Things to do in Fossalta di Portogruaro


Today, we will explore a few amazing things to do in Fossalta di Portogruaro, a small town in the Veneto region. If you come to this town in the Winter morning, there is a big chance that you will see a light mist hovering over the bare fields, seeming like the breath of the earth condensing upon contact with the cold winter air.

On the trees, the last yellow leaves, now tending towards brown, detach from the skeletal branches and join the damp carpet covering avenues and meadows. Even in this season, which seems so unfriendly, the landscape around Fossalta di Portogruaro retains its own unique charm and personality, making it noteworthy. Just a veiled sky or a faint ray of sunshine gives us enough courage to go exploring and discover a new piece of our territory. Here are all the things to do in Fossalta di Portogruaro:

The charm of Fossalta is not flashy at all. It does not have a past as an important Roman city like the nearby Concordia Sagittaria, nor does it boast the picturesque Venetian palaces decorated with the sister city of Portogruaro. But those with curious eyes can stumble upon places that tell surprising stories or meet eccentric characters who have left their mark on local and national history.

In Fossalta di Portogruaro, an extremely important piece of local peasant history is preserved and stored in the Ethnographic Museum. Founded in 1990 by a group of volunteers, the museum collects and preserves the most recent memory of the town. It is located in an old building full of objects that tell pieces of the life of grandparents and great-grandparents who lived in these areas, which were dedicated to agriculture between the end of the nineteenth century and the mid-twentieth century.

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After passing the external portico crammed with agricultural vehicles, you can see the internal area divided into what were typically the zones that characterized the large peasant houses of the past: the stable and the threshing floor, the kitchen with the large hearth where polenta was stirred in the cauldron, the bedroom, the cellar with vats and barrels, and the attic where silkworms were raised. There are also areas dedicated to ancient crafts, such as the blacksmith, the shoemaker, the seamstress, the stonemason, and the school.

The objects are the result of donations but also of real expeditions carried out by the volunteers who searched the old demolished houses and saved items such as beams, bricks, and period floors. The reconstructions of the rooms and the stacked objects make the atmosphere so realistic that it feels like taking a leap back in time. You can see instruments that are no longer part of your daily life but belong to distant memories, childhood memories that the warm voice of the museum’s volunteers, who gladly accompany visitors in exploring the rooms, make even more realistic and full of feeling.

After leaving the Ethnographic Museum, you should move a few kilometers and visit Alvisopoli, which will welcome you to its familiar red-painted barn. What today is a small fraction, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, did not exist except in the brilliant mind of the Venetian count Alvise Mocenigo, who, on these reclaimed lands owned by his family, decided to found a city. But not just any city, it had to be a completely self-sufficient residential nucleus, whose design was not to be left to chance: an ideal city. Alvisopoli was equipped with a manor house, houses for sharecroppers, a church, a pharmacy, and an important printing press.

What to see in Fossalta di Portogruaro
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There were also buildings suitable for working the land’s products, such as mills, rice mills, and furnaces. All around, the productive countryside was cultivated to provide the necessary products for subsistence. The brilliant dream of Alvise, unfortunately, remained unfulfilled, but this does not make our emotion any less intense in seeing such an avant-garde idea for the time materialize in our territory. You can linger a little longer near the barn and walk in the Oasis of the Alvisopoli forest, protected and managed by WWF, which rises right there next to it.

Wrapped in our coats and scarves, we go to meet the last of the stories that, for today, Fossalta di Portogruaro and its surroundings will tell us. We are in the small fraction of Fratta, and this time, the story comes from an exceptional voice, that of the writer Ippolito Nievo, who found the ideal setting for his novel “Confessions of an Italian” in this place.

In the book, the two protagonists, Carlino Altoviti and la Pisana, live in the Castle of Fratta, which unfortunately no longer exists today, and to tell the truth, it did not exist even at the time when Nievo wrote his novel; the writer, visiting the site, found only ruins but was nevertheless inspired by these places. We admire the site where the castle stood today and the Cortino, the rural manorial structure that is the only survivor of the castle’s settlement. In the Cortino, Stanislao Nievo, great-nephew of Ippolito, wanted to set up the Ippolito Nievo Literary Museum, in which objects and manuscripts belonging to his uncle are collected.

After a visit to the Cortino (open only on Sundays) and a walk in its park, it would be ideal to end your trip discovering this region by munching on chestnuts and warming your hands with a mulled wine. Fortunately, from the patronal feasts – such as San Martino in Latisana and the fair of Sant’Andrea in Portogruaro – to the Christmas markets (there are many, just to name a few Morsano al Tagliamento, Bibione, Caorle, Lignano Sabbiadoro, and Portogruaro) you will be spoiled for choice.

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