Monday, June 17, 2013

Madonna della Neve

Vito d'Asio is a hillside town over by Clauzetto and Castelnovo del Friuli.  I noticed a road up into the mountains from there so had to check it out.  After climbing up through Clauzetto and the short ride over to Vito d'Asio I turned left on Via Maggiore Ceconi.  This heads up past the church (530m) and then goes steeply across the grassy meadows above town.  You reach a junction with gravel road headed west toward Pradis di Sopra and paved road continuing upward marked Madonna della Neve.  I had read that Madonna della Neve is a church on top of a mountain above Anduins.  They have a festa there in August.  So I kept climbing and then dove down to a little hollow with sign pointing to the church.  I rode all around this area (775 meters) and hiked some as well looking for Madonna della Neve but never found it.  I think they must mow a path to the church through the waist-high pasture grass in August for the festa.  Maybe I'll try again in September.

Just before descending to the hollow I'd seen a rough  road ascending steeply to the north.  So now I tried that and was very challenged to complete but did arrive at the end at La Forchia above some cliffs at 852 meters.  On the way up there I came across 4 wild goats, which you can tell from deer because their hindquarters are more square, they're a little shorter/stockier, and they have short unbranched horns with little rings every inch or two.  I couldn't get a picture because they fled for their lives.

On the way back down I looked back while passing through some meadows and saw Madonna della Neve on the mountain top- will return for a closer view.  Fun ride. 

San Michele Arcangelo a Vito d'Asio

Sign pointing to the mysterious Madonna della Neve

That little dot on the mountain top is Madonna della Neve

View of Anduins, Monte Prat, and the Tagliamento in the distance

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