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58.5 km - Altitude gain 1700mt

Tolmezzo - Salpada

Tolmezzo -

Sappada

Friday 24  May 2024 58.5km Altitude gain 1700mt
Stage suitable for: Experts

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Tolmezzo

Overview

The city of Tolmezzo is the main economic and administrative centre in Carnia. Its ancient and rather complex history is re ected in the colourful and unique elegance of its buildings, most of which were built and extended in the eighteenth century boom created by the entrepreneurial genius of Jacopo Linussio. Its origins are probably pre-Roman even if its ancient name, Tulmetium or Tumech, ¬rst appears at the end of the ¬rst millennium. Between the 18th and 19th century, under the patriarchate of Aquileia, it was a bustling city, devoted to trac and trade, surrounded by high walls, eighteen towers and three gates, one of which, Porta di Sotto, is still visible today. In this period small mills and several artisans’ workshops, particularly those specialising in textile production, were built not far from the gate in what is still known nowadays as Borgo della Roggia (Via Del Din, Via Linussio). Textile production was a Carnic speciality that led to Tolmezzo having one of the largest factories of the eighteenth century with 30,000 workers at different sites and its products sold the world over. The resulting economic progress encouraged cultural and artistic growth of not only the city but also the whole of Carnia, contributing to the development of a unique alpine architecture, still present and well-preserved to this day.

Culture and art
The city’s history has left its mark on the elegant palazzos of noble families, the arcades and the rows of more modestly sized dwellings in the old Borgat district that surrounds Piazza Mazzini. Here you can admire the Church of Santa Caterina where one of Pomponio Amalteo’s ¬nest works, the altar piece of the wedding of Saint Catherine (1537), is kept. Almost opposite the church you can see the elegant façade of Casa Janesi (15th century), with typical Venetian Gothic mullioned windows. From here you can take a pleasant stroll towards the centre through the characteristic arcades and galleries for some light shopping. Piazza XX Settembre is the heart of the city. It is overlooked by historic institutional buildings like the Palazzo del Municipio (Town Hall) and Palazzo Garzolini, the town’s courthouse, and the eighteenth century Duomo (cathedral). The Duomo houses a number of important works by Veneto painters Bassano, Diziani and Novelli, frescos by Angelo Schiavi, the altarpiece by Fontebasso, the canvases of the Evangelists and Apostles by Carnic artist Nicola Grassi and the sixteenth century stoup attributed to Comacine master Bernardino da Bissone. After passing through the so-called Borgo della Mu¬ffa (Via Ermacora, Piazza Garibaldi), north of the main piazza, we recommend a visit to Palazzo Campeis, home of the Michele Gortani Carnic Museum of Popular Arts, where one of the richest collections of artworks and objects of popular art is kept. Equally interesting from an artistic point of view is the eighteenth century Palazzo Frisacco, to the south of the piazza, which is a prestigious venue for exhibitions and art shows. Not far from the centre is Palazzo Linussio, designed by Tolmezzo architect Domenico Schiavi, the former site of the factory and residence of industrialist Jacopo Linussio. The palazzo has a collection of important frescos and bas-relief works in its extraordinary central salon.

A natural environment
The entire municipal area, which extends over the plain formed by the But and Tagliamento rivers, offers delightful excursions and walks deep in the heart of nature or in the little towns where the architecture has barely changed over time. Don’t miss the walk down towards Torre Picotta, a mediaeval tower that has been recently restored, from which you can admire the surrounding countryside. Pieve di S.Maria oltre But between Caneva and Casanova and Pieve di S.Floriano and the windmills of Illegio are all worth visiting as well. We also recommend a trip through the municipality’s other small but charming villages of Betania, Cadunea, Cazzaso, Fusea, Imponzo, Terzo and Lorenzaso.

A walk in the city
Among elegant noble family palazzos, eighteenth century churches, arcades and covered walkways, time in the Tolmezzo town goes by, revealing an alpine town with unique appeal. Walking along the streets of the centre you can admire the façades of the buildings that once belonged to well-to-do local families, you can see the precious artistic treasures kept in the churches and museums, but you can also stop for an aperitif in one of the many bars and cafés that liven up the town, and spend the evening at the cinema or theatre.

