Sunday, October 6, 2013


I climbed Montefosca from Val del Natisone in 2011 but always wanted to return and climb from Fraccadice (near the Slovenian border) to the 872 meter pass above Montefosca.  Today the rain stopped so I jumped at the chance.

From the car park at Ponte di San Quirino I rode the back roads to northern Cividale (making only one wrong turn up to Il Castello restaurant, a dead end).   Then I headed north on the main road to Faedis, turned right and began climbing toward Canebola and Bocchetta di Sant'Antonio.   I quickly overheated and stripped down to bike shorts and my thin windjacket with no jersey (I'd brought only a thick long sleeve jersey).  This is a beautiful wide road with switchbacks and ramps climbing the gorge of Torrente Grivò.  After Canebola you climb a bit more until the crossroads at Bocchetta di Sant'Antonio (800 meters).  From this little chapel in the middle of nowhere you can go to Madonnina del Domm, Porsuz or Subit, or my choice today, Montefosca.  The road descends through forest and pasture to 650 meters at Piano di Fraccadice, on the Slovenian border.

Here the fun begins- a couple of chilometers averaging 10% with stretches of 16%.  The road surface seemed much better than I remember when descending it- maybe they've roughly paved it since then.  The surroundings are peaceful meadows and forest until after the steepest part, when it rises and falls and curves until the pass.  There were a group of hunters here with beautiful dogs and shot guns.  I made sure it was ok to continue so I didn't get mistaken for a deer (though I think they were hunting birds).  You descend steeply and twistily to Montefosca, a hillside town with a beautiful view of Val Natisone and surrounding mountains.  After a wonderful false flat along the ridge for several chilometers you dive down through the forest to Pulfero on the Natisone, then back to the car.  Great ride. 

Bocchetta di Sant'Antonio (800m)

Piano di Fraccadice: turn right for the climb to Montefosca
or go straight a few hundred meters to Slovenia

Hillside town Montefosca looking up Val Natisone to Slovenia

Dente di cane

More dente di cane

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