Sappada

Foto © Mattia Coin

Sappada

How many localities can boast of being fought over by two provinces?

We don’t know, but what we can tell you is that Sappada is one of them. Today Sappada is part of the province of Udine, which is why it has been included in this section of the Friulian Dolomites.

And like one of the most courted ladies at the grand ball, we present it to you with a chapter entirely dedicated to her.

Ready to join the queue?

TOP 5 NOT TO BE MISSED

Falling in love with the historic centre

Sleeping in a blockhaus

Visiting the sources of the Piave River

Participating in the Plodar Vosenòcht

Fun in NEVELANDIA

MAIN INFORMATION

Sappada lies at 1250 metres above sea level in our beloved Dolomites and has always been a crossroads of cultures. As evidence of this role and to help you understand the uniqueness of its situation, we reveal that Sappada is part of the U.T.I. (Unione Territoriale Intercomunale) of Carnia, but at the same time also of the Magnifica Comunità del Cadore, in the province of Belluno.

Sappada is also a German-speaking linguistic island. It seems to have been founded by a colony of Austrians in the 11th century. Having passed under various dominations, including a curious French interlude, Sappada boasts several names: Plodn in the local dialect (Sappadino), Bloden in German, Sapade in Friulian and Sapada in Ladin.

Its beauty is perhaps best represented by its peculiar historical centre, as well as by its splendid natural setting. We recommend a walk through the ancient village, recently included in the celebrated list of the “Most beautiful villages in Italy” thanks to its barns that preserve the ancient wooden architecture, its fountains, and its mills that seem to stop time. Observe the uniqueness of the structures of the houses, the so-called block houses, typical Nordic architecture. From the centre of the village you can walk through the fifteen hamlets, which correspond to the fifteen ancient Austrian settlements of this scattered municipality.

In every area of Sappada you can discover its treasures, such as the numerous churches, among which the Regina Pacis sanctuary in the Soravia hamlet stands out. In spite of its small size, Sappada is home to three respectable museums: an ethnographic one, linked to local history and traditions, one dedicated to farming civilisation and finally the Great War museum.

Foto © Mattia Coin

Foto © Mattia Coin

EVENTS

The Sappada Carnival or Plodar Vosenòcht, (February), takes place on three Sundays, each of which is dedicated to a social class, represented by the masked people: the Sunday of the poor (Pettlar Sunntach), that of the peasants (Paurn Sunntach) and that of the lords (Hearn Sunntach). The protagonist of the Sappada carnival is the mask of the rollate, a character who wears a heavy fur coat similar to that of a bear and striped canvas trousers, with spherical cowbells tied around his waist which ring loudly as he passes. In keeping with tradition, the rollate wields a broom, which is jokingly used to punish curious tourists attending the parade. His face is covered by a mask with severe features carved in wood by local craftsmen.

Borgate in festa, in July, is a festival that sees the street of the villages of Sappada Vecchia filled with kiosks and food and wine stands selling handmade products.

The Festival of Sant’Osvaldo at Cima Sappada, during the first few days of August, consists of a food stand selling local products, a cross-country running competition, music and dancing.

Folklore Festival (mid-August), organised since 1999 by the local Holzhockar (woodcutters) folk group, with a parade and performance of folk groups from various parts of the world along the streets of the village. The festival is combined with the well-known Plodar fest, a large beer festival with traditional and modern music performances and excellent gastronomy. It is one of the most popular and eagerly awaited events in the village.

SappaMukki (second weekend in September) is the festival of the return of the cows from the alpine pastures: it is a fair of alpine products and breeding, with food stands, music and entertainment, tasting of local products, games and entertainment.

CURIOSITIES

Yes, but why ‘Sappada’? It would seem that the Italian name of this place comes from the activity of “zappare” (hoeing). The term ‘zappata’ was used to indicate the land worked by the farmers, a term which was later given the name we know today in dialect.

WINTER & SUMMER ACTIVITIES

Those who love peace and quiet will certainly not be disappointed: Sappada offers a very wide range of possibilities for walks in the open air.
Simple paths, accessible to everyone, start at every corner of the village and can also be walked in winter with a pair of snowshoes or a sledge.

Mountaineers and sportsmen of all kinds will not be disappointed. Sappada’s peaks are not always accessible to everyone: many of them are still reserved for experienced mountaineers, such as the many rock or ice walls during the winter.

Foto © Mattia Coin

SKI / HIKING AREAS

SAPPADA SKI

The small local area of SAPPADA SKI is all you need to enjoy a skiing holiday, whatever your level. If you’re looking for a place where you can keep the kids entertained, this is the place to be!

It starts with the Campetti, the vast school camps in the centre of the village, just a stone’s throw from NEVELANDIA, the largest snow park in Italy. From Pian dei Nidi you can try out more challenging pistes, ideal for beginners. From here you reach Monte Siera, where you ski back to the starting point. Particularly suggestive is the black slope Eiben/Col dei Mughi, near NEVELANDIA: leave your puppies and then go whizzing along with the local champions!

In summer Sappada is an ideal destination for families with a wide range of events and excursions, including the one to the sources of the Piave River. From the village of Cima Sappada, go up the Val Sesis and reach Mount Peralba. Wild nature awaits you and you will be able to touch the source of the river sacred to the homeland.

The Park of Alpine Fauna is certainly another captivating excursion in the Friulian town, which also takes you to the Cascatelle waterfalls, with a path that is illuminated at night until 11 p.m.

Due to its geographical proximity, we would also like to remind you of Val Visdende, an uncontaminated valley that in July 1987 received a visit from the Holy Father Wojtila, who described it as a “Hymn to the Creator”.

Not far away, if you love strong emotions, we recommend the Acquatona gorge, a deep gorge carved out by the Acquatona stream, which meets the Piave river right here.

Foto © Mattia Coin

Foto © Mattia Coin

ADVICE

Immerse yourself in the authentic atmosphere that only Sappada can offer: stay in a blockhaus, the typical houses of this area, built using the ancient technique of blockbau, the wooden beams set into the corners.