10 May 2022

A small tour in Pordenone

Where to sleep, eat and discover a few special things.

It has been a while since I first wanted to come and take a look around here: us people from Trieste see it so far away that, to us, it seems a hundred percent like a city of the Veneto region! On the contrary, it’s just an hour away from home and we’re still in my beloved Friuli-Venezia-Giulia…so here I am, in Pordenone!

My first stop is a quick lunch with my sponsors, aka the Confcommercio of Pordenone in collaboration with “Centro anch’io”, which helps with the development of the territory around Pordenone.

The meeting is set in San Quirino at the village’s tavern, which has been transformed in a nice little restaurant called L’Osteria delle Nazioni, which welcomes passers-by for a fast, yet high-quality meal: their kitchen is the same as the only starred restaurant in Pordenone, La Primula!

You tell me if this isn’t the way to start with the right foot…or better, the right taste.

MOPNIKE, THE BIKE CRAFTSMAN

Once we finished our lunch, in only 15 minutes I got to a garage where 39-year-old Massimo Ottavio Pavan decided to transform his passion into his full-time job in 2014! What I wanted – he told me – was to create a bike easy on the eyes and low-maintenance at the same time.

This is how Mopbike – the bike craftsman was born.

The first bike he designed was the one he made for his wife. It had a frame he then patented, a handlebar with a built-it basket, a carbon fork, an internal gear, a carbon, belt transmission system and anti-pucture tires.

So, to translate for those who don’t speak this language: it’s a light, well-structured bike. A unique one, with a chain that won’t get your trousers messy or that won’t go out of its place…and it’s silent, too!

Massimo also offers “tailor-made” bikes, which have the unique name of “messa in sella” (“get on your saddle”). Are you wandering what it is? He can make you a bike which is perfect for your body and your two-wheeled habits. Do you want to only use it in the city, or do you want to ride it for 70 kms a day? In order to make it, he’ll measure your body and he’ll ask you about possible medical conditions and so on: the bike will be made piece by piece according to your very needs…and wishes!

I agree that very often technical and practical object do not get along with beauty, but Massimo loves aesthetics and modern style! His creations are so beautiful that they can be exposed in a loft, just like some his Dutch customers did!

The price? well, the muscular bike starts at 27000 euros, while the lightest in the world (11,9 kilos) starts at 4300 euros! Don’t you think that’s a very honest price? The local craftsmen are amazing!

VILLA POLICRETI: SLEEPING AND DINING

We are in the Municipality of Aviano, more precisely in Castel d'Aviano. Here stands the splendid Villa Policreti, surrounded by a park of olive trees and centuries-old trees. It's a residence whose central part dates back to the sixteenth century. It's the perfect location for parties, weddings and even for out-of-the-ordinary stays.

I’m staying in the suite, the Contessa's room, which includes a small, deconsecrated chapel with a confessional. From the windows you can enjoy a beautiful view over the plain of Aviano...but before it gets lost in the horizon, your eye will stop on the green golf course! Yes, you heard me! Here, golf enthusiasts will also find a beautiful 18-hole course.

Villa Policreti is composed by two facilities. One has 38 rooms, while in the other one you'll find the restaurant with a terrace, garden and several halls upstairs, with salt and pepper floors and original coats of arms. They're perfect for meetings, weddings and special dinners.

The restaurant's menu offers both meat and fish, while focusing on seasonal vegetables and special preparations. An example? Raw asparagus served with an egg cloud.

 

ARTISANS OF TASTE: AVIANO’S DAIRY

Just 10 minutes away from Villa Policreti you can reach the paradise of cheese, a dairy with centuries-old walls, where every day over 70 kinds of deliciousness are created, based on cow, buffalo and goat milk. Some of these are processed raw, others after pasteurization.

This is Latteria di Aviano!

The ripening may vary from three months to 6 years (yes, you heard me right) and they sell products processed with special refinements: cheeses left to rest in the hay, wrapped in tobacco leaves, the ubriachi (“drunk cheeses”, cheeses which are left to ripe in wine) and then the fresh caciotta that comes in 12 different flavors, from arugula to rosemary, tomato, and pepper...you have an almost infinite range of choice.

Gioacchino has guided me in my visit to the dairy and he has shown me the production process of these wonders in great detail: here, the craftsmanship of the past meets the evolution of the present. A perfect union.

From buffalo mozzarella to burrata, here you could lose your mind... it is difficult to describe how good each product tastes, you just have to try them!

LUNCH IN THE CENTER OF PORDENONE: AL GALLO RESTAURANT

It took me thirty minutes to get to the historical center of Pordenone. Guys, lunchtime had come, and I had to find something good to eat that wouldn't weigh me down too much.

I chose Ristorante Al Gallo, a really excellent fish reastaurant. From the outside you get the idea that you're about to enter a rustic place, but the environment that you’ll find inside is be modern and light-colored ... you will feel like being in a seaside resort. 🙂

This is a choice that owners of the place and life companions Andrea and Diletta have almost certainly brought with them from their experience at L'Androna in Grado...and maybe even the presence of the paintings by Gianni Maran comes from the connection they feel with the "island of the sun".

The winery is a hymn of joy to Friuli Venezia Giulia, but it also has products from outside the Region and outside Italy.

Everything is great: the appetizer of fresh asparagus with fried egg, and the scallop with guanciale di Sauris, the artisanal pacchero sbagliato with crab and zucchini flowers, the tuna tataki with turnip tops, hazelnuts and cream of yellow tomatoes, and, saving the best for last, a millefeuille with vanilla mousse and wild berries. A real explosion of flavors.

If you happen to be there, it is definitely worth the stop!

 

LEARN WITH A SMILE: LA BOTTEGA DELLE NUVOLE

While remaining in the historical center of Pordenone, let's move to the oldest street of the city: Vicolo delle Mura. At number 27, Domingo welcomes us in what seems to be an ordinary bookshop.

This is La Bottega delle Nuvole. It's not a bookshop, nor a comic store (where you'd also find costumes, serials, games, mangas, playing cards and much more): here Domingo wanted to express his many passions, creating the only store of this kind in our Region (the first one is in Padua).

His selection is linked to the author, so self-concluding books that don't create a seriality, and which are all linked to three genres:

- The classic one of the graphic novel, a novel drawn and written by classic authors;

- Graphic journalism, that uses the tool of drawing and comics to deliver journalistic messages and news;

- Social comics that deal with social issues.

The beauty of this place is that you learn something different than usual with irony and a light heart. The doors of La Bottega delle Nuvole are open to everyone, young and old, and even to those who aren't voracious readers.

 

With this splendid and colorful image my - first - tour of Pordenone comes to an end. This isn't farewell, just goodbye...for now.

Thanks to the Chamber of Commerce and Centro Anch'io Pordenone for inviting me to discover SOME of Pordenone's gems. I'll see you again very, very soon!

…and now, let’s wave bye-bye!

Ph. Michele Grimaz

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