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For forty years or more, the enchanting village of Sappada, the last outpost of the Cadore-Comelico area, has been looking enviously at its neighbours in Friuli Venezia Giulia, hoping that sooner or later it will be able to join them. In spite of its marvellous location and its huge tourist potential, the fortunes of Sappada have for some time now been waning. The situation was improved recently by the intervention of the Getur company, which took over the ski lifts and the big snow theme park Nevelandia.

The Getur tourist village, built in Friuli territory just a few kilometres from Sappada, has a greater capacity than all the hotels in the village put together, and the wide range of services it offers means that it’s fully booked for the whole season. Its chairman, Don Luigi Fabbro, has given voice to the discontent in the valley. He says, “The people of Sappada want to become part of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region because they feel badly treated, left to their own devices, by the Veneto region. They give a lot and get nothing back. The Region is doing absolutely nothing for Sappada; the regional councillor with responsibility for tourism, Floriano Pra, talks a lot, makes a lot of promises, but nothing happens. It’s a disgrace.” His analysis: “Sappada would be perfect as part of Friuli, it could be a top quality resort, it has all the right qualities for success.”

Meanwhile, the Sappada Ski Club is already stepping over the border into the neighbouring region. Next season it intends to move bag and baggage to Forni Avoltri in the province of Udine. The case of Sappada may be the most critical in the Cadore-Comelico area, but it’s not the only one. The latest idea in the province is to set up an all-embracing tourist company, which may have been motivated by the best of intentions, but seems to go against the needs of the smaller operators in the holiday industry.

The Veneto region can offer the tourist an unrivalled range of attractions of the highest quality, all within a radius of relatively few kilometres – beaches, lakes, cities of art and culture, mountains. It seems odd that it hasn’t managed to find a way to look after all its treasures.