Falling in love with autumn foliage in Friuli Venezia Giulia 

By Monday, 03 October 2022 06:00
Friuli Venezia Giulia - foliage Foliage Friuli Venezia Giulia Fabrice Gallina

Autumn in Friuli Venezia Giulia is tinged with warm colours as the richly hued foliage paints swathes of colour over landscapes and lakes. 

A wide range of trails is ready to welcome walkers to this border region, from the super-accessible trails towards the lakes to others that lead to mountain refuges. And of course they also offer an opportunity to taste the typical products of the region. There are many places that become truly magical in this autumn season, and here we have selected some of them for you to enjoy. 

mini 2 CARNIA 4679

Among the most evocative trails to walk in the autumn those in the Sappada/Plodn valley, located in the eastern Dolomites between 1,200 and 1,300 metres asl, are a must. Like those to the Monte Ferro refuge and to the Malga Tuglia and Capanna Bellavista chalets. At Forni Avoltri, along the ridge of Friuli Venezia Giulia's highest mountains, lies Lake Volaia at an altitude of 2,000 metres asl. Of glacial origin this small lake is set between the slopes of the Volaia mountains, and at sunset they are a breath-taking spectacle.


In the Tarvisio area there are many easy paths with little difference in altitude but that boast unique natural and scenic features. Among them are the Upper and Lower Fusine Lakes, of glacial origin and connected by an underground system that in winter turns to ice in one of the coldest spots in Italy. In autumn it is possible to admire the lakes as they mirror the colours of the surrounding forest foliage, in a play of reflections and amplifications of warm shades and hues. From brown to yellow, passing through the typical reds of this season, the chromatic blends never cease to amaze.  https://www.turismofvg.it/it/montagna365/lago-di-fusine

Remaining in the Tarvisio area, the Sentiero dell'Orrido dello Slizza (Slizza Gorge Trail) is a nature trail that starts from Tarvizio Boscoverde and descends through fir and pine woods to the bed of the Slizza spring. Then on wooden walkways you cross the gorge that the stream has carved out over the centuries. The route also includes a tunnel that was hand-carved in the 19th century. https://www.turismofvg.it/fvglivexperience/il-sentiero-dell-orrido-dello-slizza

At Sella Nevea, in the municipality of Chiusaforte there are three walking paths, the Anello delle Malghe, the Altopiano del Montasio and the Fontanone di Goriuda,  along which you encounter the chromatic metamorphosis of the trees. One of the most popular destinations for mountain lovers is undoubtedly the Malghe del Montasio.  https://www.turismofvg.it/it/87689/malghe-del-montasio

Carnia ph credits: Luciano Gaudenzio Carnia ph credits: Luciano Gaudenzio

The Pani Trail is a wide 5-kilometre loop that takes its name from the valley of the same name which can be reached from the municipalities of Ampezzo, Socchieve and Raveo in the Carnia area. The valley, being located in a protected position among the mountains, is a natural gem of great charm and the trail has an altitude difference of about 200 metres, so the route is suitable for all types of walker. To tackle the loop, it is possible to leave the car at the Forca di Pani, the highest point of the route (1,139 metres), and take the path off the road, following the CAI 221 Trail which in this first portion crosses meadows and beech woods. The path then enters a forest, coming out a few hundred metres later near an old, abandoned stavolo animal shelter. The route continues downhill past a grove of cherry trees, becoming a paved road again. It further descends into a young beech wood with a stream, rising again on the opposite side of a hollow from which it is possible to admire the view over the hollow and the descending portion of the Tagliamento Valley. https://www.turismofvg.it/it/montagna365/cosa-fare/natura/i-sentieri-del-foliage

Illegio ph credits: Fabrice Gallina Illegio ph credits: Fabrice Gallina

Illegio is a little treasure trove of art, a mountain village not far from Tolmezzo in Carnia. Arriving in this ancient village (which was probably the impregnable and mythical fortress of Ibligo) means entering a peaceful corner of the world far removed from the rush and bustle of modern life. From the end of the village of Illegio, from the San Paolo car park, you can follow a forest road that runs through a beech forest to arrive about an hour later at Prati di Lunge, a prairie surrounded by a beech forest that becomes a splendid spectacle during the autum. The route is suitable for all levels of walker. https://www.turismofvg.it/borghi-tipici/illegio

The Malghe Walk, which is suitable for everyone, runs through varied landscapes where autumn creates its own spectacle of colours. Barcis, a lake that mirrors a forest, has splendid colours in autumn that reflect on the water enchanting visitors. One of the most attractive paths is the Dint Trail, with its belvederes overlooking the gorge. 

To plan a complete autumn holiday, whether for a day or a weekend, it is always useful to have an events calendar at hand. For the Friuli Venezia Giulia mountains we recommend: Il Filo dei Sapori (The Thread of Flavours) to be held in Tolmezzo from 27 to 30 October, with show cooking, entertainment for children, and the many excellent products of the Carnia region. Also not to be missed is the October market in Villa Santina, the antiques Mercato di San Martino (St. Martin's Market) in Ovaro on 11 November, the Farine di Flor/Formadi in Sutrio on 13 November, and every Saturday until 8 October there will be excursions along the Cammino delle Pievi trail, while up to 5 October, every Wednesday in Ovaro, there will be guided visits to the former coal mine of Cludinico. 

Verin ph credits: Mario Verin

Whether to admire the foliage or to end your trip to Friuli Venezia Giulia there are many offers and packages to help you plan your holiday: tastings, adventure parks, the search for uniqueness and typical local products, events and promotions. These packages are grouped by category, so you can choose the best setting for your autumn experiences at: https://www.turismofvg.it/it/montagna365/pacchetti-offerte-montagna 

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