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e-borghi travel 1, Mountain and villages: Sauris, the North-Eeast passage

Dense forests, pastures dotted with alpine pastures and an alpine lake. Sauris is this and much more: a mountain village in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, it is dominated by Dolomite peaks and its soul is expressed with three faces: Sauris di Sotto, Sauris di Sopra and Lateis. We are in the heart of Carnia, nature reigns supreme and it is Lake Sauris, a mirror of emerald green and turquoise colours, that welcomes those who come to this corner of paradise. In winter, downhill and cross-country skiing, ski mountaineering and ice-skating are practised, snowmobiling, dog sledding courses are held and, for the more romantic, snow-covered landscapes are contemplated in the comfort of horse-drawn sleighs. In summer, on the other hand, one can discover hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding through meadows, forests and lakeshore, or enjoy canyoning, tennis, basketball and horseback riding. Not only that. Numerous sporting opportunities can be pursued in the well-equipped 'Borgo dello sport e del benessere' centre, equipped with a wellness centre, saunas and swimming pool, all immersed in the greenery between Sauris di Sopra and Sauris di Sotto. Sport and relaxation in Sauris are combined with art, culture and enogastronomy: the village, in fact, is rich in history and traditions and is also a capital of taste in which to appreciate local flavours and typical products. Sauris to explore Sauris is a continuous discovery. On the malghe (shepherd's huts), in the woods, along the shores of the lake, on the pastures over 1,500 metres above sea level and in the hamlets, amidst the rustic "blockbau", the wooden logs piled up and wedged at the corners. Architecture and history enthusiasts should not miss a visit to the sanctuary of Sauris di Sotto, with its bell tower featuring the characteristic onion spire and the beautiful rose window on the façade, dedicated to Saint Oswald, King of Northumberland, one of the most famous and prestigious devotional centres of the Venetian Republic between the 17th and 18th centuries. For more in-depth knowledge of the area, visit the Museum of Sant'Osvaldo, housed in the rectory, for a journey through the history of the community amidst 15th- and 16th-century parchments, silverware, sacred vestments and an 18th-century nativity scene in wax and fabric. Worth a visit, in Sauris di Sopra, are the small alpine church of San Lorenzo, a 16th-century building located on a slope downstream of the village, and the ethnographic centre "haus van der zahre", housed in a rustic building - once used as a stable and barn -, a venue for publications and, over the years, the scene of exhibitions on the malghe (shepherd's huts), popular devotion, the Sauris carnival, the cult of St Oswald and the local network of trails. Sauris to taste In Sauris, gourmets dream and taste. In these parts, it is first and foremost ham that dominates the rich scene of high quality products, for example sausages in general - such as speck -, cheeses and unpasteurised craft beers. Known nationally and internationally, Sauris ham, protected by the PGI mark since 2009, owes its uniqueness to the special method of smoking, carried out using beech wood from local forests. An ancient preservation method also used to characterise the Friulian trout, bred in a natural resurgence environment of the Friulian plain. Once selected, the trout are smoked - according to the Saurana tradition - on the banks of the lake, where the pure mountain air and the right degree of humidity give the delicacy a genuine and surprising flavour. Among the cheeses to be tasted are those from the alpine pastures: made from raw milk, as true cheese-making technique demands, they retain all the organoleptic characteristics of milk freshly milked from grazing cows. A true marvel for the palate are the Vecchio and Stravecchio Riserva alpine pasture cheeses, which, through the natural microclimate of Sauris, offer the most demanding gourmets a sensory experience punctuated by marked herbaceous notes. Also of quality is the craft beer, whole, unpasteurised and not even filtered: no less than five different types and without the use of preservatives. Sauris for living Sauris is movement, the desire to be in the open air, to experience nature and the landscape. For those who love to walk, there are numerous paths branching off in the scenery of the valley: simple routes immersed in the green of the woods in summer and in its colourful foliage in autumn connect the hamlets from which more demanding paths can be undertaken to discover the lake and its surroundings until reaching the vastness of the steep pastures dotted with malghe (shepherd's huts). Lake Sauris, on the other hand, as well as being a venue for fishing, windsurfing and canoeing, is also a destination for mountain bikers. One of the routes runs along the waters of the basin, continues to Sauris di Sopra, a trail that reaches the Orrido del Lumiei gorge and touches on historical and artisan areas of the hamlet. In winter, too, there is Nordic walking, then ice skating at the sports and wellness centre and skiing between the red and blue slopes - served by a ski lift -, while for the little ones there is a school camp. For cross-country lovers, there is the Plotze ring in Sauris di Sopra, on the plain of the same name dominated by Mount Bivera. Curious Sauris All seasons are perfect for discovering this corner of Friuli, but there are periods of the year when the village of Sauris is truly unmissable. Carnival is certainly one of those, an occasion in which the tradition of these lands comes to the fore and with a highlight, 'The Night of the Lanterns', which takes place on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday. The masks - handmade by local artisans - meet in the square of Sauris di Sopra where the Rölar, an electrifying figure in dark clothes and with his face covered in soot, and the Kheirar, the king of the masquerade with a wooden mask on his face and a large broom in his hand, are the protagonists of the ritual that takes place in the most evocative corners of the village and in public places, to then continue, by the light of the lanterns, through woods and snow-covered meadows sipping a hot mulled wine. The sanctuary of Lesachtal, on the other hand, is the destination of the footpath that winds its way - in the third week of September - through the Pesarina valley and the Sappada valley, where Sauris pilgrims join Sappada pilgrims. Finally, the period between Christmas and Epiphany is very atmospheric in Sauris, with Christmas carols in Old German, Italian and Latin, children's nursery rhymes in Saurano and visits by adults who, from house to house, try their hand at singing "Veni Creator Spiritus". A village, Sauris, in which to savour the beauty of traditions in all its expressions, including ancient crafts: artisan weaving with its historic looms, for example - which make carpets, tapestries and much more -, or the art of woodworking with a fine production of furniture and furnishings.

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  • #carnia
  • #hamigp
  • #mountain
  • #mountainvillages
  • #nightoflanterns
  • #sauris
  • #saurislake
  • #speck
  • #udine


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