the Antico Molino waterfall) and another in the Morelli artisan area. If you prefer to drive and park, then walk to each one, it's easily done. Use our links in red, and park close by.

If you want to walk, our advice is to park in Largo Bozzoni and start the itinerary from Piazza Perfetti, the splendid panoramic terrace of the historic center.

Length: 6 km

Difference in altitude: 80 m

Minimum altitude: 442 m

Maximum altitude: 522 m

Journey time: 1 h 45 min round trip

Difficulty: Tourist - Hiking

From Piazza Perfetti, go down Via Buozzi, pass Largo Decio Filipponi and, when you reach the edge of the walls of the historic center, take the downhill alley on your right that leads you back to the sports facilities.

Leaving the Palasport on your left, go down via del Colle towards the Piano district.

On your right you can see the "Alberico Gentili" Liceo Scientifico and the new elementary schools, rebuilt after the earthquake thanks to ANIA, the National Association of Insurance Companies.

Walk along the asphalted road until a path opens up on your right that goes into the vegetation. From here the itinerary becomes steeper because it leads to the river bed and, therefore, to the first waterfall.

Going down you meet the ruins of the Antico Molino half hidden by the vegetation. Go around them, go up the small bump connected by a wooden walkway and the bubbling waterfall will appear in front of you.

You have reached the first stage of the Via delle Cascate Lost. here's the link:

From here, retrace your steps along the path and follow the asphalted road until you pass the sports facilities again and reach the intersection with the Provincial Road 78 Picena. Turn left and walk carefully along the provincial road. Pass the Sarnano Slaughterhouse and, when you reach the pink house just before the bridge, cross carefully and take the dirt road that runs alongside the house. After a few meters, turn left at the crossroads.

On your left there is a small church (now private) dedicated to Our Lady of Loreto: you are, in fact, on a stretch of road common to both the Franciscan Way of the Marca and the Via Lauretana, both frequented by pilgrims of all ages.

Cross the small bridge in front of you and take the path that opens to your right and leads you to the "de lu Vagnatò" waterfall, the second stage of your journey. The name of this waterfall derives from a dialect expression: upstream of the waterfall, in the past, there was a sort of large swimming pool in which the young people of Sarnano loved to bathe.

At the end of the path you will find an ancient basin used by the washerwomen, while on your right, a ramp carved into the ground that goes down to the river bed and takes you right in front of the waterfall.

On your right there is also a small cave from which another rivulet of water flows, creating a truly suggestive setting.

When you are ready to continue, go up to the wash house and from there take the narrow path that climbs through the trees and leads you past the last houses of the Morelli hamlet.

Once you reach the asphalted road again, you will find yourself in front of a new crossroads marked by the shrine of the Madonna dei Quattro Occhi: take the dirt road on your right.

After a few meters, on your left there is an unprecedented view of the historic center of Sarnano, while in front of you the Sibillini Mountains rise, majestic guardians of the village.

When you reach a new crossroads near a bridge, turn left and go up the asphalted road for a few meters until a dirt road opens to your right that leads you to the Cascatelle dei Romani.

Follow the road up to a stone house converted from an old mill and turn left into the vegetation. After a few meters you will see the Cascatelle in front of you, the third stage of the Via delle Cascate Perdute.

Cascatelle dei Romani

Rest, cool off, dip you feet in if you want, but above all enjoy the spectacle of this enchanted place, where the water shapes the rocks and covers every sound of nature.

From here, go back, cross the inhabited area of ​​the Romans, pass the church of San Rocco, then turn left into via Donato Bramante and cross the group of trees on your right to get to the new school complex in Sarnano.

Continue through the Parco del Serafino, an urban park with a recently renovated playground.

After the playground, go down to the right and walk along the avenue that winds between Parco del Serafino and Campo della Vittoria, where the Palio del Serafino is held in August.

Go up the ramps you find in front of you until you find yourself in Piazza della Libertà, the center of the "new" Sarnano. Cross the square and turn right into Borgo Garibaldi.

From here you can choose whether to turn left and go up to the historic center through the Porta Brunforte or continue for a few more meters and take the lift on your right that takes you back to the Bozzoni car park.

Need more Waterfalls ?

Cascata del Pellegrino -

A More Difficult Hike

Cascata di Rio Terro (Soffiano) -

To reach the Rio Terro Valley from Sarnano, drive along the SS78 towards Macerata as far as the locality of Callarella. Just before a petrol station, at the Laminox company, turn left following the signs for Campanotico - Terro - Scuola di Volo and continue on the main road. After a few kilometers, at a crossroads, turn left following the signs for Terro. From this point just follow the road to the end: in fact, the dirt road begins at the height of a villa. Here you can park your car, being careful not to obstruct the exits of the residents' homes, and take the country road that winds through the trees.

After a couple of kilometers, the road turns into a path that follows the course of the river and, in some places, you have to ford the waterway by walking on the large stones that characterize the riverbed. The Rio Terro Valley is a very delicate environment, the natural habitat of various species of amphibians: remember that you are guests in their home, do not bother them. Arriving about halfway along the route, on the right you will see the so-called "pisciarelle", jets of water that rain down from the rock face: get closer and enjoy this natural emotional shower. Then, carefully observe the profile of the rock from which the water emerges: the disturbing profile that is outlined in front of your eyes has been baptized by the locals as the "monster of the Rio Terro".

Length: 8 km A / R

Difference in altitude: 164 m

Minimum altitude: 603 m

Maximum altitude: 821 m

Journey time: 2 -3 hours round trip

Difficulty: Hiking

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