An easy hike in Carnia, the alpine region of Friuli Venezia Giulia
The Elio Franz bivouac is a cute mountain hut owned by the municipality of Venzone in Carnia, the alpine region of Friuli Venezia Giulia.
If you’re looking for an easy hike during your stay in Friuli Venezia Giulia that has little elevation gain and that doesn’t take too much of your time, the hike to the Elio Franz Bivouac is highly recommended.
Read on to find out all the details.
The start of this hike in Carnia is located in the town of Tugliezzo. To reach the small hamlet from Udine, drive to Carnia and continue on the state road SS 13 Pontebbana. After the town, at the Savoye Bonnes Nouvelles Barracks, you will find the junction that leads to Tugliezzo on the right.
If you reach Carnia from the highway, take the Carnia-Tolmezzo exit of the A23 and drive towards Amaro and then Venzone. In this case, will find the junction on the left.
- Total km: 6
- Altitude difference: 530 D +
- Total hours: about 2 hours round trip (breaks not included)
- Difficulty: E
- CAI trail: 701 or forest track
- Children: yes. There are no dangerous sections nonetheless the trail is quite steep. If you want to reduce the difficulty choose the forest track
- Support points: only the bivouac.
Where to park
Tugliezzo is like a small town with very few houses. Cross the hamlet and arrive in a green space with a small church. You can leave the car there. The trail starts a little further on.
The trail to the Elio Franz bivouac
You will love this hike if you love wandering in the woods. Paradoxically, the most beautiful panorama you will enjoy during this hike can be enjoyed along the road that leads to Tugliezzo and not after the climb.
CAI 701 trail or forest track?
After a few hundred meters you come to a crossroads. The forest track starts on the right and the CAI trail number 701 continues on the left. Both are valid options to reach the Elio Franz bivouac.
The path is more sloping and therefore more direct, the road is quieter but does not lengthen the hike too much. You can choose the option you prefer.
We opted for a loop trail, climbed via trail, and descended by the forest road.
A climb for forest-lovers
In reality, at first, the trail also continues along an old paved road of which only the guard rail remains. The road ends at a small dairy and leaves room for the actual trail.
The hike continues quietly as we wander through the woods. We did this hike in early October when autumn had not yet taken over the summer. However, it is not difficult to imagine this place painted in red and yellow.
The arrival at the Elio Franz bivouac
At one point, the trail crosses a small river, Rio Lavarie, and heralds the arrival at the refuge. Finding it among the trees is not easy, built as it is with solid wooden beams instead of the classic fire red shell.
Even from the bivouac, the view does not open onto the surrounding landscape, but it is not important. The Elio Franz bivouac is a lovely and welcoming mountain hut reminiscent of a gnome’s house.
The inside of the bivouac is small but comfortable. Just inside, a ladder leads to the upper floor where the sleeping area is located. On the left, there is the stove and immediately behind a long dining table.
As always, I go to the shelter’s book and entertain myself by reading the testimonies of those who have passed here before us. I thus discovered that the bivouac, built starting from a shelter for hunters, is coveted not only by mountaineers but also by dormice and wild animals.
Returning to Tugliezzo
We stay long enough to eat our sandwich and drink a drop of grappa. For the descent we choose to take the forest track, lengthening the walk only a little. We walk accompanied by the hum of the lumberjacks’ chainsaws and in no time we are back at the car.
Why take this walk to the Elio Franz bivouac
Because it is a refreshing walk to a very nice and well-kept mountain hut. At the time I was sorry to arrive earlier than autumn but in hindsight, it was not a bad thing.
This hike in Carnia can be done at any time of the year without difficulty. If I close my eyes, I imagine this path as a shade shelter on a hot summer day, or I see it shining in pure white with the first snow.