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The territory ranges from the pleasant plains at the foot of the mountains in the Aviano area (where the silent jewel of Castel d’Aviano stands out) to the doublefaced high mountains, showing the modern tourist mountain resorts on the one hand (of which Piancavallo, with its ski slopes, cross-country trails and aspirations to become a little Cervinia, is the symbol), and the rough mountains on the other hand, made of shadows, sharp rock and small lakes, offering their truest face to those who dare venture in the Valcellina following the old road dropping sheer to the stream ravine: a spectacular rift creating the natural reserve of -Forra del Cellina- before widening, south of Montereale, in the large pebbly riverbank splitting the plain in two. These mountains offer several naturalistic attractions (all together making up the Regional Natural Park of the Friuli Dolomites- -Parco naturale regionale delle dolomiti friulane– including the Campanile of Val Montanaia: 2173 soaring metres to the mountaineers’ delight), but the doubts on the possible future developments of the area, torn between tourism and emigration, have not been solved yet. So much so that the ebullient poet Federico Tavan, a native to Andreis, in his most recent play grotesquely fancies that the only hope for the few souls who have remained in the area is joining the Republic of Cuba. This is a land of extreme contrasts, in which the romantic lake of Barcis coexists with the terrible scar of Vajont, as the silence of the countryside coexists with the metal sound of jet planes in the USAF base of Aviano. This part of Pordenone province has also positively learned from its history, and it couldn’t have been otherwise, since the death sentence, in the 1600s, of Menocchio, a heretic miller of the area, and the study carried out on the episode by historian Carlo Ginzburg, from which a cultural circle developed that has soon becom e irreplaceable.

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Images from Friuli Venezia Giulia