Zoncolan mount

Among the territories of the municipalities of Sutrio, Ravascletto and Ovaro, in the middle of Friuli Venezia Giulia, stands the majestic Zoncolan mount, which is located exactly in the Carnia area and is 1750 meters high.

Zoncolan belongs to the Monte Arvenis-Tamai mountainous group, within the Carnic Alps.

Climbing to the top is quite simple – especially via the Ravascletto/Zoncolan cable car – but above all deserved: it is from there that you can admire a breathtaking panorama, with a view that overlooks almost the entire Carnia region.

If in winter it is preferable to use the cable car to climb to the top of Zoncolan, in the summer it is advisable the path called “Gjalinar”.

Once on top, besides the enchanting view, Zoncolan becomes the ideal destination for ski enthusiasts, due the presence of an extensive ski pole, among the most important of all Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Well 30 kilometers of slopes: among these.

25 slopes are downhill and 26 cross-country. Returning to the feet of the Zoncolan, you will find yourself on the valley of Degano, a true paradise for lovers of unspoiled and wild nature.

The flora is made up of several varieties of different species, so that it is often called a “mosaic”, while forests and uplands are the ideal places to come across wild animals like roe deer, hares, squirrels or badgers.

On the peaks, instead, it is easier to see marmots and birds of prey, and who knows, if you are lucky even the eagle, the Queen of the Alps.

That’s why one of the most popular activities in this area is hiking, which allows a direct contact with forests, waterways and rocks.

But Zoncolan is famous especially for its relationship with the bicycle.

Cycling enthusiasts have renamed it “the Kaiser”: if you are wondering why, try to face the climb that leads to the top … You will find slopes sometimes over 15%!

Also for this reason Zoncolan is often arrival stage of the Giro d’Italia: the first time was in 2003, and the stage was won by Gilberto Simoni, who in a subsequent interview stated that “Zoncolan’s easiest stretch has same difficulties as the hardest tracts of the entire Tour de France”.

Finally, a proper mention of the traditions and folklore of these places.

As in whole Carnia, also in this area there is the legend of the Sbilfs, or rather the sprites who would inhabit these woods.

Not only that: among these lands that compose the beautiful setting dominated by Zoncolan there would be witches-gatherings still today.

And when the witches come together it could be foreseen by strange meteorological phenomena, such as the wind that begins to ‘play’ among the trees of the woods.