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Those who want to understand what Carnia was like in the past centuries, the customs of its inhabitants, their ways of facing the difficulties of life in an often hostile environment, their religious spirit, their everyday life, those must not miss the Museum of Tolmezzo, where in so many years of devout dedication and research the illustrious scholar (and senator) Michele Gortani has collected thousands of objects coming from houses in the area. A unique museum in Italy, set in a region that still, surprisingly and fortunately, does not deny the traditional rhythms of life. And Tolmezzo is the capital city of the area, a town by the clean and happy face, with a few porticoed streets and important palaces, among which the residence of Jacopo Linussio, the forerunner of modern tycoons, whose flax mills in the 18th-century, state-of-the-art as for labour planning, could compete with the greatest factories in Europe. In even more distant times, however, the capital town was Iulium Carnicum, today’s Zuglio, that the Romans had built to defend the mountain territory by creating a municipium. Of the ancient splendour of Zuglio now the ruins of the forum and the finds exhibited in the local archaeological museum remain. The ancient rural churches of S. Maria at Invillino, S. Floriano at Illegio, S. Pietro at Zuglio, S. Stefano at Cesclans have stories to tell on the devoutness of the Carnia people, who had embellished their churches with works of art. This is because Carnia means well-living but also culture, something that all centres, with no exception, are provided with; and if the Renaissance wooden altars of Paluzza and Dierico are a worth example of artistic value together with the paintings by Nicola Grassi at Sezza or Tolmezzo, sometimes a simple house by the simple rural lines (at Cercivento, Verzegnis, Villa Santina), or a stone or wooden ornament are enough to record how a certain taste for art has always guided these populations in their work.



Images from Friuli Venezia Giulia