- Friuli collinare (The Hillside of Friuli)
- The city of Cividale del Friuli
- Discovering Palmanova: city and fortress.
- Discovering Latisana
- Cultural events in Aquileia
Friuli collinare (The Hillside of Friuli)
In the heart of Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, not far from Udine, lies an ancient land, where prestigious and mysterious castles, rising above rolling hills, face each other from a distance.
This is Friuli Collinare (The Hillside of Friuli), an area which is not only easily accessible, but is also ideal for a special vacation, light years away from the usual itineraries.
This territory, caught between the Alps and the sea, offers some of the most inspiring naturalistic views: Griffons and White Storks, elsewhere extinct, glide through the skies and bring back to life the sweetest and truest atmospheres of the hills.
Nature also goes hand in hand with history. Plentiful are the ancient fortresses, rural villages, parish churches, traditional handcraft laboratories and tiny museums treasuring innumerable works of art.
At the top of the list of traditional dishes belonging to the friulan cuisine, is the Prosciutto di San Daniele (Cured Ham), one of the most renowned local products.
Every year, at the beginning of May, magic fills the air in the town of Rive d’Arcano. The local feast “Il Paese dei Balocchi” (Toyland) evokes the surreal atmosphere of the tale “Pinocchio”, with mountebanks, theatrical performances, lots of music and games both for children and adults.
On 2nd May, and only on that day, the town of Coseano becomes the home of Artists: during the event “Coseano Vie d’Artista”, more than two hundred artists paint their works of art and display them along the town streets.
(For information about restaurants and hotels contact www.tourism.friulicollinare.it)
The city of Cividale del Friuli
Cividale is an ancient city, where all the streets, squares, churches and surrounding walls bear testimony of its magnificent past. This is the breathtaking scenario one sees when entering Cividale del Friuli, a wonderful town, only a few kilometers from Udine, built along the banks of the emerald green waters of the Natisone river. Julius Caesar founded this city in year 50 B.C., naming it Forum Julii, however the town is much older. Located in a strategic position, Cividale had been conquered several times during the previous centuries by a number of invaders, among which the Celts. In 568 A.D. Cividale became capital of the Lombard Duchy, whereas, between the 11th and 13th centuries, the city became the see of Aquileia’s Patriarchy. Today, museums treasure an incredible amount of remains dating back to those glorious days. The National Archeological Museum in Piazza Duomo, preserves Lombard garments, coins, weapons and jewelry. Periodically, new findings enrich this already incredible heritage. The Battistero di Callisto (Callisto’s Baptistery) and the Ara di Ratchis (Ratchis’Altar) are precious masterpieces also belonging to the Lombard tradition and are preserved in the Duomo’s Christian Museum. Cividale’s past also relives during historical events like the Messa dello Spadone (in January), and the Palio di San Donato (in August), when all participants dress up in their traditional costumes. At any given time of the year, a stroll through streets and squares of surprising and ever-changing beauty, provides the perfect opportunity to step into the magic atmosphere of the past. Borgo Brossana, for example, counts many magnificent architectural treasures, among which the ancient Monastery of Santa Maria in Valle and the precious homonymous Oratory (also known as Tempietto Longobardo). Cividale is not only renowned for its history: those who appreciate the tranquility of nature and the quality of local wines and foods will also enjoy walking along the Natisone River and stopping in any one of the many typical restaurants (Agriturismi).
Discovering Palmanova: city and fortress.
Anyone visiting Palmanova can’t help but being fascinated by the characteristic star-shaped walls surrounding the city, conceived by the Venetians at the end of the 16th century to prevent the Habsburgs and the Turks from conquering their lands. Palmanova is the only city to have preserved the original setting of a nine-pointed star, which means it was not just a simple fortress, but a war machine by all means, the ultimate Venetian bulwark on mainland.
The city is surrounded by three fortified walls: the first and the second were built by the Venetians, while the third was erected during the French domination.
