Visitors center of Forni di Sotto (UD)

Opening time

Exhibition “The forest types of the Park”

The Visitors Center of the Natural Park of the Friulian Dolomites located in Forni di Sotto, is arranged on two floors of the building opposite the town hall. The exhibition includes educational materials and items in order to spread the knowledge of the naturalistic reality of the Park and more generally of the man-forest relationship. The goal is to allow the visitor to learn about the features that make the Park area worthy of being protected. The Visitors Center of Forni di Sotto exhibition represents “indoors” the forest environment that can be found along the paths of the Park and more particularly develops and covers the following topics:

  • the physiological characteristics of the plants
  • the forest types and species in the park
  • types of soil
  • the past and current forest harvesting techniques

For all visitors is also available a small educational workshop with stereoscopes, a room for projections and interactive games.


The educational trail inside the Visitors Center is organized in sections dedicated to the deepening of  different topics.

  • Section A: an information desk will give all useful information relating to the territory and structures of the Friulian Dolomites Park.
  • Section B: physiological characteristics of the plant. Graphic representation of the plant physiological functions with the path of sap represented with LED lights.
  • Section C: the evolution of the forest –  evolution diagram of the forest, from bare ground to adult wood
  • Section D: types of woods inside the park. Identification of the different types of plants found in the park and soil characteristics.
  • Section E: the main species of trees in the park. Illustration of types of tree specimens, of their fruits and leaves
  • Section F: educational activities. Presentation of trunks’ sections belonging to the extracts considered. Some stereoscopes are available to observe the natural finds.
  • Section G: the man-forest relationship. It represents graphically the man-forest relationship from the Quaternary to the present day
  • Section H: the forest management. Current methods of forest management compared to those of the past.
  • Section I: man’s work in the forest. Comparison of the equipment used by lumberjacks today and that used in the past.
  • Section L: the finished wood products. Explanatory pictures of the different possibilities to use wood: in construction, furnishings, etc.
  • Section M: interactive games. Simple games and showing of several documentaries to better understand what described in the exhibition.

The Visitors Center is also connected to an interesting path that climbs the nearby Val Poschiadea, where there is a reconstruction of an old cableway.


The distribution of vegetation within the park is influenced not only by geomorphological conditions but also by the climate and the thermoregulatory action of the near Adriatic Sea. In fact in this area there is the typical decrease of the vegetation altitude limits.
The intense and frequent rainfalls, coupled to the low mass-impact and the transverse orientation of the mountain ranges, determine a descent of the vegetation down lower altitudes. As a result of various morphological and ecological conditions on the territory of the park there are different forest stands, different in composition and structure, with smaller or greater productive capacity.

Thus, there are  production woods, suitable mainly to the exploitation of the wood material, and protective forests, which mainly protect the soil from hydrogeological instability.

Briefly we can distinguish the following arboreal formations:

  • The thermophilic forests, consisting of tree-shrub formations of hop hornbeams and Fraxinus ornus;
  • The black and Scots pine forests, present on the steepest slopes of the harsh environments;
  • The beech forests, which are the most widespread forest stands within the park, mainly consisting of beech favored in its development by the local climate. These forests characterize the landscape and represent an important resource for the local economy.
  • The spruce forests, which are forests dominated by Norway spruces, silver firs and beeches; they are located at high altitude areas on the northern slopes; in more accessible areas, even the spruce forests, such as beech, are of considerable economic importance.
  • The larch and pine woods are high altitude formations that define the upper limit of the forest. The pine woods are constituted by the Mountain pine, creeping specimen with a high pioneering attitude that has colonized the scree and steep mountain slopes to form real forest stands. In the past from the Mountain pine was extracted the oil.


The cableway of Val Poschiadea is a fully reconstructed artifact positioned as it could have been observed until the early sixties. An interesting work of forest archaeology, close relative of the current cable cars, which was once used to transport downstream harvested timber from the most remote and inaccessible forests. The cableway of Val Poschiadea works in relation to activities linked to the Visitors Center of the Forni di Sotto Park, helping at the same time to promote forestry and the use of timber by the local population.