North of Udine: Karnia (Carnia)

North of Udine: Karnia (Carnia)

The region of the low hills north of Friuli is called Karnia, and the name was given by the Celtic tribes, who settled here in the 4th century. p.n.e. From the Udine side, by road or rail, GEMONA is the gateway to the region, town, which was largely destroyed during the earthquake in 1976 r., when death suffered over 300 residents. The historic center on a hill with steep slopes has been faithfully recreated and unfortunately impresses with the setting for the film. Cathedral, once a magnificent Romanesque-Gothic building, is notable for the huge 14th-century statue of St.. Christopher on the facade.

North of Gemona, on both sides of the mountain section of the Tagliamento River, Karnia begins. The high and often vertically sloping limestone mountains are separated by deep ones, forested valleys, which radiate out towards the border with Austria in the north and Yugoslavia in the east. These mountain ranges - the Carnian Alps (Carnic Alps) to the west and the Julian Alps (Julian Alps) in the East - they are almost unknown even to the Italians themselves, although the area has a lot to offer to mountain walkers and climbers. (Linguists should also not be bored here, because the inhabitants use strange variants of Friulano, German and Slovenian).

There is one long alpine hiking trail in the region, Carnic crossing, between Sesto and Tarvisio, right on the border with Austria. If the trail feels too long or difficult, then you can go to Laghi di Fusine, two blue-green lakes in the national park, in the Julian Alps, at the very northeastern tip of Italy. To the situated 9 km from the TARVISO lakes it is easy to reach by train or bus; then you have to hitchhike, but traffic on the road to Yugoslavia is heavy, so there should be no problems. After reaching the lakes, you can choose any long walking route: from the path around the lakes there are wonderful views of the north face of Mangart (2677 m), you can also go on a four-hour trip to Rifugio Zacchi (1380) and back. Shelter, which can sleep thirty people, it is open from July to September and usually offers something to eat.

Additional information about the national park can be obtained from the Azienda Regionale delle Foreste, via Manzini 41, Udine (* 0432/294711). For general information about hiking and climbing in Karnia, contact Societa Alpina Friulana (Old Hospital Society 3, Udine) and tourist offices in Tarvisio and Piancavallo.

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