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One of the most unusual and fascinating features of limestone mountains is the presence of natural windows, or archways, eroded into the rock.  Although not common, there are examples in Italy’s mountains, where gaps are sometimes bridged by natural rock arches a few metres thick and of variable size, and sometimes by a more considerable mass of rock. The Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia contains several examples of each type. The best-known of the first type are on Creta Forata in the Carnic Alps, in the so-called Pesatine Dolomites, and along the Creta Forada in the Monte Bivera group. In the Monte Cimone Group of the Julian Alps, a window can be found near the Forca de la Puartate. Examples of the second type exist near Monte Capolago in the Mount Volaia Group of the Carnic Alps, and on Monte Forato in the Monte Canin Group of the Julian Alps.
In the Resian dialect the hollow is known as “Zavuotle”, and in Friulian as “La Mont Forade”. It is probably better to make the climb in late Spring or early Autumn, but while the Summer heat can be very oppressive, a viewing trip at that time will still be an exceptional thrill.
A mountain excursion also provides an opportunity to observe the fascinating flora and fauna; as you listen to the melodious song of a garden warbler or the gentle trill of a dunnock or a lesser whitethroat, you may also hear the shrill whistle of a marmot or a chamois, not uncommon in these parts. There is much plant life to enjoy, such as the snow-white Traunfellner’s Crowfoot (Ranunculus Traunfellneri), the Alpine Pennycress (Thlaspi Minimum) or the Alpine Toadflax (Linaria Alpina); in warmer areas, it is also possible to find the beautiful Sweet Iris (Iris Pallida subsp. Cengialti).

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