Tolmezzo: the mediaeval places
It was a very lively little town, dedicated to traffic and commercial trade, between the 13th and 14th Century: In this period small mills and several artisan’s workshops, particularly those specialising in textile production, were built along the road which is still known as Borgo Della Roggia (Via Del Din, Via Linussio) today. The city was surrounded by high walls, eighteen towers and three gates, one of which, the Porta di Sotto, can still be seen. The Porta di Sotto, standing at the southern entrance to the old city, dating back to the thirteen or fourteenth Century, represents one of the remains of the ancient city walls: it seems that this is where duty on goods in transit was paid. The castle or patriarchal palazzo stood a little way above the town, on the slopes of Monte Strabut. A moat bound it towards the mountains and the surrounding area was closed off by a wall sloping down into the valley. Torre Picotta was built between 1477 and 1479 to defend the town and castle against the Turkish menace. Walking up Via Cascina, a side street of Via Roma takes you into the Pra-Castello area, where the manor house stood, and Torre Picotta. The view from here takes in the entire surrounding countryside and the city itself.

Borgat
The oldest area of the city is called Borgat and is where Piazza Santa Caterina is today. This is where the oldest market was held, recorded in historical documents since the Ninth Century. In Piazza Santa Caterina, you can still admire Casa Janesi, from the 14th-15th Century, which represents one of the few surviving examples of civil construction form the late Mediaeval period present in the city. The façade, now in exposed stonework, would originally have been covered with geometric design frescos. Some traces remain in the fragments conserved in the upper section of the front façade. The Venetian Gothic style mullioned windows are particularly characteristic. Almost opposite stands the Church of Santa Caterina, of Mediaeval origins, but entirely rebuilt in 700. Its interior houses various works by local artists and an excellent altar piece depicting the Wedding of Santa Caterina created in 1537 and commonly attributed to the painter Pomponio Amalteo, a follower of Il Pordenone. Very close by, following along below the arcades of Via Roma, heading towards the town, you find Palazzo De Marchi, which was in the past used as a theatre hall and cinema, and whose façade was designed by the famous architect Raimondo D’Aronco.

The heart of the town
The Cathedral of San Martino looks down over the town’s main square, Piazza XX Settembre. The current building was constructed between 1752 and 1764 to a design by Domenico Schiavi, one of the most important Friulian architects of the 18th century, on the site of a previous church. In this period the Carnic centre was enjoying a positive economic period evidenced by several buildings being put in order and the construction of new exclusive residences like Palazzo Linussio, Palazzo Campeis, Frisacco and Garzolini. In this climate of well-being and renovation construction of the Cathedral was started, which, with its sizeable dimensions and the decorative richness of its interiors, provides a splendid reflection of the dynamic building scene and the evolution of Tolmezzo society. Its richly decorated interior conserves frescos and canvases by local painters alongside works by some of the most important Venetian artists of the age. The numerous works safeguarded in the ecclesiastical buildings, a unique architecture resulting from Venetian influence mingled with local forms and museums famous throughout the region, make Tolmezzo a true city of art. The collections of Palazzo Campeis, home of the Carnic Museum of Popular Art and Tradition, represent one of the region’s most important collections of ethnographic material, the result of painstaking research carried out by Michele Gortani (1883-1966) in the Carnia area from 1920 on. The museum documents the life, customs, agriculture and industry of Carnia over the years, with extensive collections of utensils, tools and clothes, and with the reconstruction of typical environments (kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms, old-fashioned workshops). To complete the artistic journey in the capital of Carnia, don’t forget to visit Palazzo Frisacco, where interesting temporary exhibitions dedicated to contemporary art are put on.

Palazzo Linussio
Palazzo Linussio (1741), just a short distance from the old town, is one of the town’s most prestigious buildings. It was built to a design by architect Domenico Schiavi for the famous eighteenth century businessman Jacopo Linussio and combines the residential area and the area destined for industrial activity in one complex. The main body, flanked by two barns, contains the living quarters; at the back two extensive wings, once upon a time flanked by canals, enclose a vast courtyard and define the areas reserved for work. The interiors of the residence present the classic typology of noble family palazzo with a large, lavishly decorated large central saloon with balustrade. The frescos, on the walls and ceiling, depicting historic and mythological scenes restore the air of prestige to the environment that it must have had in the eighteenth century. An elegant family chapel dedicated to Maria Annunziata from the same period as the factory completes the ensemble. The 1788 earthquake seriously damaged the factories and the company shut down in 1818.

