Fusine Lakes, the place where I fell in love with mountains

Like every important relationship, I know exactly where and when I fell in love with mountains. It was March 13th, 2016, that day I visited the Fusine lakes, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy.

Fusine lakes, one of the most famous places in Friuli Venezia Giulia

Fusine lakes and Rifugio Zacchi are probably the most famous hiking location in Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
The two lakes are picturesque and offer the perfect captures for Instagram. The trail that rounds them both is easy and well traced.
The path which leads to the mountain hut is not demanding and accessible to everyone. On top of that, Rifugio Zacchi often organizes very cool parties, Rosa, the manager, is the loveliest person ever. The lakes are home to the No Borders Music Festival.

Fusine Lakes and Rifugio Zacchi, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

I knew none of this in 2016 though and back then, the area was still relatively calm.
On that March 13th I was heartbroken.
My then-boyfriend had left me a week after our third anniversary (which was on Valentine’s day) and I felt lost. I was settling back into my condition of being single.
Who am I without him? What makes me happy? What can I do without him popping up in the back of my mind all the time?
I wondered with tears in my eyes.

Fusine Lakes and Rifugio Zacchi, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

When nature heals the heart

My dad, who still lives in Fusine, answered that question for me and took me to the lakes.
We parked in the packed lot around noon. It had snowed recently, and there was almost a meter of snow on the ground. I was dressed for a stroll in the city center. I didn’t have any technical garments and I was also very skeptical.

I had already visited the lakes that year with “him” and they represented the last time when we were happy as a couple. Yet, when I stepped onto the frozen snow, I could feel that something in me was different.
The wind hit my face sharply as I stared mesmerized at the landscape in front of me. It was true, I had visited the place before. But the last time I was too concentrated on my frail and dying love to notice what was around me. I had missed the beauty of nature and I needed to make up for my mistakes.
The superior lake was a smooth table of ice. Trees were frosted in white and there was no sound but the wind and some distant animals.
Nature soothed my soul and gently pushed away bad memories.

Fusine Lakes and Rifugio Zacchi, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

Hiking to Rifugio Zacchi

Rifugio Zacchi is open,” said my dad, “We could walk in that direction and see how far we go.
I nodded and looked at my sparkly scarf, my awkward bag, my thin jeans, and my Timberland boots. I wanted to go but I didn’t feel very comfortable about my attire.

The trail started very smoothly, slowly elevating.
The pines stood on the side of the road like upright soldiers, capped in white. I proceeded open-mouthed, staring at the landscape.
I was no longer lost in my thoughts about him, I was hypnotized by the beauty of Mount Mangart, of the forest, and the sweet sound of my own steps on the snow.

Fusine Lakes and Rifugio Zacchi, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

We passed the crossroads that allows hikers to shortcut to the mountain hut through the woods and continued on the forest trail. As I felt my breath adapt to the pace, energy and adrenaline took over me. I had never felt so good while doing sport. I felt like I had lived underwater for years and I was finally breathing again. I wanted more. I wanted to hike more, to feel more. Once in a while I stopped and looked back at the lakes, which were getting more and more distant, I took some pictures and then moved on.

Fusine Lakes and Rifugio Zacchi, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

I kept walking until I saw Rifugio Zacchi popping up behind a curve. I felt proud and satisfied with myself as if I had just climbed Mount Everest and most of all… I felt happy.
How could it be that I felt happy when I couldn’t stop crying until a few hours before? I guess that’s the power of falling out of love with the wrong person and falling in love with yourself.

I’m so grateful for that hike.

It helped me unveil so many things about myself that I didn’t know where there.

Fusine Lakes and Rifugio Zacchi, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

Sometimes we’re so caught up in a love story that we forget what we love, what’s important for us, and what makes us happy.
Especially us women, we tend to sacrifice ourselves for the other part. We fail to understand that love can only blossom if we’re truly ourselves.

I’m no love expert but if you’re feeling like I felt in 2016, I think that nature is a good place to start. The perfect location to remind you that the world is beautiful no matter how you feel. That there are bigger and better things to experience than a love that makes you cry every two days. Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one remembers to turn on the light (I’m a Potterhead y’all).

Fusine Lakes and Rifugio Zacchi, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

I hope you’re Valentine’s is your own “Fusine lake”. Something or someplace that helps you connect with the most important person in your life: yourself.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ps. All the photos were taken that day =)


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