The 10 Tallest Dams in Italy

The Speccheri Dam, the third tallest dam in Italy.
The Speccheri Dam, the third tallest dam in Italy.

In the last century, Italy has heavily invested in the construction of dams. The dams are some of the largest in the world making Italy the 14th largest producer of hydroelectricity. Major dams were constructed in the northern region where there are many rivers and hydroelectric plants. The aim was to produce hydroelectric energy for Italian industrialization. The dams have varied heights and capacities. Below is look at the tallest dams in Italy.

Top Five Tallest Dams

Vajont Dam

The Vajont Dam is the tallest Dam in Italy. Built on the Vajont River in the Erto e Casso municipality, it measures 858 feet high and over 89 feet wide. The dam which is graded as a disused dam was completed in 1959. As the tallest dam at that time, Vajont Dan was intended to meet the industrialization demands. However, in 1963, an enormous landslide led to overtopping of water from the dam. Flooding leading to the destruction of property and human deaths occurs downstream. Nevertheless, the dam was largely undamaged.

Alpe Gera dam

The second tallest dam is the Alpe Gera dam built on the Cormor River in the Lombardy region of Italy. Measuring 571 feet tall, the dam was majorly constructed for hydroelectric production. As a curved concrete gravity type of dam, Alpe Gera was completed in 1964. The total water capacity of the dam is approximately 68 million cubic meters.

Speccheri Dam

At 515 feet tall, the Speccheri Dam was constructed as an arch dam in the Trentino-Alto Adiges province, Bolzano on the Vallarsa River. The main aim of the dam was to generate hydroelectric power. The Speccheri Dam, completed in 1958 is ranked as the third tallest in Italy.

Place Moulin Dam

The fourth tallest dam is the Place Moulin Dam on the Buthier River in Bionaz, Aosta Valley, in the region of Northern Italy. At 509 feet tall and approximately 2,224 feet long, the dam was constructed for hydroelectric power generation. Construction began in 1955 and ended in 1965. The dam forms a reservoir that can hold up to 105 million square meters of water. Engineers to the dam constructed perimeter tunnels to assist technicians to walk with ease as they inspect the reservoir.

Santa Giustina Dam

The fifth largest dam is the Santa Giustina Dam. Built on the Noce River, the dam was mainly for hydroelectric power generation. At 502 feet high the dam whose construction works began in 1946 was completed in 1951. The dam leads to the formation of a vast reservoir surrounded by green leisurely area for relaxing and hiking.

Other Major Dams in Italy

Five more major dams add to the above discussed dams. These dams include Santa Giustina in the Santa Giustina River, Lei dam on Lei River, Frera (Belviso) dam in Frera River, Cancano dam in the Adda River and the Sauris Dam which was constructed in the Lumiei river. All the dams are above 400 feet tall.

The Connection Between Dam and Industrialization in Italy

Italy was among the first countries to create modern industries. The process was boosted by the availability of adequate supply of power from the dams. The reliable hydroelectric power from the dams ensured that the stakeholders concentrated on building cottage and large industries uninterrupted. Electricity from the dams led to mechanization in factories. With time, the dams have provided adequate drinking water, and other economic, environmental, and social benefits.

The 10 Tallest Dams in Italy

RankDamRiverHeight (m)Height (ft)
1Vajont DamVajont261.6858
2Alpe Gera DamCormor174571
3Speccheri DamVallarsa157515
4Place Moulin DamButhier155509
5Santa Giustina DamNoce153502
6Santa Giustina DamSanta Giustina148486
7Lei DamLei143469
8Frera (Belviso) DamFrera138453
9Cancano DamAdda136446
10Sauris DamLumiei136446

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