Why Sauris

  • To admire an alloglot village
  • To discover the typical local houses
  • To savor the famous IGP raw ham
  • For its craft beer
  • To experience a unique village in Friulian Carnia
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Sauris is an alloglot island in Friuli Venezia Giulia, also known for its typical PGI ham

Sauris, typical sauran house

Sauris, typical sauran house

Sauris is an interesting village in Friulian Carnia, in the province of Udine, with typical houses of wood and stone. This locality is also known for its particular raw ham, the handcrafted beer, and the walks between the lake and centuries-old woods. But above all, because this is an alloglot island.

A day well spent

You arrive here mainly to photograph the majestic lake that can be seen before arriving at the town and then for the culinary specialties. First of all, the typical raw ham that can be best appreciated during one of the city festivals, those in which the population and tourists become one when the typical scent of this sausage and the other aromas of local cuisine spread in the air.

The lake of Sauris

Sauris, the lake

Sauris, the lake

Before taking care of the kitchen, and before arriving in the village, we admire the lake, one of the most beautiful in Carnia. A mirror of turquoise water. It is an artificial construction surrounded by a crown of mountains built in 1941, for hydroelectric purposes with the simultaneous construction of an imposing dam on the Lumiei stream. The dam, inaugurated in 1948, had a height of 136 meters and, at the time, was the highest in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. Its construction formed an artificial basin. The lake has a water flow of over 70 million cubic meters. The green of the artificial body of water welcomes visitors before the last tunnel of living rock that characterizes the adventurous road that leads from Ampezzo to Sauris.

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Sauris, detail of the Saurian house

Sauris, detail of the Saurian house

Having admired the lake and having passed the tunnel, go up to the town. A village, this of Sauris, which is divided between the hamlets “Sauris di Sopra” and “Sauris di Sotto” but above all which is characterized by the particular architecture called “Saurana”. The buildings are characterized by construction elements made with the resources available in the area, wood and stone. We could say they are zero kilometer buildings. Typical of the area. It is in a certain way linked or connected to Austrian Carinthia.

The oldest houses and cottages have stone ground floors, basements, and raised wooden floors, all built with the ancient Blockbau technique, that is, using whole tree trunks that create a solid structure thanks to the interlocking corners of the buildings. while the roof is covered with wooden shingles.

Sauris, road to the church of San Lorenzo

Sauris, the road to the church of San Lorenzo

Both the nuclei of Sauris, that of Sopra and that of Sotto, which have recently been restored and restored to their original beauty, are worth a visit. The alleys of Sauris are quiet, well-kept, dotted with churches and small chapels, and the facades of the houses are decorated with votive frescoes.

Sanctuary of San’Osvaldo

Sauris, St. Oswald church

Sauris, St. Oswald church

In Sauris di Sotto, the Sanctuary of Sant’Osvaldo, which dates back to 1300, is worth a visit: legend has it that in 1348, the relic of the saint kept here saved the village from an epidemic of plague. The interior houses numerous works, including a painted and gilded wooden altar from 1524 in the late German Gothic style. The rectory of Sauris di Sotto houses the Museum of Sant’Osvaldo. Inside there are parchments of the ‘400 and sacred vestments that document the religious life of this small community.


The alloglot island

Sauris is an alloglot island, that is, it is a place where its inhabitants speak and have been handed down for centuries a very particular language that derives from German.

Sauris, wood sculpture

Sauris, wood sculpture

The kitchen

Sauris is famous for its typical products and for its cuisine. When you reach this locality you can enjoy the taste of typical products such as pumpkin gnocchi with smoked ricotta, malga cheese, produced from raw milk from cows that graze freely in the nearby plateaus and above all Sauris PGI ham, naturally smoked with the wood of beech, delights that go perfectly with the beers of the small local craft brewery.

The tradition

Among the traditions of Sauris, there is the carnival. Colorful wooden masks wander around the village, dancing to the sound of accordions together with the Rölar and Kheirar. With its wooden clogs, the Rölar crosses the whole country sweeping the streets with a sorghum broom, to chase away bad things and make way for the new spring.

Sauris, fresco on a house

Sauris, fresco on a house

How do I get to Sauris?

Sauris can be reached by following the A23 Udine-Tarvisio motorway, Carnia exit, or arriving from Cadore passing the Mauria Pass which leads to Ampezzo, while for this last solution, but only during the summer period, Sauris can be reached via the road from Vigo Laggio di Cadore leads to Casera Razzo. Before embarking on this journey it is better to inquire about the road conditions by calling the Municipality of Sauris (Tel. 043386245), or the Province of Belluno (Tel. 0437950218). From Tolmezzo you can reach Sauris with the buses of the lines for Forni di Sopra and for Sauris Three are the closest airports: Trieste, Treviso, and Venice.

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