Parco naturale delle Prealpi Giulie

Art and culture

VENZONE (altitude 230 m)

The name Venzone was mentioned for the first time in 923 AD as ‘Clausas de Avenzone’ by the patriarch of Aquileia John IV. The toponym, which underwent various changes Albiciones, Aventione, Avenzone, Venzone, clearly originates from "av-au", "flusslauf" (spring, waterflow) and therefore from the Venzonassa stream. The medieval town of Venzone, great part of which was destroyed in 1976, was then rebuilt according to a rigorous placing of recovered stones, and replacement only of the destroyed ones. The complex of monuments, subject to constraints by the  Italian State, include the cathedral and Town Hall, as well as the high town walls, noblemen’s palaces and peasant houses faithfully rebuilt stone on stone.

Tips for a visit

The fourteenth-century cathedral, built with local stone in the area of pre-existing remains and consecrated in 1338 by the Patriarch Bertrand, has a Latin-cross shape with a wide transept and single nave that ends in three apses with a cross vault. In front of the cathedral there stands the Baptistery where the mummies are kept for which the name of Venzone is celebrated all over the world. Within the rebuilt monuments there are also the imposing circle of walls that runs around 1300 metres and the beautiful Town Hall in Venetian Gothic style, built between 1390 and 1410 and then extended and modified. Among sacred buildings are the small churches of St. James and Anne, St.  Anthony, St. Catherine and St. Lucy. A visit deserves also the permanent exhibition Tiere Motus (Palace Orgnani Martina)

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MOGGIO UDINESE (altitude 340 m)

Throughout the last millennium the history of Moggio can be identified with the one of its famous Abbey already consecrated in 1119. At that time Patriarch Ulrich I dedicated the monastery to St. Gallus, just like the more famous monastery in Switzerland he himself had been the Abbot of. The Abbey is currently a place of work and prayer for Clarisse Sisters who look after and maintain this sacred and historical place. The original core of the village probably was around the abbey church and subsequently developed at the foot of the hill so as to surround it completely.

Tips for a visit

The Abbey complex of St. Gallus with its Church, the sixteenth-century Benedictine cloister; inside the magnificent Baroque main altar (1717) and four side altars. Of particular interest are also the huge Christ on painted walnut, dated 1466, the Medieval Tower now equipped as an exhibition area, the Library that keeps liturgical books and some old codices. The Aupa valley with its large number of inhabited villages among which Dordolla has a particular architectural charm; the Alba valley, covered with thick beech woods facing the Çuc del Bôr; the Aip valley with its enchanting grasslands for pasture up to high altitudes.

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RESIUTTA (altitude 316 m)

A traditional stop for those who travelled along the Fella Valley (Canal del Ferro, in Italian, that is to say the Iron Canal), Resiutta is situated where the Resia stream meets the Fella river. Since ancient times the centre has played an important role for the traffic of goods and a comfortable stay for travellers along the commercial rout through this valley, as evidenced by finds of bronze objects, coins and inscriptions that prove its Roman origin. However the first vital sign was St. Martin’s parish church established in 1199, firstly ruled by the Benedictine monks and later by the priests appointed by the Abbot of Moggio it depended on.

Tips for a visit

The Resartico Valley, characterised by a severe and charming environment, offers the possibility to make interesting geological discoveries or to visit the structures of an old pit-mine. From the altitude of 530 m of Borgo Cros, a small cluster of extant rural houses after the earthquake, you can enjoy the view of the whole Resia valley and Mount Canin. A visit to the small Calvary’s church, which overlooks that settlement, can also be of interest.

