Summer for me has always meant: sea, white beaches and scent of salty air. This year, in spite of the hot July and the (blatant) pressure from my husband, we decided to spend 10 days in Tarvisio, the northeastern part of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in Italy.
Well, it took two days to break every wall of mistrust on the mountain as a summer tourist destination! It was a holiday full of emotions and family adventures.
Tarvisio is beautiful, particularly rich in recreational activities, places to visit; last but not least, the proximity to the Slovenia (Ljubljana and Bled Lake) and Austria, which allows for short “foreign get-aways”.
Zacchi Alpine Hut
In the first place we decided to face the mountain adventure and test our exploration soul reaching the Zacchi Alpine hut.
Starting from Tarvisio, we headed by car toward the Fusine Lakes, specifically, to the large Lake Superior car park.
From there a small road unwinds, a very gentle, unassuming trail that ends with a crossroads: on the one hand, a walk on a large gravel road, also used by cars to reach the refuge, on the other, a path through the woods, shorter, but also more challenging.
Needless to say which of the two routes my sweet hubby suggested to take!!
In short, with my great joy (fake!) we went into the forest path confiding in the fact that it would be simple and not excessive, considering the presence of Jacopo, our 2.5 years old and, like his mom, at his first hiking experience.
I must admit that the little man has impressed not only the two of us, but also the other cross-country travelers. He joyfully and without hesitation walked the entire time, reproaching mom (more than once) for stopping to rest.
After all, contrary to my being a poor mountain person, the CAI route, completely shaded, because protected by a lush forest of very tall, green trees, in sharp contrast to the patchy blue sky offers evocative landscapes
In brief once there, the need to stop for a few minutes (not only to catch my breath) to contemplate the beauty of nature around it is inevitable. The magnificence of Mt. Mangart is eye catchy , standing at 2,677 m, makes it the fourth highest peak in the Julian Alps bordering with Slovenia.
After restoring our minds and soul, we also offered rest to the body, occupying one of the outside tables of the shelter, to have an ice-cold drink, and a plate of pasta with ragù for Jacopo.
So, quenched and refreshed by the park, we decided to return to the lower lake, this time by way of the gravel road; Halfway down the road our baby boy felt asleep, but fortunately we had Ferrino’s baby-carrier backpack with us and Pierluigi was able to put Jacopo back on his shoulder!
The Fusine Lakes
The Fusine Lakes are one of the most fascinating places near Tarvisio; These two alpine lakes are surrounded by coniferous woods, with red and white firs.
Lake Superior, located at 929 meters above sea level, has a maximum depth of 10 meters and an area of 9 ha, while Lake Inferiore, located at 924 meters above sea level, has a maximum depth of 25 meters and an area of 13.5 ha .
Here nature is the protagonist and it is imperative to relax on the lawns surrounding them, watching the bucolic landscapes and the placid ducks swimming undisturbed in their emerald green waters.
Another stop not to be missed in Tarvisio is Monte Lussari, fortunately for me, reachable through the cable car that takes you through 800mt of altitude in 10/15 minutes, effortlessly and comfortably seated.
Monte Lussari is a jewel of incomparable natural beauty on which stands a small hamlet that develops around the shrine, common to the Slavic, Italian and German ethnic strains.
The little church built on the site in 1360 is today a place of pilgrimage; But the area is also ideal for sports lovers.
Orrido della Slizza
Three days after the excursion to the Rifugio Zacchi, and after every single muscle on my B side has stopped hurting, we decided to go along the sloping Orrido Slizza path, a footpath that is protected by hand-rails going down into the beech and Red spruce forest and follows the sinuous path etched by the Slizza river.
Already in this first section you can admire the natural beauty of the limestone rocks eroded by the action of the water, the varied vegetation enriched with thousands of coloured nuances and by the enchanting green hue of the water.
Once passed the gangways the road goes down slightly to the water’s edge and then goes up to meet a man made cave.
From here you can admire the iron rail bridge over the old Tarvisio – Ljubljana railway which has been abandoned for many years. The bridge, 63 meters high up to the water’s edge, is accessible via a pedestrian walkway.
Continuing the trek within the spruce and beech forest you are shortly back to the starting point.
The most interesting site of the entire Valley, in my opinion, is the Goriuda Fountain, in Chiusaforte (UD).
The Fountain is in the Natural Park of the Julian PreAlps and is reachable through a short and easy walk (15 minutes at most) at the end of which you reach a grotto and the breathtaking waterfall.
Following the path from the wooden fence you can enter the cave and find yourself on the other side of the falling cascade, for sure treat.
The Predil Lake
About 10 Km from Tarvisio lies the Predil Lake, an idyllic basin once iced, offering the numerous visitors an opportunity to spend a pleasant and relaxing day thanks to the bathing establishment with a beach area, boats, canoes and a windsurfing school.
In addition, if you are planning to spend a day at Lago del Predil, I recommend you cut out time for the Cave del Predil Mines for a unique and fascinating experience.
The Raibl Mine
The Raibl mine has been one of the most important European lead and zinc mines for centuries. Closed in 1990, today it has become the Raibl Geominerary International Park, memorial in memory of miners and now tourist destination.
The old mine was made up of 120 km of tunnels arranged on 19 levels, down to 520 m in depth. Now you can visit some of the spaces inside, walking along some of the tunnels on foot or on an electric train.
Wearing winter clothing is recommended at all times, since the temperature in the mine is around 6-9 ° C yearround and humidity is 98%, an ideal microclimate for asthma sufferers or lung diseases. Recently, in fact, a doctor from Udine is trying to get the nihil obstat for exploiting the mine for the benefit of patients with respiratory problems due to allergies and/or asthma!