With its pretty palazzi and mountain vistas, the northeastern Italian city of Pordenone offers a superb blend of beautiful architecture and nature. Home to just over 51,000 people, Pordenone is located a mere 90km (55 miles) from Venice. This makes for a delightful day trip. But, Pordenone can also be a great place to base yourself, as I’ve done twice.
My first trip to Pordenone was purely for pleasure. Shawn was taking a graduate class, and I savored a weeklong break from work. When Shawn wasn’t studying, we explored Pordenone and also headed to Venice, Treviso, Sacile, Udine, and Padua for outings.
Our days were carefree and filled with gargantuan amounts of gelato, strolls along cobbled lanes, and chance meetings with friendly strangers. One day, during a train ride, we had a chance meeting with a Buddhist monk with the widest of smiles. He was originally from Tibet but had lived in Italy for many years. With our broken Italian and his snippets of English, the conversation brightened our day. We were so enjoying being in his company that we didn’t want the train to arrive at our destination! In the years since, we’ve always referred to him as “the happy monk.”
When we returned to Pordenone 10 years later, our purpose for basing ourselves there was quite different — we used it as our home base for getting our Covid vaccines.
Though I wish there’d been no pandemic and we could’ve done more exploring, we were still able to squeeze in some outdoor excursions. One afternoon, we walked to the ruins of an ancient Roman villa. Nearby, we also savored the roses in the gardens of the Castello di Torre. Part of this fortification turned noble residence dates back to the 13th century.
On other days, we marveled at the attractive architecture along Pordenone’s main street, the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. This is where many of these beautiful windows (finestre) can be found. They range from Venetian Gothic-style to more simplistic windows with perches for pigeons.
Have you been to Pordenone? What other places in Italy’s Friuli Venezia Giulia region would you recommend visiting?
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Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.