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Rifugio Fratelli Nordio

The refuge on the Austrian border

About this place

The Nordio Deffar is a modern lodge that is much visited for its good food, because it can be reached by a short walk, and because of the possibility of making hikes of considerable interest. The refuge, in fact, is located in the upper Uque Valley, 10 minutes from the Lom saddle, and is the starting point for several climbs, as well as a support point for the Carnic Traverse. The Nordio was renovated in 2018 with environmentally sustainable technology.

Why visit it


One step away from Austria

The refuge is located a short distance from Austria. This allows visitors to explore the surroundings by following the boundary line through the forest, to venture to the top of Mount Osternig, or to take an easy hike to Dolinza Alm, a typical Austrian alpine village.


The summit of the Osternig

The summit of Osternig is a very rewarding hike. Climbing the imposing grassy dome and enjoying the sunlight shining on the Carnic Alps panorama requires training, but it is easy and presents no technical difficulties.


Ideal for mountain biking

The Nordio Deffar mountain hut is very suitable as a starting point or foothold for various routes suitable for mountain biking and thus attracts many cycling enthusiasts who test themselves on the trails of Mount Osternig and Mount Acomizza.


The landscape is that of the Carnic Alps, characterized by forests and grassy peaks. The surrounding areas are characterized by undergrowth that suddenly opens up into extensive green valleys. The scenery is beautiful, the forest alternates with the boundless meadows where cows and horses graze, and the whole area is dotted with cheese factories and rifugi.

Itineraries and routes

Nordio Deffar is an excellent base for walks in the surrounding areas, but also for various climbs of varying length and difficulty:

The refuge is also a support point for the Traversata Carnica or Peace Trail, a trekking route that runs in stages between Italy and Austria.

Opening period

It can be visited daily from June to September and during the holiday season. In October and November it is open only on weekends. At other times of the year, opening days vary, so you should contact the shelter to see if you can go there.


The farmhouse, rooms and interior of the lodge

Nordio Deffar has a farmhouse with seating for 50 inside and another 50 outside the restaurant. The shelter also offers overnight accommodations with 22 beds divided into rooms for 4, 6 and 8 people.


Osternig mountain loop trail

The view of valleys and forests from the sunlit summit of Mount Osternig is an incomparable spectacle offered to the Italian hiker as much as to the Austrian hiker. This border peak can be reached from Ugovizza by a loop trail that does not present technical difficulties but is still quite long. The route runs for 12 km, at first through the undergrowth, and then emerges onto a scenic sun-kissed valley suspended above the clouds. By making the circuit counterclockwise, the Nordio hut can be found as the finishing point. The loop is also walkable with snowshoes, and the environment, with the sun shining on the snow, becomes sparkling.

How to get to the shelter

From Ugovizza, upon payment of a 5-euro transit fee (provided only in summer), go up the carriageway to the parking lot on Uque Street near the old refuge. From here continue by choosing among the different possibilities:

  • Forest road (walking): comfortable cart track (length 2 kilometers, 200 meters elevation gain) that leads to the hut in 45 minutes.
  • Trail: a little shorter but the slope is greater. Travel time of 30 minutes.
  • Osternig mountain scenic loop (10 km, about 3 hours): for those who want to make it, it is recommended to keep to the right at the junction, so as not to pass through the hut, going counterclockwise along the loop. Then climb to higher elevation and, having reached the top, descend to reach the Nordio as an arrival and refreshment point.
  • Forest road (by car): during summer the hut can be reached by car but the forest road is a bit bumpy so it is advisable to use a tall car and have experience driving in mountains and narrow roads.
  • By MTB: from Ugovizza or from the parking lot.


The refuge and the surrounding area can be visited in all seasons, but outside of the June/September period, it is best to check with the managers about opening days as they may vary or the refuge may only be open on weekends.

Riccardo Deffar was a skilled and renowned mountaineer from Trieste and a CAAI academician. The shelter is also named after brothers Aurelio and Fabio Nordio, two Trieste volunteers who fell in World War I.

The Nordio refuge is in Italy, specifically in Val Uque in Ugovizza, but it is only a few kilometers from Austria and it is possible to follow the border line by walking through the forest.

Contact the Nordio shelter

Through this section you can contact the Nordio shelter directly. Use it to inquire about services, rates, meal & overnight reservations, weather and trail status information, and trails. Remember that with this form you will contact the activity managers directly. Explorer FVG is only an intermediary and does not handle responses and is not responsible for the information exchanged in these conversations.

Contact information:
Rifugio F.lli Nordio and R. Deffar
33010 Malborghetto Valbruna (UD)

Manager: Liana Spitali

Send an email

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