The EYOF 2023 will use 11 competition venues, for 13 Winter sports, in Friuli Venezia Giulia and Austria –Slovenia, clustered in three areas.
Tarvisiano – Udine:
Tarvisio is one of the most important ski centres and mountain resorts in Friuli Venezia Giulia. Surrounded by the Julian Alps and rich in wide valleys and woods – the Tarvisio Forest, with its 24,000 hectares, is the largest state forest in Italy – the town has a modern appearance but also an ancient soul, full of traditions to be discovered. Thanks to its particular location on the border, it is a crossroads of languages and cultures where Italy, Slovenia and Austria meet.
The excellent cuisine includes Friulian, Carinthian and Slovenian specialities. Tarvisio is also a destination for many pilgrims thanks to the suggestive Sanctuary of the Madonna del Lussari, a place where, according to tradition, an apparition of the Madonna took place. The Tarvisio area offers those who love outdoor activities a wide range of proposals. Not to be missed, near Tarvisio, are the Fusine lakes (linked by a fascinating route), the Montasio Plateau and the Sella Nevea ski resort.
Pontebba is located in the Tarvisio mountain area and until the First World War the border between Italy and Austria was here: on the old maps it is still possible to read the ancient names Venetian Pontebba, Italian Pontebba and Pontafel to indicate the Carinthian part. Very interesting is the Parish Church of Santa Maria Maggiore that preserves the wonderful wooden altar (Flügelaltar) which dates back to 1517.
From Pontebba it is wonderful to discover of enchanting mountain valleys and follow pleasant trekking routes. In winter, the ski facilities of the Tarvisio area can be reached in a short time. Ice-skating enthusiasts will enjoy the Ice-skating Rink open also some weeks in summer.
Udine is the town with squares of Venetian charm and ancient palaces: from Piazza Libertà, defined as “the most beautiful Venetian square on the mainland”, to Piazza Matteotti (or Piazza delle Erbe), which, surrounded by porticoes, looks like an open-air living room, you can observe the series of ancient and colourful palaces. On the city’s hill stands the castle, from which you can see the city’s rooftops, the surrounding mountains and, to the south, the Adriatic Sea. Udine in the eighteenth century was the city of Giambattista Tiepolo, who reached his artistic maturity here: today you can admire his masterpieces in the Tiepolo Galleries (in the Palazzo Patriarcale), in the Cathedral and in the church of the Purità.
Today Udine is a city that is open to innovation while tying its image to authentic taverns where one of the most beloved rituals is celebrated, that is the tasting of a glass of wine (tajut) to be savoured in a convivial atmosphere. Unmistakable flavours, cultural events and traditional festivals such as Friuli Doc, museums for all tastes complete the offer of this beautiful city.
Surrounded by the Dolomites, Sappada (Plodn in the local language) is a well-known winter and summer tourist destination. Its origin is from the early medieval period and is attributed to the Patriarch of Aquileia who is supposed to have invited a group of families from Bavaria to live in this area, then uninhabited. An ancient German dialect is spoken in Sappada even to this day.
Apart from its landscape beauty, Sappada also boasts a particular rural architecture of wooden houses built using the ancient blockbau technique. The best-known of all the old traditions is the Plodar Vosenòcht, the carnival of Sappada, in which people from the entire countryside are involved for three Sundays, and where the typical mask of Rollate plays the leading role.
Cross Country Skiing
The village of Forni Avoltri is surrounded by the impressive peaks of the Carnic Alps, on the slopes of Mount Coglians (2780 m), the highest peak in the entire region. There are numerous excursions to reach the refuges at high altitudes, or towards the border with Austria, and on the Avanza, Volaia, Sasso Nero and Creta Bianca mountains. A dense network of paths connects alpine refuges and malghe, making it possible to trek for several days (the most popular with mountaineers are the Marinelli, Tolazzi and Lambertenghi) and to reach the trenches of the First World War, the remains of which are still visible along the entire border ridge.
The village is mentioned for the first time in a 14th-century deed, which granted permission to extract from some mines in the area. In Pierabech, even today, marble is still quarried, a precious variety that is called “peach blossom” because of its colour. In winter the surrounding mountains become a paradise for ski mountaineering enthusiasts, who can come across some of the most beautiful excursions in Friuli; a classic destination, but for experts only, is the Cogliàns peak.
