The answer is…
THE NESSO WATERFALL: “BEAUTIFUL, MAJESTIC, AND TERRIBLE”
According to Lombard Giovanni Battista Rampoldi, a noted expert on Islamic culture who also happened to have a knack for Italian beauty, you can enjoy the majesty of the waterfall in Nesso, a nice village on the eastern branch of Lake Como (near Coatesa), from three different points of view. In his three-volume work “Corografia dell’Italia”, published between 1832 and 1836, Rampoldi took the time to describe the mesmerizing ravine and the waterfall dividing the village in two.
“There are three places”, Rampoldi wrote, “from which you can enjoy this waterfall – which is beautiful, majestic, and terrible at once. For the first, reach Nesso and go to the small bridge that looks over the river from the edge of the cataract: from there, you can see the thunderous water bounce off the waves of the lake; behind, you can see the Alpine riverbed disappearing between crumbling mountains. The majesty of the waterfall is right in its middle, where water abandons the cliff, forming a convex mirror, and overflows straight down.”
“To see how terrible it is”, Rampoldi adds in conclusion, “you must get closer to the lake, which is so deep here, and jump from one rock to the next until you are at the bottom of the waterfall. Here, surrounded in splashes of water, you cannot avoid looking up and shivering down to the core; all you see is ruinous white water above you, mixed with darkened, corroded ravines.”
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<key picture courtesy of Mercato Italiano. Contents above and photos below from italianways.com>