Bella Italia, is a country that is dedicated to pleasure like no other. Even if many people first think of the long beaches of the Adriatic Sea or historic old cities like Rome and Florence, there are many smaller Italian towns that have a charm all of their own. What makes up the flair of the Dolce Vita in its essence is good food, sparkling Prosecco, strong espresso and the absence of any hustle and bustle. In Italy, the clocks go a little slower and that’s a good thing! Stroll through winding alleys, browse in small boutiques and enjoy delicious food. Pizza, pasta, risotto, tiramisu, profiteroles – the list of Italian classics is long. If you are on holiday in Carinthia and want to make a cross-cultural day trip, you are in luck: Tarvis, the small Italian border town, can be reached quickly and easily from all Carinthian Falkensteiner Hotels & Residences. What awaits you here is authentic Italian cuisine, a supermarket with delicious snacks and aromatic ingredients to cook yourself (a wide variety of pasta brands and varieties for about 60 cents), a beautiful hiking area and turquoise mountain lakes to walk around. You won’t find any ostentatious buildings here – rather, a certain rough charm wafts through the small town, where much is still the same as it used to be. Bumpy asphalted streets, plastic chairs on many terraces and the famous Tarvis market, where mainly Carinthians bought their ‘good jeans’ and leather goods back in the nineties. In the meantime, the many market stalls are covered and have been given a permanent place in a large hall – I still remember the frosty times when I tried on my legendary stretch jeans with the discreetly placed rhinestone applications at what felt like -5 degrees in November when I was about 14 years old. The curtain blew gently in the icy wind. There was just an as little trace of heating as of stylish Italian fashion. Although one has to give credit to the market and its goods that it was the early 2000s – and we are experiencing the fashion revival of that time very closely in the shops. After this little excursion into my memory box, we come back to the actual topic: why a day trip to Tarvis is worthwhile. I recommend visiting the really picturesque Laghi di Fusine. The lakes are just small enough to have a nice hike around them. At any time of the year, you’ll find a wonderful sight – in summer, the brave can even swim in the crystal-clear water. Been there, done that – but typical of mountain lakes, it was icy cold and at the same time terrifically refreshing. In autumn, the colourful sea of leaves shows its most beautiful side (you have to reckon with a lot of visitors on weekends and holidays!) and in winter, the snow-covered mountains in the background form a top backdrop. After about an hour (depending on whether you want to go around the smaller or larger lake), you will enter the town. Coffee and dolci and perhaps the first glass of Prosecco from the barrel, then go for a stroll and visit the small boutiques. Tip: buy dried porcini mushrooms! But you can also find what you’re looking for in terms of fashion – e.g. at Benetton (great kids’ sale) or in the shops next door. If you’ve never been there before (don’t forget to bargain!), don’t miss a detour to the aforementioned market and then go for a classic Italian meal. The restaurant al Mangart is particularly good. For prosecco and profiteroles afterwards, I prefer the Bar Adriatico. Before heading home, buy some supplies at the Supermercato and you’ve made a classic trip across the border – as local Carinthians regularly do.
A holiday in Carinthia is diverse – the proximity to the Italian border is a valuable addition to the programme. Enjoy your time to the fullest and get involved in a rustic experience that can be very enriching! Have fun in Tarvisio, ciao!