Pinzano loop trail: the truest side of Friuli
There are trails on which the hand of man is evident, then there are others where humanity is barely noticeable, and where nature can grow undisturbed. The Pinzano loop trail is one of the latter.
What you will read in this post:
How to reach Pinzano al Tagliamento
- From Udine: proceed towards San Daniele then follow the signs towards Pinzano al Tagliamento.
- From Pordenone: follow signs for Cordenons, Rauscedo, Spilimbergo and finally Pinzano.
Where to park
Parking was never easier. To take the walk along the Pinzano loop trail you can park in front of the Town Hall of Pinzano al Tagliamento.
Hike recap and GPX
Just a couple of tips for this hike:
- The trail develops in the undergrowth and near a watercourse, you may find mud on the ground. It is therefore important to have the right and waterproof shoes.
- There are no refreshment points or sources of water along the trail. I recommend bringing good water supplies especially if it is hot and you are with children.
In my opinion, the Pinzano loop trail can be divided into two parts.
- The naturalistic part made up of woods, streams, and waterfalls
- The historical part where you’ll visit the remains of the Col Pion Military Ossuary and the Pinzano Castle
Why you should hike in Pinzano
Because the Pinzano loop trail is an easy hike suitable for the whole family.
Along the Pinzano route, you will find a path entirely in the undergrowth where you have’ll the feeling of rediscovering the most authentic Friuli.
As I hiked, I couldn’t help but to think that if vegetation could grow free, much of Friuli Venezia Giulia would be just like this. A dense forest intersected by waterways, waterfalls, and pools.
Diving into nature along the Pinzano loop trail
Park the car near the Municipality of Pinzano then give your back to the Town Hall. On the left, near a convenience store, you will find the first signpost to show you the way towards the castle of Pinzano and towards the CAI trail nr. 822.
After a slight climb on asphalted road, continue to the left leaving the entrance to the Castle of Pinzano on the right (we will return there at the end route). After a couple of meters on the paved road, you will find a trail on the left that will take you into the woods and into the heart of the Pinzano loop trail.
A hike for water lovers
The Pinzano loop trail, if done in the same sense in which we did it, is one of those hikes where you start downhill.
From the first meters, we understand that water will be a constant companion along the trail. We cross many small fords and the walk is accompanied by the light roar of the water.
The highlight comes after two kilometers when we arrive at the Slunc Waterfall.
With the Sflunc Waterfall, the descent ends and you begin to climb. Don’t worry, the steep sections are always followed by plain traits that are apt to catch your breath.
During one of the slightly flat stretches, we cross a ruin where I think about the reflection of a few paragraphs ago. Around us there is only wood, trees as far as the eye can see, bushes, lianas, flowers, and animals and the chaos of the plain seems distant. Who knows what this building was for and who knows why it is here. Isn’t it fascinating to think about what happened before us?
The climb ends in Località Costabeorchia where, finally out of the vegetation, it is possible to understand how far we have come.
We climb a little more and reach the highest point of the hike.
Pinzano and the two World Wars
The trail descends into the woods until it reaches the small hamlet of Cja Ronc. Here the path crosses the state road, which must be crossed, and then returns to the wood where you can find the signs for the Military Ossuary of Col Pion.
The Military Ossuary of Col Pion
The Col Pion Germanic Ossuary area has now been converted to a goat farm.
Despite the different function and although part of the complex has been lost, it is easy to imagine the majesty of the place.
Col Pion had been chosen, apparently by Hitler himself, for the construction of a Germanic ossuary (of 3420 square meters) which was supposed to collect the bones of fallen German soldiers. The works began in 1939 but were interrupted in 1944 due to the changed war conditions. At the end of the Second World War, the place was abandoned.
Near the Ossuary you will find tables explaining the history.
The Castle of Pinzano
Shortly after the Military Ossuary, you enter the second historical area of the Pinzano loop trail: the Castle.
The castle of Pinzano is mentioned for the first time in the mid-twelfth century among the properties of the family of the same name. The castle fell into disrepair from the first half of the nineteenth century, but still up to the 1976 earthquake parts of the walls were clearly visible.
Today only a few ruins remain but the view of the Tagliamento is nothing short of spectacular. There are also some picnic tables where you can stop for a meal.
Where to eat in San Daniele
If you are hungry after the walk, you cannot miss going to San Daniele and eating the raw ham. Here are some tips on my favorite places.
- Enoteca La Trappola: is a small wine shop located near the Cathedral of San Daniele (Via Cairoli). It’s ideal for a quick lunch based on Prosciutto Crudo (from the Prolongo prosciuttificio, one of my favorites).
- La Corte di Bacco wine shop: this wine shop is also located near the Duomo (near the church to the left). Here too you go to eat prosciutto and drink a good glass of wine.
- Osteria Al Portonat: if you prefer a seated lunch, the Osteria al Portonat is one of my favorites. Their tagliolini with San Daniele are delicious.
One last thought
Returning to the car I couldn’t help but think about how ironic life is.
The areas of the Castle and the Ossuary are now dedicated to the breeding of goats. It is almost cruel to think of how many lives have been lost to preserve the strategic position of Pinzano, and to see how those same places are today.
Let’s say that the Pinzano loop trail is, among others, a good way to put everything in perspective.