No liquid leisure at this Italian park, just peace amid nature
Stars and Stripes January 5, 2023
Several popular parks along Italy’s Adriatic Sea coast not far from Aviano Air Base invite hordes of people to get wet by sliding into pools.
But there’s a much different sort of park on the way there from Aviano that’s also centered on water, and its architects would be horrified at the sight of bodies frolicking in their H2O. Fortunately, that’s not really an option.
Parco delle Fonti di Torrate was crafted to help protect the natural springs near the hamlet of Torrate that supply drinking water to communities along the Friuli-Venezia Giulia border with Veneto.
Almost 200 acres was set aside as a natural preserve to prevent insecticides or other human-made pollutants from entering the groundwater.
So don’t expect crowds. In fact, during a recent visit, it was entirely possible to walk around the 8 kilometers of walking and biking paths without encountering a single person.
There is some evidence of large-scale water gathering, with a pumphouse and a few large pipes around the park. And there is a hulking water tower near the parking lot. But aside from that, it’s not a lot different from a few other parks in the area.
It has small ruins of former castles. It served as an estate for a wealthy family. And it caters to walkers and joggers with miles of well-maintained paths.
Winter might not be the best time to see wildlife in the park, but during my visit, I saw almost a dozen herons and a pair of cranes. None of them were looking to let two-legged creatures get very close.
That appears to be just the way the birds — and the less frequent human visitors — prefer it anyway.
Parco delle Fonti di Torrate
Address: Via Udine 1, Chions, Italy. The park is about a 20-minute drive southeast of Aviano Air Base. The easiest way is to take A28 to the Vilotta exit, travel along Via Maggio to the SP1 and look for a billboard at the entrance after about a mile.
Cost: Free admission and parking
Hours: The park is open 24 hours, though there’s no lighting at night.
Information: Online: turismofvg.it