Things to Do

Among golden beaches, lakes with emerald waters, the Alps and the Dolomites and historic villages, Friuli Venezia Giulia is a small treasure to be discovered. Our Ginkgo Guest House is located in a strategic position halfway between the wonderful cities of Venice and Trieste, just 20 minutes from the sea and just over 1 hour from the suggestive Carnic Alps.

What to do? What see? Here are our suggestions.

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Welcome to Ronchis

Lovely little Ronchis is a fairly new village (1834), but its community has a long and rich history. From a patriarchal rule in the XIII century, it was then annexed to the Republic of Venice and later even fell under the Austrian Empire, until it became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866.

The village only started to resemble what you can see today in the 60s. In 2020, Ronchis is a quiet little centre on the banks of the river Tagliamento characterised by striking rural landscapes and a town centre where small local businesses have been operating for decades. Ronchis also includes the hamlet of Fraforeano.

Things to See in Ronchis

The main church. Dedicated to St. Andrew, the main church in Ronchis dates back to 1753. With its five marble and stone altars, stunning frescos, paintings and statues it is definitely worth a visit.

The little church of Santa Libera. This tiny building is octagonal in shape, with a hut roof and bell tower with two bells.

The old wash house. The old wash house, still functioning to this day, is a fascinating historical construction that takes us back to a time when the women of the village would gather here to wash their clothes.

Antica Ancona di Santa Sabata. The “Ancona di Santa Sabata” is an ancient altarpiece dedicated to Saint Mary in Sabato, to whom the local population prayed for protection against colds and flus. This picturesque little spot is located on the way to the hamlet of Fraforeano, at the end of a path along the Spinedo Canal.

Cycling routes

Why not plan a cycling holiday? Numerous cycle paths allow to easily explore Friuli on your bike.

Less than 500m from Ginkgo Guest House you can join the “Ciclovia del Tagliamento”, a scenic 187km route that follows the river Tagliamento from its spring in Forni di Sopra to its mouth in Lignano, which is only 22km from Ronchis. More info can be found at fiab-gemona.it.

A full list of all cycling routes in Friuli Venezia Giulia can be found at piste-ciclabili.com.

Discover the Adriatic

There’s nothing more soothing than a long walk on the beach. The perfect way to wrap up the day? A refreshing swim in the summer, a steaming cup of tea or hot chocolate during the colder months, and some window shopping in the town centre on those warm spring weekends. Only 20km from Ronchis, the popular seaside locations of Lignano and Bibione can easily be reached by car, bus or bike. Less than an hour’s drive from our Ginkgo Guest House is Grado, also known as “l’Isola del Sole” (the Isle of the Sun”). If you’d rather see something other than the most popular tourist destinations, Marano Lagunare, only 14km from Ronchis, is a historic fishing village from which you can discover the beautiful lagoon.

Day trips to the Alps

Are you thinking about a picnic by the lake, an alpine excursion or a food tour to savour the best cheese and cold cuts typical of this area? The Friulian mountains offer endless options for a day trip that starts right from our Ginkgo Guest House. Our suggestions for short walks and scenic picnic spots are the Lakes of Fusine, Sauris Lake, or the popular (and closest) lake of Barcis. Looking for a slightly more adventurous day? We highly suggest visiting the emerald coloured pools in Tramonti di Sopra or Cascate dell’Arzino in the Arzino Valley. Both can be reached following scenic walking paths through the woods. You can find an exhaustive list of walking and hiking paths at sentierinatura.it. To taste the finest and most famous types of prosciutto in the region, your destination is San Daniele, or alternatively Sauris.

Tour delle cantine

Wine Lovers? With over 54.000 acres of vineyards and 9.000 wineries, Friuli is the perfect destination for you. Cantine Aperte (“open wineries”), one of the most popular events of the year, usually takes place during the last weekend of May. However, some wineries open their doors to the public during harvest time (August-September) or during the holidays (Christmas, Easter, Bank Holidays). All the updated info on events like Cantine Aperte, Vigneti Aperti or Calici di Stelle can be found on the Movimento Turismo del Vino FVG website. Here’s a list of wineries near Ronchis:

Vini e Spumanti Lorenzetto Cav. Guido, Latisana

Cantine Toniatti Giacometti, Latisana

Isola Augusta, Palazzolo dello Stella

Cantina Rauscedo, San Michele al Tagliamento

Cities and towns you can't miss

Trips to Trieste, Venezia and Udine are a must, but there are many more smaller cities, towns and villages worth exploring in this beautiful region. Less than 30km from Ronchis is the town of Palmanova, a stunning example of star fort of the late Renaissance built up by the Venetian Republic. The fortifications are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’re fascinated by Medieval towns you can’t miss Cividale del Friuli, but if you’re interested in seeing some of the largest and most ancient mosaics in the world, then you should visit the archaeological museums of Aquileia. The romantic village of Ariis (only a 15-minute drive from Ronchis) is perfect for a relaxing afternoon stroll. Here, legend says that the ancient owner of Villa Ottelio Savorgnan and her lover are those who inspired the creation of those that would later become the Shakespearian characters of Romeo and Juliet. For the full story, visit villaotteliosavorgnan.it. Monumental and rich of history, another villa worth visiting is Villa Manin in Passariano. Built in the XVII century as a manor house, this villa was the home of the last doge of Venice and temporary residence of Napoleon Bonaparte and Joséphine de Beauharnais. Today it is a popular venue – visit villamanin.it for all the updated info about current events and exhibitions.

Caves to explore

Striking and unique, caves are always guaranteed to leave you speechless. The largest and most famous here in Friuli is Grotta Gigante in Sgonico, Trieste. 100m high, 168m long and 76m wide, it fascinates hundreds of visitors all year round. Grotta Nuova di Villanova is a peculiar natural cave characterised by 8km worth of tunnels, and in 2020 it celebrated the 95th anniversary of its discovery. In the heart of the Prealpi Carniche you can visit Grotte di Pradis – soaked in history and ancient traditions.

Tours and activities

If you’re in Ariis visiting Villa Ottelio Savorgnan you might also want to stop at the Aquarium of Ariis, a museum dedicated to the flora and fauna that can be found in and by local rivers. If instead you’d like to experience the river firsthand, why not rent a canoe or a kayak on the scenic River Stella? Bilancia di Bepi (“Bepi’s fishnet”), a historical fishnet house, is the perfect starting point for a lovely kayak tour to the mouth of the river, or even to the lagoon of Marano. An even more relaxing alternative is booking a guided boat tour, like the ones offered by Saturno da Geremia.

Hemingway's Friuli

In 1954 a special visitor arrived in Lignano Pineta: Ernest Hemingway. Decades before it became the popular tourist destination that we all know and love, the famous author saw in the city the potential to become “Italy’s Florida”. In his honour Park Hemingway was built, a stunning space where every spring takes place the popular event Lignano in Fiore – a colorful flower festival. Lignano however wasn’t the only place Hemingway visited. He talked about Friuli in “A Farewell to Arms“, and visited the area several times as a guest of the Kechler family. One of their residences, Villa Kechler, is located in the hamlet of Fraforeano and is open to the public during certain events such as Castelli Aperti.