Gastronomy

Palazzo Linussio (1741), just a short distance from the old town, is one of the town’s most prestigious buildings. It was built to a design by architect Domenico Schiavi for the famous eighteenth century businessman Jacopo Linussio and combines the residential area and the area destined for industrial activity in one complex. The main body, flanked by two barns, contains the living quarters; at the back two extensive wings, once upon a time flanked by canals, enclose a vast courtyard and define the areas reserved for work. The interiors of the residence present the classic typology of noble family palazzo with a large, lavishly decorated large central saloon with balustrade. The frescos, on the walls and ceiling, depicting historic and mythological scenes restore the air of prestige to the environment that it must have had in the eighteenth century. An elegant family chapel dedicated to Maria Annunziata from the same period as the factory completes the ensemble. The 1788 earthquake seriously damaged the factories and the company shut down in 1818.

Punti di interesse

A fashionable city in the eighteenth century.

Chiesa di Santa Caterina
Tolmezzo – Piazza Mazzini
Mediaeval in origin, although entirely rebuilt in the eighteenth century, the Church of Santa Caterina has always been, and still is, a religious and social focal point for the inhabitants of Tolmezzo.

Duomo di San Martino
Tolmezzo piazza XX Settembre
The Cathedral of San Martino is the city’s most important religious building. Built in the eighteenth century, the interior is also worth seeing, where works by the Venetian painters Fontebasso, Novelli and Diziani are conserved along with the series of the Apostles executed by the greatest Carnic painter of the eighteenth century, Nicola Grassi.

“M. Gortani” Carnic Museum of Popular Art
Tolmezzo centro storico
This is one of the greatest ethnographic museums in Europe, with its huge array of objects and documents. The collections have used documents and reconstructions to create an important close-up view of Carnic society between the 14th and 19th centuries.

Palazzo Frisacco
Tolmezzo – old town
Standing in the historic centre of the old Borgo della Roggia, the exterior aspect of Palazzo Frisacco (18th) is softened by sober eighteenth century design and sculpted stone profiling of the windows and the main entrance door. It was the rectory for a long time. Today, after the reconstruction work following the 1976 earthquake, it is used as a civic exhibition centre for art exhibitions.

Torre Picotta
A little higher above the town, on the slopes of Monte Strabut the castle or patriarchal palazzo stood. A moat bound it towards the mountains and a wall closed the surrounding area off sloping down into the valley. Torre Picotta was built between 1477 and 1479 to defend the town and the castle against the Turkish menace. Walking up Via Cascina, a side street of Via Roma takes you into the Pra-Castello area, where the manor house stood, and Torre Picotta The view from here takes in the entire surrounding countryside and the city itself.

Casa Janesi
Age-old residence of the Janesi family, which can be dated to the 15th-16th Century represents one of the few surviving examples of late Mediaeval civil construction in the city. The façade, now in exposed stonework, would originally have been covered with geometric design frescos. There are some traces in the fragments conserved in the upper section of the front façade. Particular noteworthy features are the trilobate arched mullion windows supported by slender Venetian Gothic stone columns.

Il Borgo di Illegio
Illegio town is often referred to as the “town of arches” because of the numerous houses with arched doors or gates, although it is also home to other unusual artistic and architectural features: from archaeological evidence identified beneath the churches of S. Floriano, S. Paolo and S. Vito, and near the zone named Castello del Broili to seventeenth century windmills, of which one, the Mulin dal Flec, is still operational.

The Pieve of S. Maria oltre But
Erected on a site that has been settled since the Pre-Roman period the church was rebuilt in the 16th Century and revised in 1856. It safeguards two eighteenth century Carnic woodcraft altars and a baptismal font hewn out of stone.

Curiedi Biotope
This is one of the most interesting natural environments in Carnia. A natural pathway equipped and marked out with information panels allows visitors to wander through the entire area characterised by three peat bogs and a vast assortment of plant varieties.

Sappada

Overview

Sappada is an enchanting mountain resort located at 1250 metres above sea level in north-western Friuli Venezia Giulia, on the border with Veneto. It is surrounded by the Dolomites and constitutes a tourist resort rich in history and culture, where many outdoor activities are available and within everyone’s reach.

Local cusine

Sappada’s gastronomic offerings are a tribute to excellence: gourmet restaurants (including a Michelin-starred one), pizzerias, agritourisms and mountain lodges all offer typical mountain cuisine of the highest quality. Sappada’s globally recognised Local Cusine represents a very important appeal for tourists visiting our town. Many traditional local dishes are proposed and interpreted by the talent of our chefs.

Points of interest

Borgate Vecchie di Sappada
Sappada’s main street, with its shops selling technical sportswear, souvenirs and household items.
Olbe Lakes
Mount Peralba

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