On a motorbike in Friuli and the Veneto: valleys and colours

The weather bodes well, it is still warm and one Saturday we decided together with our friend Alex to go for a ride. We started late in the morning heading for Maniago and the lake of Barcis, where we seemed to enter a cloud but, as soon as we were through the first tunnel, we were unexpectedly welcomed us by rays of sunshine that warmed our hands and dries the asphalt wetted during the night. We filled the whole of the Val Cellina, passing the famous Vajont dam and then descend towards Longarone and turned into the Val Zoldana, with a beautiful road marked by a continuous succession of bends.

Just before reaching the village of Forno di Zoldo we turn right into the road that leads to Passo Cibiana. This road turns out to be a carpet of coloured fallen leaves which seem to come back to life as they take to the air again with the passing of our motorbikes. After a few kilometres of curves we stop to have lunch in a very cosy restaurant whose interior is all panelled with wood. Luck accompanies us and we find a table right next to the characteristic fogolâr, the traditional hearth in the middle of the room. With full stomachs and our legs stretched, we get back on our bikes and continue beyond the pass at an altitude of 1,530 m above sea level and descend to the Valle di Cadore. From here, we continue on the provincial road heading north and then head for the Mauria pass and descend in an interminable succession of bends towards Tolmezzo, passing through the villages of Forni di Sopra, Ampezzo and Villa Santina. After arriving in Tolmezzo you can take the motorway to return to Udine more quickly or continue along the provincial road, which is recommended, and visit the villages of  Venzone, the Borgo dei Borghi 2017 winner, and Gemona del Friuli. The described itinerary is 270 km long.

A variant that is recommended is on the last stretch, on the road to the Mauria pass: at the village of Pelos di Cadore, you can take the road on the left and follow the valley that leads gently uphill to Sella Ciampigotto and then Sella di Razzo, from where you can enjoy an enchanting view of the Maina. Then you pass through the hamlets of Sauris and their lake. Following the road takes you back to the village of Ampezzo where you can resume the route already described above.

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