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RESIA (altitude 492 m)

The origins of Resia date back to the 7th century when people firstly settled within the valley. The inhabitants of Resia are descendants of those Slavic peoples that came to Italy following the Avars and Longobards and had here their settlement after abandoning a nomadic way of life. Once isolated between the Musi Mountains to the south and the imposing Canin Massif to the east and north, Resia is an extremely important linguistic island with its own traditions. A specific language, topic of a lot of studies, is here spoken, and singular traditions (dresses, songs, dances, ceremonies) are here kept and handed over and turn out to be of great interest even for non-experts. Nowadays the community of Resia is mainly grouped within the districts of Prato, San Giorgio, Oseacco, Gniva, Lischiazze, Stolvizza and Uccea. As to its history, since Resia was subject to Moggio Abbey’s jurisdiction, it followed the abbey’s events throughout the centuries. Under the Venetian power it played the defender’s role before the saddles of Carnizza and Guarda, two access ways to the valley from Isonzo in Slovenia. Therefore there was a military garrison with fortifications in Stolvizza and San Giorgio. Beyond its indisputable linguistic-cultural meaning, the most important feature of the valley is its naturalistic profile. Dipped in a green hollow valley the Canin peaks watch over under the snow cover they have for the major part of the year, Resia deserves a visit both for a direct contact with the population of its districts and for the pleasant excursions that can be made in one of the most suggestive alpine landscapes.

Tips for a visit

The Valley gives the chance to get familiar with the Resia Valley Eco-museum (structured along four routes), a museum inside the San Giorgio Social Dairy (which is within one of the route of the eco-museum), a cultural centre (in Prato di Resia), the Resia Valley Ethnographic Museum (in San Giorgio di Resia), and the Knife-Grinders Museum (in Stolvizza di Resia). Moreover you can see the parish church of Our Lady of the Assumption, stables in Ruschis, Gnivizza and Jama, (three of the numerous rural settlements, witness of an old, yet nowadays dismissed shepherds’ activity.

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CHIUSAFORTE (altitude 390 m)

Chiusaforte is situated below a natural narrowing created by the Fella river between the Carnic and Julian Alps. Thanks to this strategic position the village gained importance. The Patriarch of Aquileia had a closed fortress built where a ‘strangle’ was imposed to those who had to go through it (the so called ‘Chiusa’ and hence the name Chiusaforte). Hardly any marks are left of the ‘Chiusa’ erected before 1100 and subsequently amplified in several steps: the only visible traces are near the Railway Iron Bridge. The Raccolana Valley is part of the municipality that extends itself over 18 km and therefore includes several picturesque locations among which the tourist centre of Sella Nevea. Situated in a unique natural milieu that faces the Canin and Montasio mountain ranges, Sella Nevea is a renowned tourist resort particularly equipped for alpine skiing.

Tips for a visit

The Parish Church of St. Bartholomew of Venetan school and the small seventeenth-century church of St .Anthony in Casasola with wooden altars of Austrian school and an altar-piece by Nicola Grassi. The small hamlets on the Piani in the Raccolana valley, after the earthquake test, still maintain a particular architectural charm. The green pastures of the Montasio plateau and tormented Karst landscapes of Mount Canin. Rich wild fauna hidden by firs and larches, snow-fields and glaciers at unusually low levels.

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LUSEVERA (altitude 480 m)

The municipal territory of Lusevera lies within the high Torre valley, where the chief town is Vedronza. The history of the settlements and populations of this territory deals with the passage of Venetans, Celts, Romans and Longobards. The valley belonged to Venice and then Austria just like the rest of Friuli; it was annexed to Italy in 1866, but the establishment of a municipality occurred only in 1971. The territory of Lusevera, like the rest of the river Torre valleys, depends on Tarcento, pleasant village situated at the opening of the valley.

Tips for a visit

Lift systems and a cross-country skiing ring track have been built at the Tanamea Pass (846 m) during recent years so as to develop tourism. Moreover, there is a small museum of old objects and everyday tools. As much as the particular nature of the landscape, Villanova Caves are another great attraction with their complex of 4 caverns for a total development of more than 20 km. Grotta Nuova (new cave) was discovered in 1925 and it is the longest (over 8 km) and more peculiar. There are two possibilities of excursion: a tourist tour (with floor and lighting) and the speleology-tourist route (into the innermost parts of the cavern).

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