In the immediate vicinity of the Cascata delle Marmore, a wide variety of water sports is readily available. The Water sport Centre is indeed only a few kilometres away of the Cascate. Amateurs of rafting, hydro speed tubing, canoeing and even canyoning will indeed all feel spoiled here.
Just beneath the Marmore falls lays an ideal place for rafting, and you should really take up the challenge of a fabulous descent of rapids on a rubber dinghy. Here, the Nera river bubbles over the rocks for over three kilometres, forming fourth degree rapids (on a scale from 1 to 6), surrounded by lush vegetation, in a beautiful tropical-like setting. As has been the case with the thousands of enthusiast who, over the past ten years, have come to experience the thrill, no particular skills are required: one must simply be in good health, be a good swimmer and in between 16 and 55 years old.
Once the watertight attire, the lifesaver and the helmet supplied by the organization are put on, and after the theory-practice lesson that is delivered prior to the descent, one reaches the boarding point situated right beneath the Marmora falls. Each dinghy accommodates six people, generally at their first experience, and the licensed guide who gives instructions during the descent. The descent itself lasts about one hour.
A less intensive form is often called easy or soft rafting. It is open to everyone, including children and people who do not know how to swim. The easy descent takes place inside the Nera river park, along the 8-km section between the Ferentillo and Arrone municipalities. The groups must comprise at least 6 people.
Hydro speed tubing is a new and exciting way to descend the current. The river booms as it crashes on the rocks, the rapids enfold you conveying their energy and your heart beats fast, but there is no risk of falling into the water because you’re already in it. The participant puts on a wet suit, lifesaver, helmet and flippers. And then there is the hydro speed, a sort of small “bobsled” made of floating plastic, which one must hang on to tightly and which allows you to drift safely along the rapids.
Hydro speeding is not difficult and does not require much strength: you must simply let yourself go to the course of the river water and observe the directions of the instructor who follows you as you play in the current. He/she helps you to discover the river’s secrets, allowing you to enjoy yourself safely. The descent lasts about two hours and, like for rafting, one must be a good swimmer and in good health.
The “Marmore” Centre organizes all year round canoeing courses. They consist of 5 lessons at three different levels, which are generally held in three week-ends or from Monday to Friday in the summer. The school is recognized by the Italian Kayak Canoeing Federation and licensed canoeing instructors guarantee that the basic techniques are learned in full safety. Each lesson lasts about three hours and generally involves groups of 5 to 6 people. There are also special slalom racing courses and summer courses for youngsters. Moreover, the Centre is licensed to teach canoeing to the disabled.
Canyoning is a way of crossing the mountain and, therefore, of literally getting to know it in depth. From the tall peaks of the Sibillini mountains, water flows down towards the Valnerina in a thousand streams, through deep and winding passages that it has cut into the rock in the course of thousands of years of erosion. The result are truly spectacular gorges, gullies and canyons, signs of nature that have generated fear and legends. Accompanied by the Alpine Guides licensed by the “Marmore” Centre, one lets oneself down with ropes, sliding on the toboggans and diving into the pools.
Those who are at their first experience and want to feel the thrill without making too much of an effort can descend into the Fosso di Rocca Gelli, letting themselves down on ropes for a distance of 15 meters maximum (lasts 2 hours). Otherwise, if one has more time and greater athletic ambitions, there is the Forra del Casco, a 20-minute drive from the “Marmore” Centre, but here the jumps are of even 30 meters (lasts 4 hours). The attire and technical equipment is supplied by the organization.