Forni di Sopra is at the heart of a wide and sunny valley surrounded by the wonderful summits of the Eastern Friulian Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Snow-covered snowboard, cross-country ski and alpine ski runs are just a taste of the rich offer of the Forni di Sopra ski area. Great fun for children with a baby snow park and the ski school to spend pleasant days on the snow. Climbing, hiking, mountain biking and nordic walking are some of the sports you can practice in summer; this territory, in fact, offers an extremely wide range of itineraries.
Forni di Sopra hosts the “Spring herb festival” that, along with “Forni, mushrooms and … gastronomy”, which is held in September, is a unique opportunity to discover a different world, in harmony with the rhythms of nature. Then, in blossom time, the mountains get full of colours and visitors can enjoy amazing views: from the red of the rhododendron, to the intense yellow of the buttercups, to the many colours of lilies and orchids. A unique scenery rich in surprises and unexpected beauties.
Ravascletto – Zoncolan – The Zoncolan, known as “il Kaiser”, is the mountain with gradients close to 20% is a real challenge for bike lovers. A mountain that satisfies all needs for sports and outdoor activities and that you can experience in all seasons, here the lift from Ravascletto is open in summer too. 22 km of skiable areas with a freestyle arena for snowboarders, spacious slopes suitable for all levels and many refuges where you can stop and enjoy àpres ski parties.
Snowshoeing at night, excursions on fat bikes or ski mountaineering that can be concluded with a relaxing bath in the nearby spa of Arta Terme, open all year round. And from late spring, Zoncolan becomes a paradise for cyclists, trekkers and lovers of good food. You can venture out on foot, by bike, mountain bike, e-bike or on horseback in search of ‘malghe’ (shepherd’s huts), farm holiday centres and refuges to rediscover the genuine flavours of Carnic gastronomy, such as frico and cjarsons, and the traditions, folklore and culture of the mountains.
Freestyle & Ski Cross
A large and sunny plateau to the north of Pordenone, Piancavallo is an ideal destination for lovers of sport and outdoor activities. With its 17 km of downhill slopes, Piancavallo in winter is able to satisfy all tastes and needs featuring cross-country skiing and snowboarding, a baby snow park and the exciting Alpine Coaster (bobsleigh on rails). From the highest peaks, on sunny days, your gaze can enter the blue of the Adriatic Sea, while, all around, you are embraced by a typically Dolomite landscape.
For those who prefer to immerse themselves in the blue sky, from Castaldia, at 1091 metres above sea level, you can launch yourself into the clouds by hang-gliding. Near Piancavallo there are enchanting places to visit: the lakes where you can go canoeing and kayaking, sailing and windsurfing, and the spectacular caves and gorges created by water erosion. The Friulian Dolomites Natural Park is an ideal place for hiking, trekking and mountaineering.
Claut – Like in all the towns of the valley, the main attraction of Claut, is the natural environment. This is an area rich in nature trails, which can be followed on foot or by bicycle and which allow to reach locations of remarkable interest. Remarkable are also the facades of the typical stone houses of Claut, enriched by rustic porticos and balconies which soften the austerity of the structures.
The “snow door”, a sort of safety entrance built on the first floor to allow access in case the blanket of snow blocked the door on the ground floor, is unmistakable. At the Ice Skating Stadium, you will find the ice-skating and curling rink. For those who want to live an unforgettable experience, in Claut it is possible to overnight in the first Italian tree village.
Planica (SLO) –Since the new and modern Nordic Centre opened, Planica has been providing experience for both athletes and visitors throughout the year. In fact, favourable conditions for the development of ski jumping have placed the Alpine valley located in the north-western part of Slovenia firmly on the map of major ski jumping competitions.
Here at the EYOF 2023 will be held the SKI JUMPING races and the jumping competitions valid for the NORDIC COMBINED.
Spittal (AUT) –The Ice arena of the Austrian venue Spittal will host the qualifications of the ICE HOCKEY girls’ tournament. The district capital Spittal an der Drau in the Region Millstätter See represents southern serenity, lively traditions, the pleasures of shopping and a wide variety of cultural activities. The central point in the old town is the Renaissance Porcia Castle with the town park. In winter Spittal’s local mountain, the Goldeck, is an attraction with its wide pistes and the longest black valley run in the Alps.