The Friulian Sherwood is here
The autumn hike on Mount Faeit was decided exactly on May 23rd, 2020. It was one of the first walks post lockdown and Stefano and I were enchanted by the forest that covers the mountain in Artegna (Udine, Friuli Venezia Giulia). That day, as we walked back to the car, we decided that we would redo the loop trail in the fall, to search for the perfect foliage, and, above all, my beloved chestnuts.
So, on a Saturday in mid-October, we leave home heading to Artegna. The journey is short compared to the usual, so we even indulge in a coffee and a pastry before the hike.
What you will read in this post:
Where to park to hike on Monte Faeit
In our opinion, the easiest parking spot is in Via Monte, but be aware that you will have to walk for a few meters along the roadside before reaching the starting point of the ring route, marked by a summary table.
The climb to the top of Monte Faeit
The hike starts slowly between well-kept houses and tidy gardens and, after crossing the Rio Clama, immediately sinks into the woods where it is clear to us what the common thread of this autumn hike will be: chestnuts.
In some places, the chestnut hedgehogs cover the path like a delicious and pointed carpet that makes my mouth water.
As we walk and the slope becomes more intense, my mind is transported to distant worlds. The path intertwines with nature, but the pavement that can be glimpsed among the hedgehogs, the cyclamens, the damp earth, and the soaked leaves, suggests that in the past this hill was much more inhabited than it is now.
In a flash, I imagine myself wandering on this land like a fairy of the woods or perhaps a medieval witch. I imagine the past-times women searching for the forest’s treasures to cure ailments and diseases.
Somehow, I also can imagine here Gnome Martino who, for those unfamiliar with him, was the gnome of my kindergarten class.
As for the breath, the walk doesn’t leave much room for it. The trail proceeds straight like an arrow towards the top and we can only adapt to its pace. We cross the forest road a couple of times, meet some cyclists, a small parish house, and finally, we arrive at a handful of meters from the tip where the path flattens before requesting a last sprint to reach the summit flag.
Amazing view, fairytale woods but no foliage
The view from the belvedere is partly clouded by the humidity that dominates the plain, but I must admit that even with the full sun the emotions it reserves, due to factories and shops, are not many. Just as the expectation of pleasure is pleasure itself, so the right reason to tackle the path of Mount Faeit is nothing more than the path itself. We stay at the top long enough to create a work of art on the summit book (photo attached to the article) and continue the loop trail, descending from the opposite side.
I must admit that this was the part I longed to see the most because during the spring walk it was the one that struck me most and that I dreamed of seeing it again, submerged by autumn colors.
Unfortunately, this desire was disappointed because the green is still firmly attached to the leaves. However, the feeling of living inside a fairy tale has remained unchanged. If you decide to do this autumn trek, it might be useful to bring sticks with you, as here the sun never beats and in the steepest sections, the slope becomes slippery. If nothing else, the descent proceeds smoother than the ascent and develops slowly like the melody sung by the birds, interrupted only by the ruining of the chestnuts on the ground.
A little detour to Troi De Cascades
After about half an hour of descent, you’ll come across the crossroads that intersect the Troi De Cascades, the nature trail that starts from Salt di Artegna and follows the path of the Orvenco stream. Last spring, we deviated along this path to reach the Tulìn waterfall which at the time I had considered the perfect home of the aganas, the water witches of Friuli Venezia Giulia.
Closing the loop trail on Monte Faeit
The loop trail still reserves some climbs to then decrease until it rejoins its own beginning near Rio Clama. I advise you to pay close attention to the signs from the crossroads onwards, as in May, distracted by the beautiful forest, we had taken the wrong path. When the path intersects the forest road at a large crossroads, and you will see a wooden bench in front of you, keep to the left to turn on the loop trail, and get back to the car. This will bring you to the most enchanting part of this autumn hike.
The old Artegna’s Washhouse the last beauty on Monte Faeit loop trail
When the road starts running along the Rio Clama, with water on the right and a drystone wall completely covered with moss on the left, from Sherwood forest you quickly pass to Snowhite atmospheres, with the stream flowing towards Artegna with quick waterfalls, partly diverted by human hand to the old washhouse.
The recently renovated structure is now a place of memory and meetings, but it also represents the last remaining bulwark of the life that once took was on these slopes. Here Stefano and I eat our sandwich and prepare to go home.
Why you should hike on Monte Faeit
It may be the influence of the nearby Savorgnan Castle, but during both hikes on Mount Faeit I felt like I was immersed in a fairy tale with a medieval setting. Next to us, new Robin Hood and Little John with mountain sticks instead of bows and arrows, I easily inserted imaginary knights, bandits, and damsels in distress. I know, my fantasy gallops too much, but even without mental diversions, the ring of Mount Faeit is a pleasant walk for all seasons.
Savorgnan Castle in Artegna
It offers a decent height difference that can be used to keep fit when times are tight, or the weather is uncertain. An autumn hike then, but not only, to travel with the imagination by mixing reality and fiction, past and present.