Exploring Lago di Sauris

Photos and words by Dominik K.
See more of his advetnures on his blog fujiuser.com

This year I visited Lago di Sauris in Northern Italy, just about 400 kilometers away from my hometown Vienna. In addition I got there with my Ural which meant a lot of off road fun!

Friuli, an overlooked and underrated region in Italy

Friuli is a region located in the Northeast of Italy, bordered by the Veneto region in the West, the Carnic Alps and Austrian Carinthia in the North, the Slovenian border in the East and the Adriatic Sea in the South. Traversed by numerous rivers, the region emits its own special character and charm.

Just in the mountainous North of Friuli, there is a small town called Sauris. Both are located in close proximity to Lago die Sauris, a big artificial lake which stands out because of its incredibly blue water.


According to a legend, Sauris was founded by German mercenaries in 1300, and since then has been a german linguistic enclave. Hence the local dialect Saurano incorporates a lot of Tyrolean words. The people in Sauris are mostly trilingual, they are able to speak German, Italian and Friulian as well.

We decided to drive up to Forcella Ielma, a mountain pass just north of Lago di Sauris. We departed from Sauris di Sotto and conquered the serpentines to the town Lateis. After that we followed the road further into the forest.

Soon the asphalt street turned into a gravel track and from there it got more and more difficult. We had to fight deep holes washed out by water, cross a dried-out river bed and climb up sections with fist-sized gravel rocks.

The last 500 meters up to Forcella Ielma, were very difficult.  We were confronted with short but serious ascents, interrupted by 180 degrees serpentines. There was no way to build up the crucial speed with the Ural so my wife and the dog hopped out of the sidecar to reduce the weight of the rig. By doing that I could accelerate better on the flat areas in the bends.

We made it!

It was a deeply emotional moment when we finally reached the summit, only witnessed by grazing cows. Watching the astonishing scenery at our feet, we realized that our Ural sidecar motorcycle is, with our combined effort, unstoppable.

That was a truly remarkable experience we will never forget. Sweaty but happy!


Dominik's Ride

Ural Gear Up in Asphalt Grey