Palmanova is located in a central position and is therefore extremely accessible: a Highway exit is located just outside the city and the airport is only 25 kilometers away.
Any one of the three entrances leads directly to the hexagonal Piazza Grande, once a drill ground where troops used to gather and receive assignments. Today, the vast square is skirted by the Palazzo del Provveditore (General Administrator’s Palace), the Loggia della Gran Guardia, the Palazzo del Governatore delle Armi (Weapons Governor Palace), the Monte di Pietà (Pawnshop Palace) and the Duomo Dogale (the Doge’s Cathedral).
Piazza Grande is the starting point of many different itineraries throughout the city. Our advice is to begin from the Municipal Museum of History, where maps, documents, weapons and relics are displayed in order to help visitors better understand the fortress’ history.
For those who wish to visit the fortified section, an interesting walk, departing from the Historical Military Museum, explores the city’s defensive works.
All year round a number of cultural events evolve around Piazza Grande, the most important of which is the Historic costume commemoration. The 2004 celebrations will take place on Saturday, 10th July and Sunday, 11th July.
The town of Latisana features quite a few interesting works of art, which stand out both for their cultural and artistic value.
The Tagliamento Monument
In 1972, the famous sculptor Sante Monachesi (1910-1991), who had formerly joined the Futurist Movement, created this original fountain out of a new plastic material called polimetilmetacrilato. Today, this unique work of art brightens up the appearance of Piazza Santo Spirito, the square in which it’s located.
Saint John the Baptist Church
This late Romanic church was initiated in the 11th century, but has undergone a series of changes over the centuries: Architect Gaspare di Parma was the first to work on it in 1504. It was during the 1750 restoration that baroque elements were added to adorn the structure.
Saint Anthony of Padua Church
The church’s artistic and historical evolution is deeply interwoven with that of the annexed Franciscan Tertiary Sisters Monastery, built in 1685 only to be closed in 1810.
Art Gallery “La Cantina”
The gallery houses a personal art exhibition by Enrico Nicodemo, however visitors can also admire permanent exhibitions by other various artists.
Cultural events in Aquileia
From the 20th to the 28th of March, the Patriarchate Municipal Museum, in collaboration with the Archeological Superintendence of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, houses an exhibition of drawings depicting garments and accessories which recall the style and fashion of Ancient Italy.
March the 28th inaugurates the third edition of “Antichità tra fiori, arte e musica”, which unfolds through Piazza Capitolo, Via Roma and the surrounding streets. This Spring feast features a flea market, an exhibition of flowers and plants, folk and jazz music and, obviously, food and beverage stands. Free guided tours of the Basilica and of the archeological site are available.
In April, the Patriarchate Municipal Museum houses “La Piazza della Basilica di Aquileia”, an exhibition of projects regarding the monumental complex around the Basilica, its homonymous square and Piazza Patriarcato (date yet to set).
From the 8th to the 13th of June Aquileia celebrates its Patron Saints Ermacora and Fortunato. All four evenings will be animated by Italian and international folk music. Food and beverage stands will open for the FOLKEST evening.
Sunday, 11th July marks the opening of the 12th edition of CollezionAquileia, a craft market where old things can also be found.
August features the Sport Fest and the town feast, with kiosks and music played by a live orchestra.
The eno-gastronomic event “A tavola con gli antichi Romani” (dining in ancient Rome) offers, from August through September, interesting Roman menus elaborated by local cooks.
AquileiAEstate 2004 proposes theatrical, musical and dancing performances from July through August.
Concerts are held in the Basilica from July through September.
On the 8th of December Piazza Capitolo hosts the traditional Friulan, Austrian and Venetian handcraft market, livened by the performances of street artists. Guided tours of the Basilica and of the Archeological Site are available.
On the 24th of December the popular “Messa dello Spadone” commemorates the Patriarchy’s traditions.