Autumn in Carso, where the roots have the colour of Sommaco and the fragrance of Glera

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There are places that reconcile beautiful thoughts. They are good medicine, those that dilate the memory and stretch the thoughts. The Carso region is one of these, especially now, dressed in autumn: a palette of warm colours in a context of fascinating silences, interspersed from time to time by the fast cycling of groups of Sunday cyclists or solitary artists in search of a shot to take home.

If what you need is a day out of time, welcome to the Carso land, where the seasons paint a canvas of flamboyant nuances and where a borderline story is rooted, marking every cove of a rugged and rocky land.

View from the “Alture del Polazzo” Rural Park

There is no better season for a trip to the Carso than autumn. Here, with the arrival of the first cold seasons, expanses of rocky moors ignite with the bright colours of gold, orange, bright red and purple of the sumac, attracting the curious, hikers and photographers in ecstasy in front of this incredible spectacle of nature. Nowadays fashion calls it foliage, there are those who talk about chromotherapy, those who instead return to the origins, to the contact with nature.

AUTUMN IN CARSO: DISCOVERING THE SOMMACO, THE TREE OF FOG

These large and intense stains of colour, which rarely reach a height of 2 metres because of the bora wind that dominates these areas, were used in the past to tanning leather and dye fabrics, thanks to the high percentage of tannin present in the leaves.

Called “fog trees” because of their small feathered fruitlessness, these shrubs represent poetry and tenacity at the same time, in a land that was the scene of bloody battles during the world wars.

For those who want to immerse themselves in the magic of these palettes of colour, we recommend a walk along the many dirt roads of the “Alture del Polazzo” Rural Park, a few kilometres from Sagrado.

Continuing to discover the colours and the Carso Plateau, an obligatory stop is Lake Doberdò, a rare example of a karst lake in the whole of Europe.

The lake, framed by wonderful expanses of bright colours, is part of the Doberdò and Pietrarossa Lakes Regional Reserve and is fed by resurgences and underground rivers. Here sportsmen and women come together to climb along the surrounding rocky walls, and history enthusiasts to visit the numerous wartime ruins.

Lake Doberdò seen from the high road

“On this stony patch of earth

Everything is beautiful and true

To be, to live, to fight,

feel young and healthy”

Carso singing

Dai caldi e silenziosi colori di Doberdò e del carso goriziano in una manciata di chilometri si arriva nel triestino, e noi ci spingiamo a Prosecco, incuriosite dal suo nome e dalla sua storia.

PROSECCO, WHERE TIME IS STILL AND THE EARTH SMELLS OF “GLERA”

In Prosecco time seems to have stopped at a black and white film from the 1950s, when the areas of the Trieste karst on the border with Slovenia were populated by Istrian exiles, creating a large Slovenian community of fishermen, farmers and stonemasons.

It is sober Prosecco, it welcomes us a little listless, head down, inviting us to get lost in the cobbled alleys of the district, an appendix in the hinterland of Trieste, which today, between the old and the new part, has just over 1,300 inhabitants.

The latter, San Nazario, welcomes us lazily and brightly: placid is the cat dozing next to the wall of the church of San Martino, enjoying the lukewarm rays of sunshine at the end of October; discreet are the celebrations of its small community, smiles stolen behind stone walls that guard stories of other times. And then the small terraces set among the narrow and narrow spaces of houses marked by time; proud and stoic dry-stone walls, the hands that built them were wise and patient. The tiny gardens tell little stories of neighbours, of hard-working families who still want to enjoy the time of being together at the end of the day; some civics, faded by time but not in memory, are instead a reminder of a time that remains well imprinted in a place that has no intention of dying out.

PROSECCO, THE GARDEN OF THE KARST, FLOURISHES AGAIN THANKS TO THE LINK BETWEEN THE NEW GENERATIONS AND THE TERRITORY.

This is confirmed by the commitment of 4 young winegrowers who have returned to Prosecco a few years ago to recover the tradition of the Habsburg winegrowers, their direct ancestors. In fact, in these very lands they have found fertile ground the “Glera”, “the bubbly of the feast days”, the malvasia and the vitovska, going to replenish the local economy for centuries. This is where the Prosekar association was founded in 2017; Alessio Stoka, one of the young entrepreneurs who founded the project, tells us: “My father is of Dalmatian origin: it was they who became the Habsburg winegrowers on these slopes in the 18th century. Wine is not just a passion. I dream that the Karst will regain its centrality in wine and food tourism”. And so, after years of studies, attempts and many bureaucratic quibbles, the Prosecco di Valdobbiadene DOC recognized the project to the young entrepreneurs of Trieste, committing themselves to enhance this heroic viticulture of the past still so intimately linked to the territory.

Rediscovering the roots often costs effort, requires us to invest unforeseen time, requires us to immerse ourselves in sometimes silent alleys, where the road is not always indicated as we would like. The roots call without making noise, they invite us to rediscover those colours that the everyday frenzy sometimes does not make us notice, to walk along secondary roads, sometimes peeled and tried by time, imperfect like that lake without apparent tributaries or, again, like majestic bushes able to greet the harsher winters dressed in festive clothes.

” Firm and strong is only the tree that suffers the frequent assault of the wind; it is the continuous shaking that gives it more strength, more tenacious roots”.

Seneca

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