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Sauris, the North-Eeast passage

Wednesday 06 november 2019

Framed by the evocative landscapes of Carnia, the alpine village of Sauris is known for its lake, its ham, speck and craft beer

Sauris, the North-Eeast passage

Thick forest, pastures surrounded by shepherd’s huts (malghe) and alpine lakes. This is Sauris and much more: it’s a mountain village in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, it’s surrounded by the Dolomite summits and its soul shows out with three faces: Sauris di Sotto, the lower district, Sauris di Sopra, the upper district and Lateis. You are in the heart of Carnia, nature lies steadily and lake Sauris and its emerald green and the turquoise red colours welcome the visitors who reach this corner of heaven. In Winter you can do alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and ice-skating, you can have a ride on a snowmobile, you can attend sled-dog classes or go on a very romantic ride on a sleigh pulled by horses surrounded by amazing snowy landscapes. In Summer you can walk along the paths, you can ride your mountain-bike or go horse-riding in the woods along the lake’s banks, you can go canoeing, play tennis, basket or go horse-riding in the open air in the equipped sports centre, the “Village of sports and well-being” equipped with a wellness centre, the sauna, the pools surrounded by the green between Sauris di Sopra and Sauris di Sotto. Art, culture, food and wine are added values too: actually Sauris is a village rich of history and traditions and it is also a landmark of good food where you can taste wonderful local products.


Sauris to explore
Sauris is a continuous discovery. In the shepherd’s huts in the woods along the lake’s banks, on the pastures above 1.500 metres of altitude, among the original huts of the “blockbau” and the wooden overlapped stuck trunks. If you’re fond of architecture and history you can’t miss a visit to the shrine in the lower part of the village featuring a clock-bell with its typical pinnacle in the shape of an onion and a beautiful front rose-window dedicated to saint Oswald king of Northumberland since it was one of the main devotional centres of the Venetian republic between the sixteenth and the seventeenth century. To go deep into the knowledge of this area, you can see the Saint Oswald museum in the parsonage, you’ll go on an incredible journey among the scrolls dating back to the ‘400 and the ‘500, you will see beautiful silverware, sacred vestments and a nativity scene dating back to the ‘700 made of wax and fabric. You can’t miss the tiny alpine church of San Lorenzo in the upper part of the village, it dates back to the sixteenth century and it is located on a slope, the ethnographic centre “haus van der zahre”, located in a rustic once used as a stable and barn and today used to held exhibitions, for the popular devotion, the Carnival events, the worship of saint Oswald and the local network of paths.

Museo di Sauris

Sauris to taste
In a tiny paradise of tastes like Sauris the gourmand people make their dreams come true. In this area the ham is certainly the protagonist among several high quality products that include different types of salami like the speck, the cheese, the crafted non-pasteurized beers, the vegetables and berries. The ham from Sauris is famous at a National and International level and it has been protected by the IGP designation (guarantee of origin for foods produced in specific areas of Italy) since 2009 and its uniqueness is due to a particular type of smoking process which is carried out by using the beech wood from the local forests. It’s an old method which is to preserve the trouts as well. They are bred in a natural environment and go back up from the plane. After being selected the trouts are smoked according to tradition on the river shores where the pure air and the right degree of humidity produce a genuine and surprising taste. You can’t miss tasting the cheese from the shepherds’ huts: the raw milk that is used enables the cheese to keep all the organoleptic features of milk from the pasture. A special gift for your taste is the Alpine cheese, the old and the very old Riserva that thanks to the ideal microclimate of this area offer the most demanding food lovers an amazing sensory experience featured by evident herbaceous aftertaste. Beer is very good too, whole brewed, not pasteurized and not filtered without any preservative substances, there are five different types of beer.

Prosciutto di Sauris

Sauris to live
Sauris means moving around, being in the open air, experiencing the nature and the landscapes. If you like hiking many paths and tracks are at your disposal; they are surrounded by the green forests in Summer and they feature wonderful colours in Fall. They connect the different districts or they reach more demanding tracks at the discovery of the lake and its surroundings up to the steep pastures filled with shepherds’ huts. The lake of Sauris, besides being a great fishing, canoeing and windsurfing area is also the favourite destination of mountain-bikers. One of the main routes that flanks the river goes up to the upper part of the village and reaches Mount Ruke, there’s a track that reaches the canyon of Lumiei and other historical areas. In Winter you can go Nordic walking, you can ice-skate and you can ski down the red and the blue slopes by means of a ski lift while children can learn skiing at the local school. If you like the cross-country skiing the ring of Plotze in the upper part of  Sauris is at your disposal on the same plain dominated by Mount Bivera.
Curious Sauris
All seasons are great to discover this part of Friuli but there are some periods of the year when the village can’t really be missed. The Carnival is one the best events that are held since the traditions of this land come out in a great way. It is “The night of the lanterns” that is carried out on the Saturday before the  Ash Wednesday. The masks gather in the main square of the upper part of the village, there is Rölar, a thrilling character disguised in dark clothes and the face covered in soot, there’s Kheirar, the king of masks with the face covered with a wooden mask and a big broom in his hand. They are the protagonists of the ritual that is performed in the most beautiful corners of the village and in the public places and goes on along the snowy woods and fields in the light of the lanterns while sipping a hot cup of hot wine. The Sanctuary of Lesachtal is the destination of the walk that is held on the third week of September through the Pesarina and the  Sappada valleys where the pilgrims from Sauri and from Sappada meet up. The period between Christmas and the Epiphany’s night is really magic, you are surrounded by the Christmas Carols sung in old German, in Italian and Latin, the nursery rhymes for children and adults go from home to home and sing “Vieni Creator Spiritus”.
Sauris is village where you can feel the entire beauty of traditions as well as the magic of the ancient trades: the handcrafted weaving tradition that produces beautiful carpets, tapestries ad much ore than that or the wood carving and a remarkable production of furniture.

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