From Marcite to Polcenigo

This itinerary is an alternative or, better, an addition to the one in the ancient borgo (village) of Polcenigo and in the Parco Rurale of San Floriano. In fact, this hike you are about to read starts from the car park of San Floriano.

Park your car and walk towards the hill (table and bar); continue on the lower road and then immediately turn left following the signs “trincee” (trenches) along a dirt road. In a few minutes, refreshed by the shadow of trees, you get at the old German fortified locations dug in a strategic position. There used to be no vegetation at all here in the past…

Continue in the Livenza direction until you arrive at another dirt road; this road has now gradually become a mule track. You can now clearly hear the river flowing.

Turn right; in the open areas nearby you can already notice the marcite (water-meadows): the last grass cut during the season used to be left on the grassland and covered by shallow water, thanks to the resurgences waters and to a witty hydraulic work. This technique was employed to fertilize and protect the field in the colder season.

Whilst walking on this track, you can hear the water streaming louder and louder. And here you are where the Gorgazzo dives into the Livenza; the waters of Polcenigo naturally blend together.

You now walk along the river bank; on the right there are more marcite (water-meadows), the canals and some sluices of the past.

Cross the iron bridge and continue your relaxing walking on the opposite bank. Take some time to admire the majestic castle of Polcenigo.

Wander along the river bank until a small road that leads to the street connecting Polcenigo and Sarone. From here you quickly get to the ancient Borgo (the historical centre).

We highly recommend you visit the San Rocco church, which is right in front of you and then have a walk up to Coltura (take the roundabout and turn left). Here you can appreciate the old mill on the right and the ex public washhouse on the left, built on the Gorgazzino stream. Take the first road right, that take you back to Polcenigo through Via Coltura, admiring the beautiful Palazzo Zaro and the unique and very characteristic old street that splits onto two levels.

Just before arriving in the square, turn left and walk up to the San Giacomo church. It is definitely worth visiting the church and the convent, and the ruins of the castle.

Once back to the Borc (the historical centre), surely it is worth visiting the beautiful square and its stunning palaces, particularly Palazzo Zaia. Fun fact: at the corner of the pavement between the pizzeria Vecchio Caffè and the church, you can notice some Roman numerals engraved on a few block. These were part of the old clock of the square.

We suggest you take a walk behind the town hall, trying to find the short narrow lane running along the Gorgazzo. Cross the pedestrian bridge, Via San Rocco is on the other end of it. Be ready for a jump in the past.

Once you are back to the church you saw in the first part of the historical centre, walk back to the iron bridge and follow the tratturo (sheep track) that runs along the water bank until you get to the dirt road. The track passes next to the lodge, surrounded by the green water-meadows. Soon you are back to the car park.

This itinerary is 6/7 km long, depending on how much you wish to wander around in Polcenigo and in the marcite area. Yet there is no difficulty at all. The only difference in height is whilst walking up to the castle, but do not worry, anyone can manage it. A low difficulty itinerary, suitable for children, that will let you spend a nice day out surrounded by nature and in one of the most beautiful villages of Italy.

It is highly recommended to visit also the Parco Rurale of San Floriano, that shows its best in the summer season and offers a great variety of plants and animals.

If you wish to receive the GPS track of this itinerary, please send an email to: ritornoao@gmail.com

Credit: Andrea Favret
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