Snowshoeing in Val Bartolo
Val Bartolo: an easy hike on the snow in Friuli Venezia Giulia
Here she is! Finally, she has arrived! The snow. As usual, after the snow comes the question: and now where do we go to see it? Where can we take a simple hike in the snow? Where do we take the children? If you’re staying in Friuli Venezia Giulia, this snowshoe hike in Val Bartolo is the answer to all the questions above.
Val Bartolo is a long and narrow valley enclosed between Italy and Austria dotted with pretty mountain huts.
It is a good place to start snowshoeing because the difference in height is minimal and the avalanche risk is low (always remember to check the avalanche bulletin of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region).
In addition, the Municipality of Tarvisio cleans the road up to the last hut. Even in deep snow, it is possible to admire the snow and walk on it.
Obviously, if the snowfalls are abundant, snowshoes are necessary.
But let’s start from the beginning. Read on to discover all the details of this hike on the snow in Friuli Venezia Giulia.
How to reach Val Bartolo
From Udine, drive towards Tarvisio on the A23 motorway up to the related exit.
Continue driving towards Tarvisio, immediately after the Eurospar supermarket (coming from Udine you will find it on the left), you will arrive at a roundabout. Take the third exit and enter Camporosso from Via Genziana then turn right onto Via della Sella.
After a few hundred meters you will find the signs for Val Bartolo.
Where to park
The hike in Val Bartolo does not have a dedicated parking area. You may find a place along Via della Sella.
In summer, it is also possible to reach the farmhouse by car.
The hike on the snow in Val Bartolo can be divided into three stages:
- From Camporosso (Tarvisio) to La Baita di Beatrice farmhouse
- From La Baita di Beatrice to the end of the plateau where the huts end
- From the end of the plateau to the Austrian border
Length, height difference, and times depend on how long you decide to walk. The indications below refer to the entire hike up to the Austrian border.
Keep in mind that to snowshoe you will still have to reach the plateau with the huts.
Download the GPX
Val Bartolo: a not too crowded hike
I’ll be honest. If you ever decide to visit Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Val Bartolo may not be among the first suggested destinations.
Yet, if you think that simple trekking does not make you less of a mountaineer, if you are looking for a stroller-proof hike, and if you do not want to “go and look for the night” (literally translated from Friulian “lâ a cirî gnot“, go looking for trouble ) Val Bartolo is perfect. In any season.
Inexplicably, unless you visit it during the Baite Aperte food and wine event, it is still not very popular.
From Camporosso to La Baita di Beatrice farmhouse
As soon as we leave Camporosso we immediately find the Bartolo stream to welcome us. Its voice, camouflaged by the snow, will guide us to the La Baita di Beatrice farmhouse.
The route has been cleaned by the vehicles of the Municipality of Tarvisio and the asphalt can be seen under a very thin layer of snow and ice. The road is the only connecting element with the summer memories we have of this valley.
The snow has transformed the Val Bartolo. We walk close to a high rock face, but it too, which should be immutable and eternal, looks different. Of course, the fault is not just the snow. It is our eyes, blinded by the beauty of the forest, which lose sight of all familiar details.
We don’t even notice the climbing wall or the ancient war bunkers. We just keep on marching, lost in this Friulian Arendelle (level quote here).
We arrive at the Baita di Beatrice after an abundant 4 km and about 250 meters in altitude. Snowshoes have not been necessary so far.
From La Baita di Beatrice to the end of the plateau where the huts end
From the Baita di Beatrice onwards you will find the fields of snow you were waiting for. We leave the forest behind us and Val Bartolo reveals its delicate beauty.
If the municipality of Tarvisio has not yet cleared the road, it is time to wear snowshoes because this is where the real snowshoe hike in Val Bartolo begins. We were lucky and were able to open the trail for a while before the arrival of the powerful municipal vehicles. The snowplow cleans the road to the edge of the plateau.
Mountain Huts dot the fields as white as diamonds and I daydream about the day I own one. It is almost impossible to imagine that most of the huts were once frugal barns.
This stretch adds about 100 meters in altitude to the excursion and a couple of kilometers.
From the end of the plateau to the Austrian border
Far from being tired, Stefano and I decide to continue our walk in Val Bartolo. The road climbs a further 50 meters in altitude. From here on, the cleaning of the track is all up to our legs.
We continue until we spot a yellow sign indicating the arrival in Austria. From this crossroads, many trails start but for us, it is time to go back.
To return to Camporosso we follow the same route as the first leg.
Are you hungry after the snowshoe in Val Bartolo?
If you have read the FOOD section of the site, you will have understood that I like to eat. Here are a couple of tips on where to eat in Tarvisio after snowshoeing in Val Bartolo.
- Dawit Haus: it is located right on the roundabout that we crossed when arriving in Camporosso. They mostly serve sweets but also make DELICIOUS sandwiches! They also sell objects, food, and wines.
- I Dolci di Irma: located in the center of Valbruna, on the way home. As the name suggests, it sells homemade desserts. Here you will also find objects from a typical mountain hut.
My two cents on this hike on the snow in Val Bartolo
One of the reasons I love living in Friuli Venezia Giulia is that “abroad” is never too far away. Take this hike in Val Bartolo, for instance, Austria is literally within walking distance.
In Val Bartolo, and in Tarvisio in general, there is such a Central European air that probably anyone could feel at home.
I am writing in December 2020 and the snow that has just happened is considered a rarity.
Many see this snow explosion as pure bad luck, given the lockdown and the inability to reach the slopes, but I see it as a lesson from Mother Nature. Perhaps we should all let nature breathe and experience it as it is. No frills, as mentioned above.
I am glad that few people are willing to walk this long for those who are to experience it in a unique way.
I hope there is snow as well when you read this article. If you like, do you let me know in the comments?