Tarvisio is a charming Italian village in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, not far from the Austro-Slovenian border. Due to its small population and small size, the beautiful alpine area attracts many tourists every year. Only its ski area is more famous than its traditions with a serious historical past.
You won't be disappointed no matter which season you choose. The lifts to the Monte Lussari ski area leave from the village, which is quite unique. In the summer, the village and its surroundings are a real excursion paradise with mountains, lakes, waterfalls, and valleys.
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Where is Tarvisio located?
The city is located in the historic province of Friuli in northern Italy. This is the province of Udine in the northeast of the Autonomous Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The mountain town is part of the Julian Alps, which it shares with Slovenia.
The valley can be easily reached from Austria and Slovenia. Villach and Klagenfurt are the top major cities on the Austrian side. In Slovenia Kranjska Gora and Bovec are also within a comfortable reach.
- Distance to Graz: 200 km / 2.5 hours
- Distance from Klagenfurt: 70 km / 1 hour
- Distance to Villach: 30 km / 30 minutes
- Distance to Kranjska Gora (Slovenia): 20 km / 30 mins
- Distance to Bovec (Slovenia): 25 km / 35 mins
Tarvisio is not part of any national park. Next to the border, there is Triglav National Park, on the Slovene side.
What makes it special and famous?
The roots of the area go back as far as Roman times when traders used the area to cross the Alps. It has put itself on the map as one of the most popular trade routes in Europe.
In addition to being one of the most famous Italian ski resorts, the cherry on top of the cake is that Tarvisio is a meeting point for Italian, Austrian, and Slovenian culture.
Attractions in Tarvisio
If you go from spring to autumn, you can mainly go hiking, climbing, and cycling in the area. There are countless shorter, family-friendly walks in the countryside - but you’ll also find your calculations if you are looking to conquer higher peaks.
Worth knowing, that there are not many attractions in the city. What you should definitely try is Tarvisio's kitchen. Many restaurants await hungry travelers with local delicacies. This is no coincidence, as Tarvisio’s cuisine is famous throughout the province of Udine for mixing Italian dishes with Austrian and Slovenian cuisine.
As a souvenir, you can bring home some local wines or Montasio cheese - made in the area.
The most famous sights of the area can be found here. Within a few minutes drive we can get to really fabulous places:
#1 Monte Santo di Lussari
Distance: 13 km
Monte Santo di Lussari is a 1790 meter high mountain in the town, not far from Camporosso. The symbol of Tarvisio, the Sanctuary of Monte Lussari (Il santuario del Monte Lussari) can be found here.
There is also a cable car to the mountain, which covers a distance of almost 1000 meters in about 15 to 20 minutes. Those who want to approach the chapel on foot can also go on the established pilgrimage route.
#2 Lago de Predil
Tarvisio distance: 7 km
The alpine lake Predil is perhaps the nearest major attraction. The 1.5 km long, 500-meter wide lake reaches a maximum depth of 30 meters. It got its name from the Predil Pass above it (Kanin Mountain Range).
Fabulous photos of the lake are usually centered on the tiny islet that is so small that only a few trees are housed. Perfect excursion destination with light terrain and exciting views.
#3 Gorge of Orrido della Slizza
Distance: 8 km
The most beautiful gorge in the area, the Orrido della Slizza. In the canyon, you can follow the river Slizza either on the stony gravel road or on the wooden planks carved into the stone wall.
- Address: Via Bamberga, 48, 33018 Tarvisio UD, Italy
Distance: 13 km
Like Lake Predil, the Fusine Lakes have become a popular tourist destination. You can also swim in the lake and go boating. The best known of the twin lakes is the Upper Lake. Bigger, more imposing, than its smaller brother, the Lower Lake.
#5 Fontanone Di Goriuda
Distance: 20 km
Bring your raincoat, poncho if you want to admire the Goriuda Falls because you will want to hike behind the waterfall fur sure! It is worth knowing about the huge waterfall, that the water flow is much higher in winter and spring. In summer, during the drier period, the water is much smaller.
- Address: 33010 Chiusaforte, Province of Udine, Italy
6 Kranjska Gora, Slovenia
Distance: 22 km
Kranjska Gora is a holiday village on the Slovenian side - 20 km from Tarvisio. Ski resort in winter, a true gem for outdoor sports in summer. Lakes, waterfalls, and valleys await visitors.
#7 Mangart Saddle, Slovenia
Distance: 20 km
One of the most beautiful mountains in Slovenia is Mangart, and on it, you will find the highest panoramic road in the country. It is also a popular excursion destination for families, as we can get up to the saddle by car up to 2055 meters.
And while bikers and cyclists cycle along the fabulous panoramic road, climbers and hikers can climb to the 1,679-meter peak of the mountain.
#8 Alpe Adriatic cycle path
If it has been said that the area is ideal for cycling, it is worth noting that the multi-day Alpe Adriatic cycle path also passes through the city.
The route, which is more than 400 kilometers long, starts at Salzburg, Mozart's birthplace, and ends at Grado. Meanwhile, approx. Cyclists struggle with a level difference of 2,200 meters.
#9 Church of Maria am Stein, Austria
Distance: 60 km
One of the most popular attractions is the church of Maria am Stein on the top of the Dobratsch mountain. It's located 2166 m above sea level, which makes it the highest located church in Europe. The building has been defying wind and weather since 1692. The chapel is almost at the top next to the Dobratsch tourist hut (which is on the other side of the mountain).
Tarvisio ski resort
There is 24 km of well-kept ski slopes in Tarvisio. 10 lifts transport skiers between 754 and 1752 meters.
- Blue slope: 9 km
- Red slope: 11 km
- Black slope: 4 km
It is a popular winter destination as the mountains are snowy until April, although it is good to know that 90% of the slopes are equipped with snow cannons. High-tech cannons are available on all slopes, which means good snow conditions throughout the winter season.
- Ski season: first week of Dec - first week of April
Tarvisio also has about 30 km of cross-country ski runs, and there are many off-piste tracks for those who love untamed nature.
In this Italian ski paradise, wonderful slopes await us in an alpine world with an enchanted and rich history.
In 1007 II. The German-Roman emperor Henry established the diocese of Bamberg, which stretched from the Kanal Valley to Pontebbe, making this region of special economic importance due to the nearby ore mines and ironworks.
Tarvisio remained a southern outsider of the Duchy of Bamberg until in 1758 the Bishop of Bammberg finally sold it to the Austrian ruler Maria Theresa of Habsburg. It was granted city town rights in 1909 and was part of the County of Carinthia until 1918.
The area has benefited economically for decades from tourist arrivals from Austria, Hungary, and Yugoslavia. However, trade in the infamous flea market and the leather market has now declined significantly.
Today, summer tourism and winter sports are the biggest sources of income in the area. Tarvisio is known for its characteristic alpine landscapes, which attract many hikers, skiers, and bikers. In addition to families and groups of friends, there are many school groups during ski breaks.
Given that Tarvisio is a border region where different ethnic groups live, its cultural heritage is also very diverse and complex.